Too much beer seems like good news, but the brewing industry is suffering due to the “candemic” — a global shortage of beer cans and, increasingly, beer bottles. The source? Turmoil in the supply chain.
Whether you’re a mobile canner or a craft brewer in a pinch, you might be overlooking an unlikely ally: your label partner. Obviously, your products can’t sell until they’re labeled, but this partnership offers more than just dressing up your cans and bottles.
A consultative label partner can help you:
- Monitor supply chain trends to minimize risk
- Pivot around pre-printed can shortages without compromising your brand
- Spot opportunities to save even more time and money
For breweries, labels are all about communicating your brand’s story and standing out on the shelf.
And for mobile canners, brite labeling requires perfect execution to protect both your brewery customers and your own reputation. When a label looks bad or malfunctions on the job, it hurts your business.
But what if it didn’t have to be so hard?
That’s where your label partner comes in.
Stay ahead of supply chain issues
Your label provider can’t force an aluminum surplus or make glass magically appear where there is none. One of the effects of an unstable supply chain isn’t just material shortage, but material changes.
For example, standard long neck beer bottles might be out of stock — whereas widemouthed glass bottles become available. While both are made of glass, the dimensions are completely different. That will ultimately affect your label order, too.
You need a label provider who can quickly pivot to meet your changing needs without sacrificing lead times. At RLG, this looks like:
- Vendor managed inventory (VMI) — We’ll store, manage and track your beer label inventory for you. Labels shipped via our Just-in-Time (JIT) delivery system ensure short lead times that never leave you waiting.
- Consultative expertise — Glass beer bottle labels are not interchangeable with beer can labels. If you’re forced to change packaging, we’ll adjust with you and offer step-by-step design, engineering and logistics solutions to make the transition as seamless as possible.
- SKU optimization — Save money by using a common die shape and size to combine multiple SKUs into one order. You can also use variable data printing technology to group several SKUs into a single order and alter the graphics on every run for greater variety.
Global supply chain disruptions affect us all. That’s why it’s important to pick a label provider with a strong business continuity plan. This should include layers of manufacturing redundancy and structure supply agreements with raw manufacturers.
Resource Label Group can position you at the front of the line because we have long-standing relationships with established material supply companies. That means that when you partner with us, you’re likelier to get your first pick of high-demand facestocks rather than settling for less.
This includes stocking popular options like BOPP for shrink wrap canned beers or pressure-sensitive labels. It also means providing guidance through advanced purchase orders — decreasing your risk of missing crucial retail deliveries due to label shortages.
Pre-printed can delays? We can fix that
New order minimums by manufacturers like Ball and Crown only make the aluminum beer can shortage more pressing. And if you need pre-printed cans, your “candemic” headaches only grow exponentially.
Why it’s time to consider shrink wrap
Changing product type can be unnerving. And common shrink sleeve problems include graphic distortion, dog-earing and seam splitting — all serious issues for breweries and mobile canners.
But these can be prevented when you partner with a consultative label provider.
In fact, a good label partner will work with your design team to avoid pitfalls and maximize the real estate potential of this 360-degree label solution. This includes enhancements like foil stamping, special matte appearance and even holographic designs. And implementing changes in flavors or branding are easy because shrink sleeves support shorter run lengths than direct can printing.
Shrink sleeve benefits:
- Quick turnaround times — Shrink sleeves can be manufactured quickly, offering a standby solution ready to deploy when you need it
- Cost-saving opportunities — Because shrink sleeves are slipped over a container and heated to conform, they can fit any generic container. And by using a digital press that doesn’t need printing plates, this is an economical option for short runs without sacrificing quality.
- Damage resistance — Shrink sleeve graphics are printed on the inside of a durable facestock to protect your brand from friction, high temperatures and moisture.
Brew Wrap offers unique savings without sacrificing quality
Brew Wrap is a pressure-sensitive label for canned beer. Because it costs significantly less per unit than shrink sleeves, it’s a great alternative for craft breweries producing small runs and seasonal releases. It also offers better logistical control because it’s applied onto pre-filled beer cans — which means you only order the exact amount you need.
Brew Wrap benefits:
- Cost-efficiency — Save on price per unit compared to shrink sleeves and get control over your logistics
- Rapid turnaround — Compared to shrink sleeve, Brew Wrap is ready in half the time
- Full-spectrum embellishments — Opt for the clear “no label look” or other custom design options like foil stamping, tactile varnishes and more.
A good label provider’s value isn’t just about money
Sometimes the bottom line is the bottom line — full stop.
While you’re dealing with the unique supply chain pressures in the beer industry, your label provider should make labels as stress-free as possible. This isn’t just about numbers on an invoice, but time saved and the quality of your experience, too. That’s why you should consider collaborating with your label partner as early as possible.
At Resource Label Group, we focus on providing superior service by spotting unusual ways to improve your bottom line. When it comes to labels, this can look like:
- Optimizing label size to print more per roll
- Rearranging your portfolio of print technologies
- Evaluating stocks for different applications and lightweighting
- Ordering multiple SKUs at once (e.g., an IPA label and a Saizon label)
- Leveraging increased label spend, especially after expansion or acquisition
Switching from pre-printed cans to labels or shrink sleeves doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the quality your consumers expect. These alternatives offer excellent flexibility when it comes to quantities, variable printing and opportunities to enhance your label with embellishments. Effects like metalized materials, varnishes and embossing can actually improve shelf appeal in this busy market.
When you partner with a label provider that cares, you ensure that every label you order matches your exact performance requirements and expectations.
Pick a label provider who can pivot with you
To survive the “candemic,” you need a partner you can rely on.
Resource Label Group has been serving the beer industry for decades. And we won’t just print your labels — we understand the current challenges of this particular sector and how to navigate around them.
And we don’t just focus on cost efficiency and delivering on time. We are expert collaborators who provide the design-related guidance that will help you achieve your vision.
Best of all, you’ll get prestige customer service whether you’re across the street or across the country. That’s our National Reach, Local Touch promise.
Ready to make your supply chain headaches disappear?