Beverage Special - LabelTalk 3 EN

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LabelTalk The beverage label magazine - Issue 3

Dear reader, Welcome to our latest edition of LabelTalk, Beverage! In this edition, we continue to bring you product spotlights from real life customers around the globe and we have included even more label samples to inspire you. We had the opportunity to sit down with members of MCC’s Global R&D team to learn more about new and innovative labeling developments. We were also able to chat with branding and design agency, Square 44 to get insight into what makes a good label design. In addition, you can tap into some helpful project resources in the overview of our digital printing solutions, our efforts toward more sustainable labeling options, and our ability to execute your projects in every different label solution. We are excited to share our knowledge and experience with you, and hope it spurs creativity, drive, and the quest to let your label tell your story. Cheers! The MCC Beverage Team


In this issue 4-13

The Relentless Quest for Innovation


Digital Print: the Solution for a Changing Consumer


A Better Tomorrow, Today


Labels with Added Value


The Importance of Label Design


Every Possible Label Solution

Visit our website to discover more on how our premium label solutions can meet your needs.

The LabelTalk magazine is a yearly MCC publication, focused on a specific market segment. It is a compilation of what we accomplish for and together with our customers on a daily basis. It covers international success stories as well as the latest and greatest news about innovative label solutions, market trends and unique services we offer. We love to share our knowledge and experiences to help meeting our customers’ needs and supporting their business growth ! Share yours? Mail Copyright © by MCC. All rights reserved. The content of this document, including all copy, images, and attachment(s) are property of MCC and should be treated as confidential. It cannot be shared with or forwarded to third parties and cannot be published without MCC’s prior permission. If you have any questions regarding the use of this document, please email


The Relentless Quest for Innovation “Give customers what they want” is a widely known phrase. It has been proven that people do not know what they want until it is shown to them. MCC places importance on working closely with customers to discover their needs so we can develop an innovative partnership.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs


As consumer preferences and priorities evolve, our customers are continuously looking for ways to innovate and stand out on shelf. We talked to MCC’s Beverage R&D team to get their perspective on all things innovative in the beverage space.

What label trends do you see emerging in the near future? RG: I think we will see a post COVID lift and I believe promotions are going to be quite relevant, to increase consumer interaction. This will include unique label sets, possibly for events that have been postponed like the Olympics. Richard Gilliatt Technical Director, MCC Wales

GB: Yes, I believe there will be a continuous need for mass volume label variable data printing. Perhaps a numerical code or a QR code.

NS: I agree with that from an American perspective too. Then, of course, everybody is still discussing Sustainability and recycled content. That leads us nicely to our next question. How do you continue to move forward with sustainable label developments? AG: Customers are looking for new and alternative materials for reducing the amount of material for label construction. RG: Cost will be a key factor here as we’ve seen many companies affected by COVID. Some solutions will lend themselves to this such as down gauging and reduction of plastic, where sustainability and cost reduction go hand in hand. NS: We can see a big push in North America to convert to Monolayer. From a cost perspective, driving out plastic is an area of focus. MCC is also focussed in the long term on alternative materials for different types of labels, for example, PCR content and biobased films.

Noel Stewart National Account Manager, MCC USA

RG: We also see a shift towards returnable bottles. Key objectives for many of our customers include reducing the carbon footprint and moving to returnable bottles is

one way to achieve this. MCC are uniquely positioned to address this need with our ThermoWash™ solution for glass and recycLABEL® for PET bottles. CB: Something to note is the significant difference when it comes to Sustainability focus depending on the region. For example, Europe and the USA. The EU has a different perspective on what makes an acceptable recycling solution. Large brand owners want a global solution and that will really drive our focus, especially with developments such as shrink sleeve. How does customer demand influence and shape your process for R&D? RG: It’s a two-way process. We strive to find those unique solutions before we are asked for them but we pride ourselves on our close relationship with our customers. We’re often the first port of call for them to share ideas with and we work together to develop those concepts. CB: We listen to what our customer is looking for to get an insight as to what we should be working on. We take direction from them and, in some cases we develop one-off solutions. A post-COVID 19 world might look quite different with off-premise beverage sales increasing greatly. How do you see this impacting label design and requests that we may get for new innovations? CB: Yes, there is continued growth in e-commerce and the way that people are ordering online.

