The intricacies of glassmaking date back thousands of years to ancient Mesopotamia. Modern manufacturing technology has made it possible to create glass products with precision, vast design options and reinforced durability compared to the lengthy, simple glass projects of our ancestors.

A custom-made glass bottle or jar can seem like the perfect solution for your specific product, providing all the necessary details like industry-specific measurements and storage needs, settings and applications. However, a custom-made glass project may not be the best choice for your brand.

We sat down with our seasoned Account Executive Aaron Edelen, who shared his extensive knowledge of custom glass projects to identify factors when deciding if a custom-made solution is best for your business. Additionally, we will

Aaron Edelen: Profile of a Glass Manufacturing Expert

Aaron has a long history working in the manufacturing industry, featuring over two decades of experience. He worked at and led a co-packing company and now lends his glass expertise to his current customers and prospects.

Additionally, Aaron has gained knowledge and insight from visits to over 75% of North American glass manufacturing plants and through interactions with experts across the globe, including China, Guatemala, Oman, Mexico and Turkey. He has experienced and resolved some of the biggest challenges and pitfalls behind the scenes of custom glass projects.

Navigating the Current Glass Landscape

Like many international industries, glass manufacturing has been affected by the recent pandemic-stricken economy and supply chain issues. According to Aaron, most North American glass manufacturers were already near capacity prior to COVID, which with the increased glass demand of COVID, pushed the plants overcapacity. Most North American suppliers remain fully booked until mid-2023.

There is a stark contrast between market supply and demand, where freight costs and overcrowded ports delay order fulfillment. At the same time, customers continue to purchase more glass products, a trend originating from the early pandemic days when more people were cooking from home.

Heavy demand for glass
As the lockdown in China continues, the demand for glass packaging in the United States increases and becomes more difficult for manufacturers.

Deciding Between Custom and Stock Glass Projects

Some companies remain undecided between custom and stock glass projects, with concerns surrounding cost, deliverability and practicality. Aaron recommends utilizing standard stock options for new brands as custom projects carry a disproportionate amount of risk.

Stock options allow new brands to be flexible with various manufacturers who carry the same packaging. Also, you may consider using customized bottle labels or jar lids to make your brand stand out from competitors.

Ideally, you should be producing at least one million product units annually before even considering a custom glass project. Without producing this quantity, stock packaging may be the best solution for now. Typically, when choosing stock options, companies allow for smaller minimum order quantities, which leads to a more cost-effective packaging solution.

If you can fulfill the basic production quota, you will need to factor in the cost of the mold. For example, a domestic mold usually cost $60,000-70,000 while international options go between $10,000-20,000. Once you create the mold, you own it — it cannot be used by any other manufacturer. Aaron typically recommends amortizing the cost of the mold over a three-year period. Discuss with MJS how we can help you offset the upfront costs of molds.

Getting Started on Your Custom Glass Project

Custom glass projects usually begin with the creation of detailed technical drawings of the desired product. The design phase usually requires in-depth discussions among designers and manufacturers to balance the practicality of a model while staying accurate to the artistic vision.

After the drawings have been finalized, the next stage is the creation of the sample mold. At this point, you will need to factor in elements such as volume and weight testing. Finally, some glass manufacturers will produce a sample pallet of the custom glass bottle or jar for the product manufacturer to fully test.

Custom glass projects may take from nine months to a year to complete, with about six of those months dedicated to mold preparation.

Choosing a Professional Partner

Custom glass projects are intricate and costly processes that require much thought and planning. Partnering with a seasoned industry expert like MJS Packaging will help eliminate the standard production and design concerns for a smoother and more efficient process.

Our knowledgeable packaging solutions specialists offer professionalism and cumulative industry intelligence to streamline your production of custom glass bottles and jars that stay on brand without exception.

Contact us to discover how we can help you optimize a custom glass project for your branding needs.