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4 Key Advantages of Shrink Sleeve Packaging


Shrink sleeves offer increased shelf-appeal, brand protection and versatility compared to pressure-sensitive labels and other forms of packaging.

The packaging industry is constantly innovating as consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers seek to provide greater convenience and value to consumers. Shrink sleeves are one such packaging technology that has exploded in popularity in recent years. 

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The research analysts at Mordor Intelligence have estimated the global shrink sleeve packaging market at $10.4 billion in 2020 and project it to reach $15.6 billion by 2026, a healthy 6.52% CAGR. The cost-effectiveness and fast production line speeds made possible by shrink sleeve packaging have made it an attractive option for consumer products.

First and foremost, shrink sleeves make custom-printed containers unnecessary. A microbrewery, for example, can buy blank cans (i.e., “brights” in the industry lingo) and have different shrink sleeves applied to the blank cans as their product mix changes. Thanks to shrink sleeves, pre-printed can waste is eliminated. However, this blog will explore four other critical advantages the CPG industry should consider.

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4 Reasons Why Shrink Sleeves Stand Apart

1: Increased Shelf-Appeal

When compared to an ordinary pressure-sensitive label applied to a product or container, shrink sleeves offer the advantage of size. Full-body shrink sleeves enable brand messaging and vibrant, colorful designs to wrap the entire product from top to bottom and 360° around — regardless of the product’s dimensions or shape. The sheer surface area and design flexibility is invaluable when it comes to standing out on a crowded retail shelf.

This added surface area is also functional. The nutrition, ingredient and safety disclosures required for many foods, beverages and pharmaceutical products take up a significant amount of space. A shrink sleeve makes it easier to comply with these regulations while still leaving ample room for designs that catch the eye and build the brand.

2: Product Safety and Brand Protection

Shrink sleeves can also help CPG companies to protect the brand. Once applied to a product, they offer a physical barrier against various fraud schemes.

  • Shrink sleeves can be used to provide a tamper-evident seal to protect consumers from possible harm. This is in addition to their natural moisture- and abrasion-resistant properties.
  • Microtext and holograms can be incorporated into the design, providing a clear visual indicator of counterfeiting and helping to prevent fraud losses.
  • Thanks to the large surface area available, QR codes can also be imprinted on a shrink sleeve that direct the consumer to deeper information about product safety or to information that confirms the authenticity of the item.

3: Packaging Versatility

Shrink sleeves are the Swiss Army knife of packaging solutions. No other packaging technology can be used so many different ways for so many different types of products.

  • Like the name suggests, the label shrinks to fit containers of nearly any shape or dimension. Whether it’s a bottle, jar, can or something else with a complex irregular shape, a shrink sleeve can be used to decorate it. Generally speaking, ordinary pressure-sensitive labels cannot adapt to shaped containers in the same way.
  • They make it easy and cost-effective for CPG companies to try different merchandising strategies. Want to cross-sell one product with another? Offer two for the price of one? Sell one product with a free sample of something completely different? Shrink sleeves are the answer. The shrink-to-fit flexibility allows multiple items to be joined together for easy marketing at the point of sale.
  • Digital print technology makes it possible to customize shrink sleeves with an endless array of special embellishments and textures. Light-blocking finishes can even be added to protect dairy products in transparent or translucent containers. When combined with the added surface area (see #1 above), this ability to customize the package’s design is a powerful tool in the marketer’s toolbox.

 4: Environmental Advantages

Last but certainly not least, shrink sleeves can be used to minimize container waste, reduce carbon emissions and promote recycling.

  • The inherent strength of a shrink sleeve enables CPG companies to use thinner, lighter containers. Less weight results in fewer carbon emissions in the process of bringing the product to market.
  • Shrink sleeves can be designed with a built-in “zipper” feature that makes removal easy. The blank container can then be added to the recycling stream as usual.
  • Shrink sleeves also offer a solution to those who are caught with pre-printed containers of the wrong variety. Going back to the craft brewery example, leftover pre-printed cans for a seasonal brew no longer in production can be wrapped with an opaque shrink sleeve for a different product. A pre-printed can with no marketable use is suddenly given a second life through the application of a shrink sleeve.

Blog Body Image – Shrink SleevesTaylor: A Full-Service Provider of Shrink Sleeves

Taylor creates custom packaging and labeling solutions for top brands in a range of product categories. We offer shrink sleeves in a variety of formats including:

  • Full-body sleeves
  • Tamper-evident bands
  • Neck bands
  • Multi-packs
  • Individual sleeves or rolls

Best of all, everything needed to take your product to market is available in a single source:

  • In-house design and prepress services
  • 3D proofs and prototypes
  • Digital, web offset and 10-color flexo print production technologies
  • Cold foil, holographic effects, matte/gloss varnishes and other special finishes
  • Referrals to shrink sleeve application equipment and bottle decorators

Discover the many advantages of custom-printed product packaging from Taylor — including shrink sleeves. Contact your Taylor representative to learn more.


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