Craig Bushman VP Global R&D

NS: We’ve seen some exploration of alternative routes to market, the old Milkman style. Products are delivered directly to the consumer then the returnable bottle is picked up. RG: That’s similar in Europe, there are a lot more Craft Beers offering direct to home rather than retail outlets. Coke is running a promo with personalized messages in cans. CB: I think that relates to the increased need for digital printing.



Customer intimacy is at the core of our development process. MCC wants to be the innovation and development partner for our customer, it’s our preference and our focus.” Craig Bushman, VP Global R&D


RG: Yes, I think we’ll see more promotional and personalized packs. Historically, for a promotion like the World Cup there were 24 bottles sold in a pack and you didn’t know which you would get. I think, going forward, the consumer will be able to select the individual bottles of choice when shopping online. AG: I also see a continued interest in labels that assist consumer interaction, something to stand out on shelf in this saturated market, like special effects and Augmented Reality.

Armando Garcia R&D Manager, MCC Mexico

Do you see culture/region play a role in R&D? How so? CB: Yes, legislation and the change in political objectives will definitely influence developments. It is a priority for our R&D planning and focus. Big changes will be around sustainability and plastic usage. In the USA, bottle return laws will be changing. Do you have any ideas for future trends/innovations? CB: I always talk about the big 3: 1. Sustainability. Recycling, reduced materials, reusable containers. 2. Embellishments and “bling”. Some customers’ priority is to differentiate on shelf. We continue to drive developments such as special ink treatments and we have started to selfmanufacture our silver and decorative inks.

3. Smart Packaging. Smart labels are continuously growing such as RFID and NFC. The big priority for this is anti-counterfeit, anti-theft, and supply chain logistics. COVID safe packaging is going to be a topic of exploration. We’re in the process of testing for coatings that are anti-microbial/anti-bacterial. We also have our SmartTop can lid products to protect the drinking surface of a can. GB: Track and trace is becoming more important too. We’ve seen an increase in QR codes for touchless information. How do we ensure that new developments meet customer requirements (testing, etc.)? CB: It’s a three-phase scale up. Gerd Blecken Head of R&D, MCC Germany We work together with small trials to test and grow and then do larger trials to both validate the development as well as ensuring the customer is benefiting as they are going forward. RG: We must understand the customer’s needs, wants and expectations. Working closely to the customer from the start of the project is key. AG: That’s right, we’re there for the complete development cycle, right from the beginning. We carry out trials and testing, provide mock-ups and work hand in hand with our customers right up until their product is successfully on the shelf. GB: Also, if you look at it from an organizational perspective, we really benefit from MCC’s global network of experts. We learn from each other to develop what is best for the customer’s needs. The capabilities we have across the world allows us to find the perfect label solution.

Have an idea? For more information or to inquire about an innovation, please feel free to contact us at


Innovation Case Study 8

A Stellar New Product with an Attractive Yet Functional Neck Label

Stella Artois, A-BI | MCC Batavia, Ohio (USA) Stella Artois is an iconic brand recognized all over the world. When it came time to launch their new summertime inspired lager, Stella Artois knew their customers would expect a premium experience equal to their well-known Belgian pilsner. This new golden lager was crafted in celebration of Summer’s longest day and has a flavor profile with hints of citrus and a crisp clean finish. A beer this special deserves a one-of-a-kind presentation. The challenge Continuing with the popularity of the parent brand Stella Artois, this new line extension would need to adhere to the iconic neck requirement that includes the full wrap around the crown feature. The neck label is traditionally a cut & stack label. However, due to AB-I’s preference for pressure sensitive labels while also mandating the around the crown feature of the parent brand, significant development would be required as this had never been done. An industry first Pressure sensitive labels have their advantages, but this type of label application with pressure sensitive would be an industry first. The MCC team is familiar with taking ideas and turning them into solutions. Initial discussions began in October of 2019 and the first label trials were executed in January 2020. The trial process was extensive including testing more than eight construction methods, ten perforation patterns and various adhesive application techniques. Throughout

the seven-month trial period many interesting discoveries were made. In June of 2020, the label and application process were perfected just in time for the summer launch. A-BI and MCC were extremely pleased with the outcome. Added value This seasonal beer and its premium decoration were tremendously successful. The new pressure sensitive neck label delivered all the improvements the team was planning. The sleek new neck label enhanced the appearance of the bottle and provided some timely benefits. Although not the intended purpose of the neck label, it was noticed that it provided significant product safety and protection in the form of hygienic protection of the drinking surface and a tamper evident feature. MCC is proud of this achievement and happy to see another satisfied customer. Our team expects to see more sanitary protection and tamper evident features incorporated into more labels due to the increased concern for safety and cleanliness.


