When Campbell’s introduced a new beverage variety into a crowded market in 2006, they relied on the relatively new technology of shrink sleeve labeling to make the bottles stand out on the shelves. The shrink sleeves – top-to-bottom, brightly-colored labels completely wrapping around a distinctive bottle shape – seemed to make an impact: V8 V-Fusion Juice received “strong trade acceptance” from its very first quarter, and over the next two years it would outsell other new juice launches by up to ten times the average, according to the Mintel GNPD IRIS database.
The visual appeal of shrink sleeve labels is one of the most powerful reasons why many bottlers choose this labeling method, but there are other advantages as well. When you are deciding what is best for your product, consider the following benefits:
Connecting with Customers Emotionally
The current generation of shrink sleeve labels are uniquely able to cover distinctly-shaped bottles without forming any unsightly ripples or bubbles, and the combination of shape and color often results in a strong emotional connection with shoppers. In a study of 800 consumers, highly contoured bottles with shrink sleeve labels were ranked higher than bottles with plain labels in package impact, attention, uniqueness, empathy and appeal.
This greater engagement resulted in consumers, especially women and those identified as early adopters, showing a much greater interest in purchasing the shrink-sleeve wrapped items, and many were willing to even pay a higher price.
Design and Shape Flexibility
Because shrink sleeve labels can cover the sides of a bottle completely, the entire surface is open to color, graphics or text that can appeal to your customers. At the same time, different sleeve designs can be swapped in easily, allowing for packaging that can change regularly or support multiple design variations. The sleeves themselves can accommodate 75% shrinkage, which allows them to smoothly cover bottles of a very wide possibility of shapes. The shapes themselves can be designed for attention, functionality, or both.
Labels That Boost Efficiency
The initial cost of shrink sleeve labels can be higher than other options (although the potential for greater sales and stronger customer appeal can justify the expense). In some instances, the cost of shrink sleeve labels are offset by their more efficient labeling process, bringing down their net cost. Because the labels fit over containers in a sleeve shape, positioning the label on each bottle, can, jar or tube correctly takes less time, and the time saved reduces labor costs. The labels are also easy to switch during production, so the same bottle shape can be used for multiple designs without any extra printed bottles going to waste.
The sleeves themselves can also take on functions that save on production costs. For example, tamper-evident sleeves have perforations in the wrap that must be torn to open the package, replacing the need for other safety seals. The material also tolerates moisture well, standing up to condensation. Finally, a shrink sleeve label can provide UV protection for contents that would otherwise need an added packaging layer.
Speak with your shrink sleeve machine manufacturer for ideas on customizing your machine with accessories such as printers, cutters, or mandrels to increase the speed and precision of your operations. The choice to add additional functions to your machine depends on your production needs, so find a company that will consult with you about your current and future operations.
Choosing a Machine Manufacturer
Your rate of output will be a key component in choosing the right size machine for your business. Apex Filling Systems offers a line of shrink sleeve equipment that includes small batch machines that can handle standard sized jars and cans, as well as machines that handle large-scale production needs. Compare spec sheets to see which features are standard and which are extra, and ask if the machines can be upgraded as your business changes.
Also look for a company that provides custom-designed accessories, 24-hour customer service, and referrals or success stories from other clients.
Let Apex Help You
Apex offers all of our customer’s customized solutions to their filling, capping and labeling needs. Call us at 219-575-7493 or visit our page here to discuss how our systems can be adapted to your labeling methods.