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INFLUENCE QUALITY PERCEPTIONS WITH THE RIGHT BLEND OF HANDMADE AND PROFESSIONAL-GRADE.

You’ve spent years working on your brews, plus countless hours of thought – maybe you’ve stopped counting the dollars, too. Now it’s time to take your dream to market, and you’re thinking about packaging. You may even have a label design in mind or in hand. But don’t pull that tab just yet. Have you spent enough time learning about the actual labeling process?

 THE PROOF IS IN THE PACKAGING

Nothing beats the allure of handcrafted beers and other beverages. But as anyone who’s been producing craft brews for sale for any length of time discovers, there’s a difference between what customers see as “artisanal” and what they view as “amateur.” Consumers want the handmade “real deal” authenticity of craft brews, but they also want a promise of quality. A well-designed, well-produced label is where a healthy measure of both promises can be conveyed.

Thanks to digital printing, professional-quality labels that don’t run, smear, fall off the bottles in the cooler, or otherwise imply poor quality are now available in short-run, “small batch” quantities. Better yet, they’re surprisingly affordable.

THINK BEFORE YOU INK

In our talks with industry experts, the tip we heard the most was to include your packaging vendor in your planning mix. Over and over again, brewers design labels and purchase labeling equipment that deliver less-than-ideal results – often requiring expensive and time-consuming reworking. Labels aren’t an afterthought! Designing labels that work is a big undertaking, and people don’t see the challenges until they’re in the middle of things and trying to deal with a mess. Know your label supplier. Verify their capabilities in this industry, and get both your label and labeling equipment suppliers involved with your effort up front. It would be best if you had expertise in this area, and making your supplier part of this process can make your life so much easier.

Brewers should test, test, and retest. You will get a surprise if you don’t go through the testing process. You’ll get into the cooler, and labels will start popping off, or you’ll get a shipment of labels, apply them, and find out they’re a few millimeters off and nothing fits as you envisioned.

 STOCK TO FINISH: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A LABEL

Label equipment and label suppliers with experience in the beverage industry, especially in the carbonated and chilled beverage industry, can make all the difference. Again, it pays to know a label supplier who knows what works. Many considerations include size, stock, placement on the can or bottle, and state requirements for label information.

EVEN THE BEST-LOOKING DESIGN IS WASTED ON A LABEL THAT FALLS OFF.

All of our experts agreed that the most common problem brewers face is labels curling up, crinkling, and coming off bottles and cans in the labeling machine, the store cooler, or on ice in the customer’s cooler. That’s why Durable and Weatherproof Label Stock makes all the difference in labeling success. Combine such label stock with the right adhesive and UV weatherproof ink that doesn’t smear or run, and the problem is solved before it starts.