Innovation Case Study

Heineken Celebrates Euro 2020 with 24 National Flag Labels Heineken EURO 2020 | MCC Cwmbran (Wales)


As the official tournament sponsor of the UEFA EURO 2020, Heineken launched 24 limited edition bottles featuring national flag label designs. Finally together, to be rivals again This witty campaign is all about sparking some friendly rivalry among football fans during the EURO 2020 football tournament. The idea was to create national flag bottles for all participating countries of the tournament. The limited edition flag bottles will be the Hero in all communication. Supporting the packs in store will be a campaign across PR, digital and TV, focusing on the “friendly rivalry that the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament creates”. 24 unique labels Heineken’s goal was to create a package that is unmissable in visibility and unbeatable in the power

of activation. 24 label designs were created based on the flag of the participating county with a wide range of variable colors. Andy Bowen, Technical Manager at MCC explains the printing process: “Keeping to the core brand values it was important to achieve a high-gloss silver and a bright opaque white platform, this ensured each individual flag had striking colors and stood out on the bottle. Using gravure-printing technology with specialized cylinder engraving together with a complex multi-image format required extensive prepress planning, many hours were spent checking and matching color targets to ensure we achieved excellent results first time. It was great to be involved in such an exciting project!”

Time for Europe to come together again and enjoy the rivalry of this brilliant football tournament, that will for sure go down in the history books as a special one. Keep an eye out on all the fantastic activations to come and get your hands on those beautiful limited edition Heineken bottles!” Thomas Mulders, Global Sponsorship Manager at The Heineken Company



Innovation Case Study

Caustic-Resistant Cover-Up Labels Help Coca-Cola Quickly Meet New Labeling Laws Coca-Cola | MCC Monterrey (Mexico) Coca-Cola is active in a huge range of markets around the world, each one with its own set of labeling laws and regulations. For such a wide-reaching brand, adaptability is key to stay on top of any legal changes that can affect production. That adaptability was recently put to the test when a new labeling law (NOM-051) was introduced in Mexico. The new law meant that Coca-Cola Mexico and its main supplier, Arca Continental had to act fast to adjust the labels on their returnable 2.5, 2, and 1.5-liter REF-PET Coke bottles. These bottles have durable, heat transfer labels that can be washed up to 30 times without peeling off or getting damaged. While this is a huge advantage for the company, it usually means that when there is a change in laws or regulations, the bottle must be thrown away. In this case, throwing away the millions of bottles already in use would be very costly and could also potentially create a supply shortage. That’s why Coca-Cola Mexico decided they would try putting a pressure sensitive label on top of the old label instead, and they turned to MCC for help. The challenge: a label that can cover and withstand When the PET bottles are returned to Coca-Cola for processing, they need to be aggressively cleaned with caustic soda to remove any sugar glue and other substances left on the bottle. Coca-Cola Mexico determined that to keep the bottles already on the market in circulation for the rest of their useful life, the new label would need to be able to withstand between seven to eight caustic washes. At the same time, it needed to sufficiently cover up the old label so that the designs underneath would not be visible, and on top of that, be easy to apply for a fast turnaround.

The solution: extending the life of each bottle The MCC Mexico team carried out several material tests, ultimately choosing a laminated label with a special adhesive that could hold up through the harsh caustic washes. The label was designed to be opaque enough to cover the graphics underneath and larger than the original so that it would cover it completely and ensure secure adherence to the bottle. This was key because if the label wasn’t affixed properly, the caustic wash could remove the label adhesive and ink. Working within tight timeframes was another crucial element of this project. MCC moved swiftly so that Coca-Cola could successfully make the changes without any delays in production.

The result was re-labeled bottles that allowed us to continue operating within the framework of the law — we avoided the destruction of the bottle and the higher cost of buying new containers, and the most important thing is that we were able to continue selling and didn’t leave our customers and consumers with a shortage.” Juan Emilio Campos Alcalá, Purchasing Manager Other Business, at Arca Continental



Digital Print: the Solution for a Changing Consumer Today’s consumer landscape is a fast and ever-evolving place. With more choice and access to education than ever before, today’s consumers are not only savvy, but also particular. In response to these changing tides, brands today must be extremely agile and responsive. Their offerings must be refreshed often, showing not only innovation and creativity, but a desire to engage and connect with consumers. Though not new, the digital print platform has been a benchmark of adaptability. Its core benefits make it an ideal and versatile solution for today’s dynamic consumer set.

