According to the North American label Market Study 2013 from AWA Alexander Watson Associates (, the label market grew 3.8% from 2011 to 2012. As demand grows, the label industry is meeting needs by providing the advancement customers want in the areas of sustainability and design.

Sustainability is a major concern in all aspects of the packaging market, and labels are no exception. These innovations are making strides to protect and give back to nature, and in one instance, they are drawing inspiration from nature itself. 
The ever growing craft beer market seeks high-end, unique labels that are eco-friendly without compromising design. If craft brewers wanted an uncoated or textured label they often had to choose design over sustainability. The more sustainable materials couldn’t hold up during printing or when placed in a cooler.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. (, manufacturer of technical/specialty and premium printing and packaging papers, solved this problem for brewers.
They offer an uncoated product designed specifically for craft beers. Monadnock Envi® Label is made from 100% FSC-certified, post consumer waste fibers and withstands the rigors of challenging print images, bottling lines and cold, wet coolers. No longer will a sustainable label mean that most of the label drift away in the cooler or disintegrates in consumer hands. 
“For an uncoated, textured feel, there was always a trade-off,” says Tim Boyd, market segment manager of Monadnock Paper Mills. “If you wanted a label to stand up to submersion and not peel, disintegrate or fall off, you had to sacrifice by using mostly virgin pulp. Conversely, if you wanted to be eco-conscious, there was always a compromise in how that material would stand-up in the print process or in the cooler. Now, you can have the best of both worlds.”
The Envi Label is made in New England near many craft brewers and offers American brewers a home-grown source for label stock that upholds their commitments to quality and sustainability while maintaining performance and aesthetics.
“Monadnock’s Envi Label is unique because it’s the only product that meets our brewery’s commitments to innovative packaging, as well as environmental sustainability,” says Jordan Bamforth, creative director at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “It works well on our packaging line and gives us a green alternative to a standard C1S beer label.”
Sustainability is important, but it often comes at a higher cost to companies, which may not be financially sustainable. Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials ( strives to offer sustainable label and packaging solutions to converters and brand owners at competitive rate. To do so, the company has introduced a new collection of North American Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper label materials. The new products’ prices are comparable with those of non-certified alternatives to drive the use of FSC-certified materials throughout the value chain. 
beer bottlesHenkel showcases sustainable adhesive innovations for labeling and packaging
Henkel ( has developed the casein-free adhesive Aquence XP 190 for the labeling of glass containers. Glass container and bottle labels are exposed to influences such as major temperature fluctuations and high air humidity, particularly in the summer. Labeling adhesives also need to offer the kind of stability that prevents labels from detaching from a bottle in iced water or when exposed to condensation. However, it is also important that the label can be readily removed when it comes to cleaning the bottle. With its wide application and performance spectrum, Henkel’s casein-free adhesive Acquence XP 190 meets these requirements without being inferior in any way to casein-based adhesives. It offers good initial tack with fast curing and drying. It also exhibits very good adhesion, a fact that contributes to substantially reducing adhesive consumption. Because Aquence XP 190 is casein-free, its price is not subject to the kinds of seasonal fluctuations that affect adhesives manufactured on the basis of milk protein. As casein prices reach all-time highs casein-free Aquence XP 190 offers an efficient and economically sustainable alternative to conventional labeling adhesives for the beverage and liquid food industries.
The new collection of FSC-certified products contains 22 specifications featuring three paper facestocks—commonly used in wine, spirits, dairy and food applications. 
“We have heard clearly from members of our value chain about the need for innovations that focus on improving sustainability,” says Darrell Hughes, vice president and general manager, Materials Group North America. “As a market leader, it’s our responsibility to produce and promote items that contribute to the environmental health of our planet. This price-neutral collection of select FSC-certified constructions is the next step in our effort to make our industry more sustainable.”
As brands seek to diversify and distinguish their product from the increasing number of those available, they are seeking new label materials and looks. While brands are seeking ways to produce labels that are kinder to nature, Multi Packaging Solutions ( found their inspiration for pressure sensitive wood veneer labels in nature. 
Under development for over 12 months, the new wood veneer labels debut with the launch of Jim Beam’s Limited Edition American Stillhouse Clermont Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Meant to evoke the barrels in which bourbon is aged, the labels are made from cherry veneer and digitally printed. 
“The prospect of making a label that would be a genuine wood material as opposed to a faux wood appearance has been of interest to us for quite some time,” says Shawn Nevitt, printed packaging manager for Jim Beam. “The barrel aging process is so special and unique to bourbon making that a veneer label just seems to fit and MPS did a great job working with our R&D team on testing and matching our performance specifications.” 
“When Jim Beam asked us to explore the possibility of a pressure sensitive label made from wood veneer, we were excited to take on the challenge,” says Erin Willigan, vice president of marketing for Multi Packaging Solutions. “Working with our developmental partners, our Innovation Team was able to achieve the aesthetic qualities and performance criteria Jim Beam was looking for.” 
Whether its nature-derived or nature-inspired, packagers’ innovations are really sticking to the growing demand for eco-friendly products, from the bottle to the label.