Meredith Springfield blends know-how with functionality

New Lemon-X bottle, caps help bartenders build a better cocktail

When beverage managers at top restaurants alerted Lemon-X to a sour feeling toward mix bottles that were taking up too much space on speed racks and caps that gurgled when poured, Lemon-X knew who to call.

As a client of Ludlow, Massachusetts-based MeredithSpringfield for over a decade, Lemon-X counted on the plastics professionals at Meredith-Springfield to come up with a top shelf solution.

Lemon-X President James Grassi established a relationship with MeredithSpringfield President and Chief Executive Officer Mel O’Leary Jr. over 11 years ago when Lemon-X found itself in need of a plastics manufacturing company with competitive prices and a willingness to think outside the box. Today, Lemon-X relies on Meredith-Springfield’s plastics expertise and understanding of the beverage packaging industry for a redesign of one product line.

“Meredith Springfield has manufactured bottles for us in the past and they give us generally everything we need when we need it,” said Carole Ortiz, purchasing agent for Lemon-X who recently worked with Meredith-Springfield to create a round PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle with shrink wrap labeling to replace an oblong bottle with a paper label. The shrink sleeve labels boast a full 360 degrees of graphics on the uniquely-shaped Lemon-X bottles.

In keeping with market changes, Lemon-X began looking into developing a round bottle to fit better in a bartender’s speed rack. However, a new bottle – which could easily be gripped by bartenders – would require a new cap because the neck would also change. The redesigned bottles required a new mold for the machine Meredith-Springfield uses to create them.

“We optimized the weight in the new design to suit ergonomics and category envelope, which reduced plastic content by about 15 percent,” said MeredithSpringfield Director of Sales, Dwight Lowe.

Even with the reduction in plastic content, the bottle could be filled at various temperatures, according to Lowe.

“Lemon-X was having an issue with distortion from vacuum paneling on the bottle once filled warm or cold. They would fill the bottle around 150 degrees,” said Lowe. “The paneling was caused from the variability in the distribution of plastic in the two-step preform. We worked with them and designed an optimal new bottle design in the one-step process, optimizing the weight and wall thickness of the plastic through the bottle which would eliminate the paneling issue.”

“Meredith-Springfield stepped up and went beyond the call of duty in making a tamper-proof bottle for us,” said Tom Corcoran, sales manager of Lemon-X. “They know our product line completely and guaranteed they would be able to address the issue we originally had with filling the bottles hot or cold.”

Not only did Meredith-Springfield develop a round bottle that could be filled at different temperatures, they also found a solution for a new cap that would allow bartenders to pour better, faster and smoother drinks than their competitors.

The cap Meredith-Springfield formed contained two holes and came in two sizes, depending on the thickness of the liquid being poured.

According to Corcoran, Meredith-Springfield reacted “very quickly” to LemonX’s initial call for help. “Mel came down and worked with us and even sent a few engineers down,” said Corcoran, who added, “Dealing with the owner was very beneficial to creating the end product.”

“Meredith-Springfield’s prices are competitive, they are willing to ship the products according to the way we order them and they are extremely flexible. Mel was honest, forthright and up-front throughout the whole process,” added Ortiz. “If he couldn’t do it, he’d say it right away. He and his team worked to come up with a solution for us and they did not provide any false expectations, which just goes to show that at the end of the day, Mel cares about his customer.”

For more information on Meredith-Springfield and its custom blow-molded solutions, call (413) 583-8600.

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