It simply takes a stroll through a grocery store aisle to see that companies are taking many approaches to differentiating products for consumers. This is a very clear trend in the beverage aisles.
Shelf appeal is critical in engaging busy consumers who generally make a product decision in mere seconds.
Clear labels, both pressure-sensitive and filmic wrap-around, provide opportunities to spotlight bright, eye-catching graphics. Shrink sleeves similarly provide a brand billboard that can wrap around complex curves and create visual interest.
For more durable graphics on glass bottles, direct screen printing may be a preferred solution for labeling.
And, let’s not overlook the success of companies like Coca-Cola® with its personalized “Share a Coke” labels. Digital printing has enabled highly customized, short-run label conversion.
There also is a trend to differentiate labeling based on bottle size and shape. Products no longer look like their neighboring brand on store shelves.
However, companies are not only concerned about branding and shelf-appeal for labeling. Cost effectiveness and process efficiency are always top-of-mind for businesses.
Some main considerations for labeling cost are: material costs, line speed, downtime, and shipping and distribution.
Major brands are bringing bottling in-house, or are considering doing so. This allows for better management of materials and less complex logistics. Additionally, opportunities for economies of scale may present themselves.
Thinner, more lightweight bottles and labels aid in cost reduction throughout the process (raw material cost, inventory, and shipping). However, thinner materials can cause added stress or challenges in other areas. For instance, adhesives need to exhibit higher cohesive strength in order to flex with thinner, more stretchable materials.
With wrap-around and shrink sleeve labels, there is no liner to dispose of and adhesives are used in minimal quantities per bottle. This allows for a more cost-effective, lower-waste solution for large-scale labeling runs.
There is also consideration for uptime versus downtime in processing. Faster line speeds are not so beneficial if there are other factors causing the machine to be shut down for maintenance or cleaning. All cylinders must be firing!
Bostik has developed a series of labeling products that work in both non-carbonated and carbonated beverage label applications. For more information about our labeling adhesives please visit http://bostik-labeling.com/.