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Protect your brand with the right tamper-evident shrink sleeve or label

Tamper-evident shrink sleeves and labels protect consumers and brands alike:

  • Consumers are protected from inadvertently consuming or using a compromised product — especially important for nutraceutical, food, beverage, cosmetic or cannabis products. In fact, the FDA even requires tamper-evident packaging in many industries to protect consumers.
  • Brands are protected from tarnished reputations. They help to ensure every product that makes it to the consumer is safe to use. And when there is a breach, they allow you to quickly identify the specific products that have been tampered with and remove them from the supply chain.

If your brand is looking to incorporate tamper-evident features into your product packaging, there is a wide range of labeling solutions at your disposal — tamper bands, full-body shrink sleeves with perforations, pressure-sensitive seals and more.

Each of these features can, of course, be combined with non-label features (e.g., foil lidding, drop-band closures, etc.) to build multiple layers of protection for your product.

Here, we’re going to walk you through each of your tamper-evident labeling options in detail, explaining when each might be the best fit for your brand. If you have any questions as you’re reading, or need one-on-one advice, feel free to reach out to our team.

Tamper-evident shrink sleeves

Generally speaking, there are two ways to incorporate shrink sleeves as a tamper-evident element:

  1. Extending a full-body sleeve over the cap or closure
  2. Incorporating a tamper band with full graphics

(If you also need a primer on shrink sleeves, and design and cost considerations, check out this comprehensive guide for brand owners.)

Extending a full-body sleeve over the cap or closure

Full-body shrink sleeves can be extended over the top of the cap, forcing consumers to tear the top section of the sleeve off to open your container and access your product.

Horizontal and vertical perforations are added into the sleeve to create a “zipper,” so consumers can cleanly remove the tamper-evident feature without taking off the entire sleeve.

This is a highly cost-effective option for brands that are already using sleeves. It enables you to apply your label and a tamper-evident feature at the same time with equipment you already have on your packaging line. As compared with similar features, like drop-band closures, it allows you to eliminate unnecessary equipment and application steps from your process.

As with all tamper-evident shrink sleeves, you’ll need to work with a label converter that takes quality control seriously. Ask any potential converter whether they do regular quality checks on the manufacturing line to ensure perforations are being placed and executed properly. If they don’t, the sleeve can tear when you apply it to your container.

When this makes sense:

  • Your filling and packaging line already has a shrink tunnel
  • You’re already using, and applying, a full-body sleeve to your container

Incorporate a full-graphics tamper band

tamper band with graphics example

For products that aren’t in sleeves, full-graphics shrink bands are a great way to add a tamper-evident feature to your container. These are typically applied on bottles with longer necks, and a vertical perforation is often added to create a “zipper” for easy removal.

The graphics on the band reinforce the product branding in your prime label. You could, for example, feature a continuous print of your logo on the band.

When this makes sense:

  • You aren’t using a shrink sleeve as your prime label technology
  • Your container has a longer neck, or is shaped in such a way that your graphics will be able to lay flat and display clearly without distortion

Tamper-evident labeling solutions

Tamper-evident labels form a seal over the cap, indicating when a product has been opened prior to purchase.

Here are some of the label solutions we offer:

Full pressure-sensitive label to top of cap

tamper-evident label example

In some instances, you can extend your label up over the cap to create a tamper-evident feature. By simply adding a perforation where the cap meets the container, the consumer can quickly remove the tab and access the product.

When this makes sense:

  • Your container and its cap have the same shape and diameter
  • You don’t have a shrink tunnel, but do have a label applicator

Tab design over cap

tamper-evident label band example

Tab labels are common tamper-evident solutions in the food, wine and spirits markets. It’s a simple solution: A slim, tab label extends from the container, up over the cap. If the label is broken, it indicates to the consumer that the product has been opened.

We’ll create a small perforation on film tab labels to ensure the consumer can easily open your container. With paper labels, no perforation is necessary, as consumers can simply twist off the cap to rip the label.

We also offer smart label strips with embedded RFID chips, which send a signal to the manufacturer when the seal is broken for added protection — preventing compromised inventory from reaching the consumer in the first place.

When this makes sense:

  • An extra label would fit seamlessly into current packaging operations
  • You would like to incorporate your branding into your tamper-evident feature

Find the right label to protect your product

At the end of the day, determining which tamper-evident feature is “right” for your brand will come down to your requirements, and the equipment you (or your co-packer) already have on your packaging line. To see how other brands are leveraging tamper-evident labels, give the 2021 product labeling trends guide a skim.

If you need help narrowing down your options, then reach out to our team.

We’ll have a conversation about your manufacturing process, your product, your container and your aesthetic requirements. Then we’ll point you toward the tamper-evident sleeve or label solution that will present the best value for your brand.

Find the best solution that makes the most sense for your brand.