Most consumer goods — from food and beverages to personal care products to pharmaceuticals — used to be decorated with traditional pressure-sensitive labels (PS labels), but today, shrink sleeve labels (shrink sleeves) are becoming ubiquitous. In fact, the use of shrink sleeve labels is expected to further increase with a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% from 2021 to 2027. The growing adoption of shrink sleeves can be largely attributed to the numerous benefits that come with using these labels, such as the following:
A PS label can be customized to fit different product container shapes. For example, it can be applied on the front side of a kraft paper pouch, across the top and front side of a carton, or wrapped around a bottle. However, PS label application can be limited in terms of coverage of the container since these labels can only adhere to flat or curved surfaces.
In contrast, shrink sleeve labels can be shrink-wrapped to cover every nook and cranny of containers of any shape, even irregularly shaped ones. This allows you to experiment with unique, custom-shaped containers that stand out on retail shelves. This also gives you more space — 150% more packaging real estate than traditional PS labels — which you could design with eye-catching artwork. That space could also be used to display more information about the product or communicate regulatory information. You could share your brand story there as well to establish a connection with your target consumer, enticing them to purchase your product.
Moreover, since shrink sleeves enable 360-degree branding, people will be able to easily identify your product no matter how it is displayed on store shelves or while in use by a customer.
Shrink sleeve labels have such a clean, sleek finish that they can mimic the expensive look of directly printed designs. For example, shrink-sleeved beer cans are difficult to distinguish from directly printed beer cans. You would only know if you search for the sleeve’s seam, which is usually placed on the back or side of the can.
Aside from its ability to wrap around various container shapes (e.g., round, oval, custom shape), a shrink sleeve label can adhere to different container materials, such as plastic, glass, or metal.
Shrink sleeves are also versatile in terms of coverage of the container: full body, full body with tamper-evident band, or partial. You can even bundle multiple containers together with a multipack shrink sleeve label, which is perfect for bundle promos like buy one, get one.
While some PS labels can survive in extreme environmental conditions, they are still no match for the durability of shrink sleeve labels. Unlike PS labels, shrink sleeves have their graphics printed on the reverse side of the film, making them resistant to abrasion, scuffing, tearing, humidity, chemicals, heat, and UV light degradation. They are also completely waterproof, so they can withstand humid or moist environments, such as refrigerators and bathrooms. This makes them ideal labels for refrigerated goods, beverages, and bath products.
Nothing beats the adhesion of shrink material, so you can be sure that your shrink labels will not wrinkle, tilt, or peel off.
All in all, you don’t have to worry about shrink sleeve labels getting tarnished during shipping, unloading, and warehousing. This means your products will reach retail shelves in pristine condition.
Ability to drive sales
A study by AC Nielsen found that customers preferred shrink sleeves on highly contoured bottles over those with plain labels. In fact, early adopters and women were three times more likely to express desire to purchase and be willing to pay more for highly contoured bottles with shrink sleeves than those with plain labels.
While shrink sleeve labels cost around 25% more than PS labels, they enable you to save money on other packaging elements, such as those used for tamper-proofing. For instance, instead of using bottle caps with tear-away bands or drop band closures, you can use regular caps and extend the shrink sleeve label over them, similar to how lip balms are packaged. Another option is to wrap shrink sleeves around the caps, just like how it’s done with some medicine bottles. Either method is a much cheaper alternative to prevent product tampering.
A good example of the second method can be seen on Tic Tac’s 200-mint bottle pack. To open the bottle and get a mint, you first need to peel off the top half of the label. This makes it impossible to tamper with the product without being noticed.
What’s more, shrink sleeve labels contribute to the overall strength and rigidity of a product’s packaging. This allows you to shift to thinner and more lightweight containers, which can translate to significant cost savings.
Ease of recycling containers
Different types of materials need to be recycled separately. This is why labels must be removed from the container. However, many people fail to do this because it is usually difficult to fully remove PS labels from containers. As a result, such containers are often left with partially torn labels.
In contrast, shrink sleeve labels are easy to tear off completely, since they only conform to the container, not stick to it.
You need professional shrink sleeve label packaging
For over two decades, we have been providing high-quality label application services to New Jersey-based businesses across all industries — and we can do the same for you. Our team of labeling specialists use state-of-the-art equipment to produce long-lasting labels that greatly increase the visibility and desirability of your products. We also offer helpful professional advice on product decoration so that your labels will meet both your functional and budgetary needs. You can also expect swift turnaround times, enabling you to quickly get your products to your customers.
Choose us as your packaging partner. Speak with our label experts at 856-809-0040 today!