Trends are always changing, and businesses that evolve with the times are the ones that last. Keeping up with consumer patterns is the only way to truly insulate a company from unpredictable economic cycles and maintain market relevance in the long run.
After over 70 years at Stanpac, we like to think that we’ve passed the test.
In our early days, Stanpac manufactured caps for milk bottles. Bottles were beautiful containers with a wholesome shape, typically with a tall, wide spout about 2” in diameter. Those were the nostalgic days when the milkman would be a frequent and most welcomed visitor to the household – in fact even as late as the early 1960s almost a third of all consumers had their milk delivered.
A decade later, grocery stores became a more convenient and cheaper way to buy your milk, pretty much wherever you lived. Then paper-based cartons and later plastic jugs began taking over. Stanpac’s core milk bottle cap business shrank considerably. But the company was well positioned to tackle new market opportunities related to packaging (“Hottle caps”, for example, those paper lids hotels use to cover drink glasses).
Then came ice cream packaging, then came beer, wine and liquor bottles, and then came tamper-evident closures. Today Stanpac is an innovative packaging manufacturer with four plants across North America and customers in over 30 countries worldwide.
In the last few years, milk delivery and glass milk bottles have actually witnessed an impressive resurgence. After 70 years, we’re very happy to still be connected to our original roots.
A diversified product line
Whether it’s a glass container or paperboard cups and lids, Stanpac helps customers exceed their goals by providing a distinct, premium image to enhance their product’s appeal and visibility. Vibrant colours and crisp detail make containers stand out on the shelf. Multiple sizes, shapes and configurations give consumers maximum flexibility when choosing whatever package and size work bests for them.
We at Stanpac, staying true to our origins, insist that milk just simply tastes better in glass milk bottles. We provide all the packaging components involved, from decorated glass bottles and tamper evident closures, to cases and carriers. There are hundreds if not thousands of dairy businesses across the continent, often family-based, each with a very loyal customer base. Check out www.drinkmilkinglassbottles.com for a helpful directory. You’ll be surprised to find so many near you.
Beyond the traditional dairy industry, food and beverage manufacturers of all kinds – juices, sauces, oils and more – can position their products as premium by bottling in glass containers. And of course today there’s a huge marketplace in the alcoholic beverage sector that use to be dominated by a relatively small number of players. Independent wineries, craft breweries and distilleries have proliferated in the past two decades and consumers face a daunting selection when perusing the store shelves. What bottle will they pick? All of us have done it: I’m picking whatever bottle looks particularly intriguing! The right bottle design can make or break a business.
Glass Bottle Printing
Applied Ceramic Labeling (ACL) is the gold standard when it comes to printing on bottles, and Stanpac has perfected the technique over the years, even introducing environmentally-friendly organic and UV inks, as well as other process improvements. ACL is essentially a screen printing technology that delivers exceptional print quality and can be so much more impactful that a traditional paper label, especially on tapered or uniquely-shaped bottles.
Our ability to print a distinctive bottle or glass jar using ACL is so advanced, we like to refer to the process simply as “tattooing your bottles”, which is why the division is known as Stanpac Ink. Your bottles can be 100% unique and instantly recognizable, just like commissioning a renowned tattoo artist for that signature tat!
We All Scream for Ice Cream
Around the same time that grocery store pickup became pretty much the exclusive form of milk distribution, we began seeing ice cream sales begin to soar at the supermarket, vastly outpacing the traditional ice cream parlor and soda fountain. Thus Stanpac’s next core business, after milk bottles, still kept faith with our roots in the dairy industry.
Today, Stanpac has state-of-art facilities and equipment for die cutting, cup forming, lid forming, printing and labelling for the ice cream containers that we’re all accustomed to in store freezers – anything from a 3oz single serving up to a typical 2L tub. As with bottle decorating, eye-catching ice cream packaging can make all the difference when the consumer is deciding which product will end up in their shopping cart.
Whether you’re a small, niche ice cream producer or a large national brand, Stanpac has solutions that will drive sales.
Fill it Up
As Stanpac’s milk packaging business expanded organically into ice cream, so too did other service offerings emerge to help our dairy customers. It simply made sense that if we can supply bottles, containers and other related packaging needs, we can certainly provide great value by supplying filling equipment and systems that allow our customers to ramp up their operations.
Our line of Flex E Fill™ ice cream filling equipment has long been the industry standard and is recognized across North America as the workhorse of the filling room. The Flex is known for its versatility and simplicity. Its small footprint doesn’t take up much space, and it can be easily moved around the production floor as needed. Easy to operate, durable and reliable, Flex E Fill™ equipment is available to buy or lease.
We make it easy for a dairy business to thrive. You make the ice cream. And from that point on, Stanpac is your trusted partner in production.
Serving Food Service
A growing number of confectionery, candies, and dessert producers are accessing the same container and lid manufacturing capabilities that Stanpac provides to hundreds of ice cream producers. From chocolates to pretzels, from nuts to jelly beans, our containers jump off the shelf thanks to mouth-watering graphics and an extensive range of sizes and configurations.
