How Printed Shrink Sleeves Changed the Packaging Game

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shrink sleevesBefore the invention of printed shrink sleeves, top-to-bottom label design on contoured packaging was simply not an option. Food packaging machines couldn’t handle the curves on bottles and jars, limiting the scope of container design.

When printed shrink sleeves hit the market in the 1990s, manufacturers were finally able to expand their packaging design potential, creating compelling contoured packaging and ergonomic designs that would attract more shelf attention and ultimately boost sales.

Studies show that consumers perceive products dressed in shrink sleeves to be of higher quality than similar products on the market. They also expect products packaged this way to be more expensive. However, shrink sleeve labels actually provide significant savings for manufacturers, using food packaging equipment that allows them to forgo tamper-evident drop bands, eliminate colorant from the bottles themselves, and reduce UV inhibitors in the packaging. As a result, products wrapped in shrink sleeve packaging can be sold at a lower retail price, offering consumers those same savings.

When it comes to a return on investment, manufacturers who choose to use shrink sleeves see major success. In some markets, many of the leading brands use full-body shrink sleeve labels. For instance, during its first two years, Campbell’s V8 V-Fusion sold at 10 times the rate of competing new juice products in the U.S. The difference? Campbell’s dressed their products in shrink sleeves. Sales of other beverages using the same type of packaging also outpaced the average of those with alternative label types.

So, in addition to being cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing, why are shrink sleeve labels so desirable? Here are a few additional benefits:

  • Safety and security: A full-body sleeve also functions as a tamper evident security seal. Seeing that the label is still fully intact adds an extra layer of security, giving consumers peace of mind.
     
  • Durability: These labels are reverse-printed on a transparent film. This method seals the ink behind a thick layer of plastic, protecting it from scuffing and tearing during transport and storage.
     
  • Sustainability: Shrink sleeve labels are available in eco-friendly films that can be recycled. Since about 60% of the U.S. population have access to a plastics recycling program, this makes shrink sleeve packaging highly sustainable.

Shrink sleeves provide attractive, safe, and practical solutions to your custom contour packaging needs.