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For many, keeping wine fresh from the bottle is a challenge not easily overcome. Matt Zimmer had that same problem. He’d open a bottle of wine, enjoy a glass and then find it had gone bad a few days later.
That’s when Zimmer had the idea for StackTek. He solved the problem in a snap. Together with Jodi Ryan, the two co-founded StackTek in 2011.
StackTek provides wineries with a solution that breaks down one 750 mL bottle of wine into four stackable, single-serving glasses. The tops of the medical-grade, BPA-free plastic “glasses” snap into the bottoms of each other, making storage like that of a wine bottle.
The containers are shatterproof and foil sealed, according to Shalay Clements, Manager of Marketing and Sales with StackTek.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest because consumers are trading up,” Clements said. “People are never going to trade off quality for convenience.”
The Costa Mesa-based company has a packaging facility in Modesto, keeping it near major winery clients like Constellation Brands’ Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Mark West, both in Acampo.
Clements said the packaging is especially alluring to the millennial generation.
“We’ve noticed that millennials … want everything done in a new way,” Clements said. “There’s no difference when it comes to their wine.”
Companies that are looking for something unique to market, but don’t necessarily produce wine, are still able to come to StackTek for help. The organization will pair clients with wineries, help them work with designers, create a brand and even work to get their end product distributed.
“We can help them with everything,” Clements said. “We can be as hands-on or hands-off as our customers need us to be.”
Jim Duty, the Operations Manager at the Modesto plant, estimates that 96,000 single-serving cups are produced per day from the facility, which services seven different clients. Each client has several different varietals that are packed at the plant.
Each cup is wrapped in a label, then filled with wine and topped with a proprietary blend of argon and other gases to retain product freshness and sealed with a foil lid.
Barcodes are placed on the bottoms of each cup for selling individually, and a different barcode is placed on the outer package of the four-pack to sell as one unit.
Both Clements and Duty said StackTek is seeking to branch out into an array of food arenas, such as nuts and other snack items.
“We’re at a point that we are open and looking for new co-packing customers,” Clements said. “Customers with dry goods, candy and jams (as an example).”
StackTek also hopes to branch into other beverages such as coconut water.
Though it’s a serious business, the fun-to-connect cups can be re-used and recycled in many ways. It just depends on the consumer’s imagination.
“We call the cups Legos for adults,” Duty joked.