Packaging's label elements mix for a creative cocktail of benefits
Today’s labels deliver technology, user-friendliness and design.
Making up the entire package, or even just a minuscule spot, labels are arguably one of the most important pieces to a package. It tells a consumer what’s inside, what a brand’s identity is, nutrition information and more, all to communicate with the consumer picking it up and hopefully, taking it home.
According to a recent report from The Freedonia Group (freedoniagroup.com), world demand for labels is projected to increase 4.9% annually to 57.7 billion square meters in 2018, valued at $114 billion. This renewed vigor in global manufacturing output is said to be the main factor driving growth. Additionally, the continued acceleration of global economic expansion in the aftermath of the recent economic downturn will fuel advances in consumer spending on packaged goods. This is particularly true in many of the world’s developing regions, where consumer spending levels are growing most rapidly.
The report also goes on to observe that pressure sensitive labels are leading the market due to their superior performance to past innovations and label products are shifting away from the glue-applied paper labels that once dominated the landscape.
However, glue-applied labels are still said to continue to maintain a large piece of the market, particularly in the developing world where labor costs are lower. Other label formats, such as sleeves and in-mold labels, will continue to gain market share, especially in food and beverage applications.
“Peel/re-seal features on thermoform and flexible packaging is growing rapidly,” confirms Anh Marella, senior product manager, Select Solutions™ Collection for Avery Dennison (averydennison.com) Label and Packaging Materials. “And pressure-sensitive reclosure labels are a primary part of that. Consumers lead busy lives, and they want to make their lives easier and simpler; brand managers are seeking ways to differentiate their products while being cost efficient. The Avery Dennison Pressure-sensitive Reclosure Portfolio offers benefits beyond conveying information and brand messaging to deliver effective, dependable reclosure functionality.”
Avery Dennison is shaking up the labels market with its pressure sensitive reclosure labels, setting its offerings and products apart from the competition in the aisles. Its Select Solutions Reclosure portfolio features functional pressure sensitive label solutions, providing a closure-label hybrid alternative from zippers, snap lids and peal/reseal films.
The trio of options includes the R3400, R3500 and the R1490. The R3400 features easy peel back capabilities, working best for dry relcosures. The R3500 has a high initial tack and grab, used best for moist reclosures. And finally, the R1490 features water-whitening resistance, specifically for reclosure applications with high-moisture content.
A big component of this specific label is its sustainable design, subsequently conserving materials.
“The pressure-sensitive reclosure label can help reduce waste by replacing existing reclose/reseal packaging such as zippers, sliders and pressure-sensitive seals. When those solutions don’t meet a consumer’s needs, the consumer often discards that packaging and uses a separate package, such as a disposable storage bag,” says Marella. “That can lead to two packages going into the waste stream. A package that effectively opens and reseals can avoid that, providing a more sustainable solution.”
One winemaker is taking its label to the next level, mixing in technology and anti-counterfeit measures for an innovative wine package. Barbadillo, a leading Spanish winemaker, has released a rare sherry in “smart bottles,” protected by Thin Film Electronics’ (thinfilm.com) NFC-based authentication technology.
The NFC OpenSense tags incorporated into each bottle are specifically designed to thwart counterfeiters, prevent unauthorized refills and facilitate product authentication.
Thinfilm worked closely with Constantia Flexibles (cflex.com), a trusted partner and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of flexible packaging and labels, on incorporating the NFC OpenSense technology within the Versos 1891 bottle. Spear USA Inc., Constantia’s label division and an industry leader within the wine and spirits field, led the efforts.
Each bottle of Versos 1891 will have a tag incorporated into the bottle that can distinguish between the products “factory sealed” and “opened” states. Using Thinfilm’s custom app and cloud-based platform, the tag can wirelessly transmit authentication data to consumers with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. In addition, each tag is uniquely identifiable and trackable, and cannot be cloned.
Another new label brought to the market from Constantia Flexibles is truly a work of art, literally.
Mumm, a premium sparkling wine, has become the canvas of Spanish artist Alex Trochut. For Mumm’s second art edition, Trochut created a design which abstracts the lively bubbling of the elegant sparkling wine and the colors of the three varieties.
With an emphasis on the design, it was essential that the label represented this idea perfectly. For this, Constantia Flexibles Labels Division rose to the challenge with their 360° sleeve label. The label allows the entire bottle to be covered to maximize the design with a matte/gloss effect.
What’s a label without its printer? INX International Ink Co. (inxinternational.com) recently launched new label equipment and solutions at Labelexpo Europe, demonstrating the world-class NW210 inkjet UV digital narrow web press.
The NW210 is a key addition to the company’s EVOLVE™ Advanced Digital Solutions. It delivers incredibly fast UV-LED cure single pass output at up to 80 feet per minute, courtesy of being powered by the JetINX™ Printhead Drive & Ink Recirculation System.
The NW210 is known for producing vivid color results, with easy separation of printed labels on any stock at a maximum printing width of 210mm. Using the latest Xaar patented technology that includes 15 Xaar 1002 print heads with seven drop sizes, five color ink channels and three additional channels that provide an option, the press supports media up to 5mm thick on 3-inch cores up to two feet in diameter.
With an abundance of options in a growing market, choosing the right label for a package is a task not to be taken lightly. Thankfully, there are innovative options available with a focus on sustainability, to effectively and efficiently communicate a brand’s message with potential consumers.