By: Bill Bregar
November 16, 2012
LOS ANGELES (Nov. 16, 2 p.m. ET) — Drinking wine may never be the same — thanks to Los Angeles inventor Matt Zimmer, who worked with mold maker R&D/Leverage to develop interlocking individual wine jars made of PET.
Stacked Wines LLC. The company name says it all.
Zimmer said the wine industry already was moving toward alternatives to the traditional cork and glass bottle, to things like bag-in-box, aseptic packs, cans and screw caps. “Sometimes, today’s on-the-go consumer just wants one glass of wine without opening an entire bottle,” he said in a recent phone interview.
The four blow molded, recyclable containers hold a total of 750 milliliters, equal to one bottle.
Zimmer used to work for Niagara Bottling LLC after earning a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He said he became project management director, setting up major capital projects for the California-based bottled-water company.
Zimmer said he thought up the package idea and approached R&D/Leverage in Lee’s Summit, Mo. “They kind of took my idea and revised it into something that could be run on a mass-manufacturing line,” he said.
Stacked Wines became a series of blow molded PET wine goblets, stacked onto of each other and overwrapped. Each individual serving has a foil seal.
It took R&D/Leverage just three weeks to design the tool.
“Matt came to us with a sketch,” said Jeff Beason, project engineer at R&D/Leverage. “It’s obvious that he had a well-designed bottle because we just had to tweak it. The plan really stayed intact.”
Zimmer said the package uses a medical grade of PET for clarity and design features. The container, with its thick walls and bubble shape, doesn’t flex when squeezed. Like a glass jar.
A key challenge was a snap-together feature that involved precise undercuts in the mold. “The real difficult thing with that was, we’re trying to get a container that mimics glass, and it’s really high clarity, and we have to get these undercuts,” Zimmer said.
As of October, Stacked Wines was selling in 400 Southern California stores, and online, retailing for $14.99.