Getting back to the concept of keeping up with consumer trends, it’s always notable how they can be so cyclical. Think about it. Is there all that much of a difference between the milkman and UberEats? Today’s take-out culture, whether at the drive-through or home delivery, is ubiquitous.
More so than ever during the pandemic, when the in-restaurant social experience was challenging if not impossible to achieve, fast food and full-fledged restaurants alike understand that their take-out packaging is prime branding real estate. Stanpac’s food service packaging is also sustainable and North American made; a packaging option that both customers and food service providers can feel good about and benefit from.
Stanpac’s expertise is the ideal solution for paper food containers for soup, deli, and general take-out needs. Made with heavy poly coated paper board, with moisture and grease barrier coatings, our food containers and lids are available in 8oz, 12oz, 16oz and 32 oz formats. With bold print capabilities, custom print quantities as low as 30,000 pieces, and sensible lead times, your food packaging has never looked this good.
Meanwhile our paper hot cups and lids are available in 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, 16oz and 20oz sizes, either plain white or with custom flexo printing or premium litho designs up to 6 colours. There’s a solution for every brand and budget.
Innovation: leading the way
Tamper Proof Packaging
The Tylenol tampering tragedy in Chicago in 1982 forever changed food and beverage packaging, and Stanpac was among the first to innovate when it came to instilling consumer confidence in their food and beverage purchases. Nothing can be fully tamper-proof, so the universal goal was to come up with robust tamper-evident packaging. Within a few years, we patented “Top Tab” technology (which has evolved into the lift-and-peel mechanism you come across everywhere), and later developed the tamper-evident plastic band built into ice cream container lids.
Bottles with a Twist
One of the undisputed benefits of glass bottles is that they can be refilled. Over and over and over again. So it made perfect sense to combine our tamper evident expertise with threaded bottle necks for dairy products, juice and water. Compared to traditional bottle caps, this evolution also made for a long shelf life, ideal for fresh salad dressings, sauces, powdered products as well as on-the-go beverages.
Print and Beyond
Print technology in the digital age has been jumping by leaps and bounds when it comes to print quality and cost efficiency. With each exciting new development in the industry, Stanpac has been eager to leverage state-of-the-art technologies. The world of printing techniques is fully at our customers’ disposal, including holographic lid rims, foil stamping and embossing. When married with design creativity, there’s nothing holding you back from getting your product to stand out.
But our commitment to innovation goes well beyond what you see on the container. In fact, some of the advances we’re most proud of won’t even be discernible to the naked eye. It’s all about the materials that go into the production of the packaging, not just necessarily what gets printed on it.
Ice cream packaging made from paperboard inevitably needs a coating to serve as a moisture barrier. We recently introduced containers made from fully renewable ice cream board – a first of its kind – using a bio resin polyethylene made from sugarcane, a very efficient crop. Looking and performing like traditional resin, this approach is the pinnacle right now for sustainability when combined with our Sustainable Forestry Initiative® certified sourcing practices.
With inputs from renewable resources produced using documented, responsible practices, your sustainable food packaging is market-ready for the discerning consumer committed to a sustainable lifestyle. It’s a segment that is rapidly expanding beyond millennials and younger demographics. Just like plant-based alternatives to meat are reaching the mainstream, plant-based packaging is the future.
Sustainability and Safety
Renewability and recyclability are keys to environmental sustainability. But as much as our containers are leading the ice cream packaging sector, sustainability leaders in the milk industry are much further ahead. And what’s the common thread behind milk and sustainability? Well, it’s simple and as timeless as the days of the milkman. Leading producers use glass bottles. Glass is reusable, many times over. Then when a bottle reaches the end of its life cycle, it is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity.
Our bottle customers – dairy and beyond – are experiencing a resurgence of interest in product bottled in glass containers. Consumers instinctively understand the environmental benefits of glass versus plastic, and most will insist that things taste better out of a bottle. Perhaps that’s ultimately a subjective claim, but there’s no questioning the fact that glass is the only widely-used food packaging that the FDA recognizes as “GRAS” (generally recognized as safe) – the agency’s highest standard.
Speaking of food safety, because Stanpac manufactures items that come into contact with food, we’ve adopted strict controls and production processes in all our plants. With SQF 2000 Level 2 certification (Level 1 plus rigorous Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points standards – or HACCP), we’ve implemented systems that food manufacturers themselves strive for.
We are also in full compliance with the FDA / IMS Certification Program for Manufacturers of Single-Service Packaging Materials for Food.
Your customers trust you with their food and drink. You can trust us with the quality and safety of your packaging.
Yes, in the 70-plus years that Stanpac has been in business, we’ve come a long way. We’re now a team of over 700 employees, serving more than 1,000 customers in over 30 countries. But our values haven’t changed. We are good people who take great pride in the quality of our products and our unmatched level of customer service. We are good people who thrive on long-standing relationships with our customers. Not much different from the milkman from the days of yore, right?
We support the communities where we live, work and play, from healthcare services to youth programs to community organizations. And we care about the impact of our footprint on the planet, and commit to constantly seeking ways to improve our processes.
When it comes right down to it, at the core, we are good people who make great packaging!