Winemakers know that personalization improves relationships and attracts the coveted millennial consumer. Experience has taught them how difficult it is to stand out from hundreds of other bottles of wine. The more eye-catching the wine is, the more likely it is to grab the consumer’s attention and linger longer, increasing the likelihood of purchase.

These days, even the smallest wineries want unique, easily customizable, attention-grabbing labels. A growing solution is shrink sleeves, which allow wine producers to create colorful and versatile designs and launch affordable varieties designed for diverse audiences.

At trade shows, everyone tells me we want our products to look different, says Bobby Stebbins, marketing manager for the Waterloo Container Company. There are a limited number of bottle designs and custom bottle shapes can be expensive. A good alternative is a heat shrink tube. This gives the basement a 360-degree design space and can be enhanced with special effects and textures to stand out on the shelf.

One Waterloo Container customers pour red wine in a clear glass with a beautiful floral design. The deep color of the wine accentuates the light colors of the design. To achieve a similar effect for their white wine at a similar price, they used a strip with a light background. Another vineyard used a blue-bottomed stripe on a cheap clear bottle. When the light falls through it on the shelf, it looks like a much more expensive blue glass bottle.

Waterloo Container has been supplying shrink sleeves to its customers for more than a decade, but the last two years have seen several increases in demand. The KOVID-19 pandemic has caused the wine industry to shift to online shopping, further increasing the need to differentiate. A bottle of wine should appear on the website to persuade the customer to buy the bottle and pay for the delivery. A bright, colorful look and effective messaging can make the difference between the consumer’s eye and a sale.

Due to the observed increase in demand for this type of universal label, we have decided to improve our shrink sleeve application service with state-of-the-art equipment. We believe that less waste and more stability will save our customers money in the long run, said Bill Lutz, owner and president of the Waterloo Container Company. At the same time, we will maintain our smaller line for small prints and handmade sleeves.

Last year, the company added a 40,000-square-foot warehouse to accommodate a state-of-the-art reconditioning line, which includes a shrink-wrap labeler equipped with an R-250 TSER Evolution labeler from PDC International Corporation. The line, which will be completed by mid-summer, will boost neck capacity from 20,000 to 100,000 bottles per day, and the seven spines will handle a wide range of different bottle shapes and sizes.

For more information on heat shrink tubing applications, call 315-539-3922 or email [email protected].

To view Waterloo Container’s extensive selection of glass bottles, caps and closures and to learn more about additional services, please visit www.waterloocontainer.com.

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