Monday, June 30, 2008

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The move to self adhesive labels for UK brewers follows recent developments in the USA. Anheuser-Busch has played a leading role in the States and Coors are now adopting the same approach in the UK.

However, it is not only multi-national breweries that have an interest in the quality of their labelling - so do micro brewers.

These smaller regional breweries have a strong reputation for distinctive packaging and have been quick to harness the benefits of self adhesive labels. Many brewers outsource their bottling to contract breweries, which tell us that self adhesives are more reliable at application and give their bottlers less downtime on the production line. The result is good for both the brewer and the bottler.

There are also economies when producing self adhesive labels. Unit costs are reduced because they can be printed, finished and die cut in a single process, minimising costs and wastage.

The development of dual web printing processes also means that the body, back and neck labels can be applied in one pass on the bottling line and labels perfectly index onto the bottles. We also apply film coating that gives labels durability and ensure they reach the shelf in prime condition.

Beer bottles with self adhesive labels are able to be recycled in the same way as those with traditional labels, so innovative labelling does not get in the way of good recycling practice.

The OPM Group has designed, printed and produced self adhesive labels for several regional breweries including Swindon based Arkells.

Arkells head brewer Don Bracher says that self adhesives increase the brand impact of their bottles. "The visual impact of self adhesive labels is significantly better than we glue labels. Yes, they are more expensive, but we think they are worth the additional investment. We now have labels with better colours, better branding and more customer appeal.

"We're producing beer in non returnable bottles, so you have a situation where the bottle is pristine. It's important for the label to look the very best it can".
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