Historically, our everyday vessel for our favorite beer came in an aluminum can that was printed with the mega brewery label. The craft beer hobbyist resorted to glass bottles and hand-labeling on site. The cost of purchasing printed cans were high but it was the minimum order quantity that eliminated this as an option for small-scale brewers. Unprinted cans are less expensive; however, the minimums were still quite high for most to take advantage.
Since this time, the industry has evolved, and we are all aware of the growing demand for the latest and greatest craft beer. “Basement Brewers” are opening full-scale breweries and marketing their beer both on site as well as in the retail space. Shelf space is consumed with creative labels and hold their own next to the large name brands. So much so that even the name brand producers have their own craft label and are keeping that home-brewed look. This all leads to the significant upward trend in the pressure sensitive label market for beer cans.
Labeling cans vs. purchasing pre-printed cans gives the brand owner freedom and flexibility. First, there is no longer a need to inventory cans for every flavor manufactured (which takes up warehouse space and money). Inventory levels are greatly reduced by purchasing inventory of blank cans. Cans can be pulled and labeled based on sales trends and quickly adjusted when your favorite blend takes off and sales begin to soar! That is not the time to run out of your pre-printed can. The lead time for pressure sensitive labels is significantly shorter, takes up less spaces, and costs less overall! The perfect solution.
Secondly, creativity levels run high with the craft beer crowd. Often changing the label on a great blend can drive sales that might otherwise be slowing down, the flexibility to make this change quickly and cost-effectively is provided by using labels vs. stocking large quantities of printed cans. Custom labels can be ordered at the quantity you want and are easy to shelf. This benefits seasonal flavors and promotional products as well. When you create a new design, you want to get it on the can, not wait until you use up all the pre-printed cans that you already paid for.
Labels can be printed on a variety of materials, depending on your look. The most common material used is BOPP. Labels can be printed flexographically or digitally. Both create eye catching labels with great color, standout imagery, unique shapes and surprising textures. Printing options for labels are far greater than printing on the can itself. Why should you care about all of this? 66% of those surveyed say a beer’s package/label design is “very” or “extremely” important for them to notice it. 60% of say it is “very” or “extremely” important in convincing them to give it a try.
Shrink Sleeves are another great option for labeling that gives many of the same benefits. This would be an option if you are looking to cover the entire can to give it a pre-printed appeal. Sleeves may be faster in the application process; however, they require the upfront capital for the shrink equipment.
Cans are becoming the go-to choice for customers. Whitlam Group has the experience and technical skills to help you stand out. Our in-house graphics team can collaborate with you to create the perfect design for your product. We look forward to working with you.