Drinking habits change constantly and the food and beverage industry has to keep up with new trends and new demands. Crafting drinks the public wants at any given time is just one part of the process. The second one is making sure the consumer chooses your drink instead of your competitors’.
For instance, did you know that 70% of consumers choose their beer at the time of purchase? They make the decision on the spot, in front of the shelf, where all they know about their options is the way they look. But more on that later.
Let’s explore how custom labels can help you stay at the forefront of modern consumer’s preferences.
Ready-to-Drink Products: A Booming Trend
2020 was the year that changed a lot of preferences in a lot of industries. Chief among them, Americans’ drinking habits. Ready-to-drink products (RTDs) grew by an astounding 26.4%, the only alcohol category to grow at all during the pandemic. More importantly, it looks like RTDs resonate with drinkers of all ages.
And why wouldn’t it? RTDs are fun and easy to drink. Plus, they helped alleviate our longing for our favorite cocktails that were too complicated to make at home.
In the RTD category, the product with the most impressive growth was hard seltzers, which grew by 130%. Right now, the US consumes more RTDs than spirits! A recent market analysis forecasts that they will also surpass wine consumption.
One of the draws of RTDs is their packaging. A can offers convenience, something that customers of all ages love. They’re easy to choose and easy to drink—you don’t need a corkscrew or fancy glasses. Not even a bottle opener.
While it’s easy for consumers to enjoy their new favorite drinks, it’s becoming harder for manufacturers to differentiate their products from those of their competitors—the most common pitfall of crowded markets.
Which brings us to the importance of can labels.
How to Make Your Drink Cans Stand Out
Remember what we said above about consumers choosing their drinks in the aisle? Spur-of-the-moment decisions are more common than thorough research before shopping for drinks.
It goes without saying that the label on your can is the most important factor in this choice. A colorful, playful design will appeal to those looking for a fun drink, while a clean label in neutral tones will attract people who look for a more sophisticated drink.
Texture on your label, for example from embossing, helps potential consumers “feel” the product before buying it. A sensory experience can help you stand out from the crowd and your consumers easily spot your product.
Read more about how to make your labels pop.
Pressure-Sensitive Labels versus Shrink Sleeves—What to Choose?
There was a time when shrink sleeves were the industry norm. But much like drinking habits and preferences, this industry also changed significantly.
A recent study shows that PSLs account for 77% of the entire demand in 2020. This demand will continue to grow at least until 2025.
What drove drinks manufacturers to make the switch? Well, a few things:
- PSLs are more durable during transportation.
- They are suitable for wet environments. Unlike shrinks, they even fare well in ice chests.
- PSLs offer the no-label look, a major plus for memorable branding.
- They help you maintain the craft look of your drink—consistency is another big plus in the branding department.
- Last but not least, they are more affordable than shrinks.
Pressure-sensitive labels have won manufacturers over because they come with the advantages of shrinks and pre-printed containers, but with none of their downsides.
Pre-printed cans are very easy to transport and store in wet environments. They aren’t expensive, but you usually have to meet a quota of over 150,000 cans of the same design. This excludes small artisanal breweries from the get-go.
Shrink labels, on the other hand, can be printed in smaller batches. However, they have a high cost per unit. They also have limitations on finishes, which inhibits brands’ abilities to truly stand out on a shelf.
Until recently, small brewers and other small drinks producers had to pay the high costs of shrink labels because they couldn’t place bulk orders. PSLs fixed that problem. Pressure-sensitive labels can be used on any type of can, they are easy to transport, they have no problem with humidity, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg, even if you just need a small batch.
With PSLs, you can start experimenting with your labels to find out which ones consumers respond to most. You can create seasonal designs, two or three versions for each drink, and so on. The world is your oyster!
Optimize Customers’ First Impression of Your Drinks with AWT
A great label can’t save a bad drink—only help it survive on the shelves for a few months. But a bad label can definitely bury a great drink.
You have less than four seconds to make an impression on potential buyers in the aisle. Make them count! At AWT, we specialize in helping you make your wine, beer, cannabis or RTD product make a great first impression.
We use cutting-edge technology for pressure-sensitive labels and a wide variety of materials to help you easily differentiate your products from those of your competitors. Need eye-popping cans? We’ve got you covered. AWT can add different varnishes and laminates to create different looks or use metallic labels to create a foil shine.
More importantly, we’ll be in your corner from the very beginning up until your drinks are on the market. You can rely on us for everything label-related, from design suggestions to helping you choose the best materials. We believe that the best custom label printers are more than label providers; they are partners who root for their clients’ success.
Want to know more about what helps us stand out from the crowd? Get in touch and request label samples. We’re always proud to show off our work and happy to offer you some inspiration.