Home Wine Industry Spotlights Shrink Sleeves Help Winery Products Stand Out on Shelves and Online

Shrink Sleeves Help Winery Products Stand Out on Shelves and Online


Wineries know that customization improves relationships and attracts the sought-after millennial consumer. Experience has taught them how hard it is to stand out from hundreds of other wine bottles. The more visible the wine, the more likely it is to capture a consumer’s attention and hold it longer — increasing the purchase probability.

Today, even the smallest wineries want unique, easily-customizable labels that will draw the eye. One rapidly growing solution is shrink sleeves that let wineries create colorful all-over designs and affordably run variations targeted to different audiences.

“At trade shows, everyone tells me ‘we want our products to look different,’” says Bobbi Stebbins, Marketing Director at Waterloo Container Company. “There are only so many bottle designs, and custom bottle molds can be expensive. A shrink sleeve is a good alternative. It gives the winery a full 360 degrees of design space and can be enhanced with special effects and textures to stand out on the shelf.”

One Waterloo Container’s clients bottles their red wine in clear glass printed with a beautiful floral design. The deep color of the wine highlights the design’s bright colors. To create a similar effect for their white wine at a similar cost, they used a sleeve with an all-over light background. Another winery used a sleeve with an all-over blue background on an inexpensive clear bottle. When the light comes through it on the shelf, it looks just like a much more expensive blue glass bottle.

Waterloo Container has been providing shrink sleeves to its clients for more than ten years, but demand has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted the wine industry to online purchasing, which intensifies the need for packages to stand out. A wine bottle has to pop on the website to convince a customer to buy it and pay for shipping. A bright, colorful look and effective messaging can make the difference between a browsing consumer and a sale.

“After a noted increase in demand for this type of versatile label, we decided to enhance our shrink sleeve application service with state-of-the-art equipment. We fully expect the reduced scrap rate and improved consistency will save our customers money in the long run,” says Bill Lutz, Owner and President of Waterloo Container Company. “At the same time, we will maintain our smaller line for smaller runs and hand-applied sleeves.”

The company added a 40,000-square-foot warehouse last year to house a state-of-the-art repack line that includes a shrink sleeve labeler featuring PDC International Corporation’s R-250 TSER Evolution labeler. The line, ready in mid-summer, will increase sleeving capacity from 20,000 bottles a day to 100,000, and its seven application mandrels will handle a wide range of different bottle shapes and sizes.

To learn more about shrink sleeve application, please call 315-539-3922 or email [email protected].

To view Waterloo Container’s extensive selection of glass bottles, caps and closures, and learn about their other value-added services, visit www.waterloocontainer.com.


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