Want to know more? Request our Digital whitepaper


Coca-Cola: Open to Better | MCC Nantes (France)

Digital Case Study

Digital Print: Coca-Cola Makes Consumer Connections To mark the beginning of a new year, Coca-Cola launched a campaign featuring labels with 24 inspiring resolutions for the year ahead. The special edition bottles encourage not only to reflect on what can be improved, to ask for help where possible and to make promises to loved ones, but above all to approach the new year with an open mind. Good intentions Following a difficult 2020, the idea behind the campaign was to bring positivity to the New Year with encouraging messages on each bottle. In the summer Coca-Cola launched the campaign Open like never before to tap into the momentum during first re-opening of horeca. Open to Better is the follow up and Coca-Cola wanted to engage with its consumer using messages of motivation and furthermore for them to share this among family and friends. And most importantly, look ahead. The 24 personalized messages needed to be printed onto the roll fed labels. Due to the constraints in the number of labels/cylinders conventional printing was not an option.

We are really happy with the cooperation between CCEP and MCC. I think MCC was the right partner in this project.” Rianne Kamphuijs, NIM & Commercalization Manager at CCEP

The digital difference MCC Nantes offered to deliver this promotion using variable digital printing, as this was the only solution to guarantee the 24 personalized messages into one daughter reel. Since digital print is a plateless printing technology, the possibilities are endless. MCC produced more than 7 million labels, 100% digitally printed with 24 consecutive personalized messages. Delivered prior to Christmas 2020 at the Dongen plant in the Netherlands the promotion took place over the New Year period. “Digital printing is the optimum medium to provide customization for brands. Using this innovation, CocaCola are able to reflect individuality and promote brand loyalty.” Caroline Burgess, Global Key Account Manager at MCC.


Digital Case Study

Find Your Trail: Devils Backbone Vienna Lager Has a Trail Label for You Vienna Lager | MCC Cwmbran (Wales) Vienna Lager’s Appalachian Trail promo features 14 unique designs


The brand Inspired by a craft beer enjoyed in a brewpub on a ski trip in the Alps, Devils Backbone Brewing Company founders decided to start a brewery focused on serving European-style beers. This unique brewery is located in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, USA and is named after this area’s rugged terrain. This award-winning brewery has a passion for nature and that’s reflected in their thoughtful approach to brewing. This brand has grown and can be enjoyed in two of their brewpubs in Virginia or found in restaurants and retail locations across much of the US. Devils Backbone’s connection to nature and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains led them to create a unique promotion for one of their most popular beers, Vienna Lager. This promotion features 14 different labels each depicting a scenic highlight from each state the Appalachian Trail passes through. This promotion to engage with consumers and appeal to 0 isthose intended 11 who 110 likely 012 share their passion for the outdoors. The challenge 7897 9 1 1 A promotion with 14 unique label designs printed sequentially throughout the production presented 01 9 0 1 7 challenges % % *) that could only be achieved with digital 07 71 7 1 printing. ! # $% & However, #'( )* beer labels must withstand moist conditions during the filling and packaging process and perform well in ice coolers. In addition, because of Devils Backbone’s focus on freshness, the brewer laser prints a “Best by Date” to the label during filling. Due to the requirement of the sequential printing, the need for robustness and the ability to be date coded, this ruled out traditional digital printing.



The solution MCC tapped into our UV digital printing capabilities in one of multiple plants with this technology. This

allowed for the sequential print requirement, provided the durability needed and allowed for the laser coding during the filling process. The result The final label exceeded the customer’s expectations. They received bold, dynamic variable image, sequentially printed labels durable enough to look great through consumption. This promotion is also exciting for the customer who will notice the 14 different designs or can collect the 14 bottle variations.

Our Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows is located just off of the Appalachian Trail near mile marker 842, and we wanted to honor not only the trail and the journey it represents, but the 3 47 1that 0 visit +,.many thru-hikers us each year for a cold beer and 1 47 10 /( camaraderie. What 3 better way than 53 % 6/7 ! by representing the 14 most beautiful A.T.0 &&overlooks on our9&1best-selling )) ) 12 and award-winning Vienna Lager? /: %& #* If you’re not able to get on the trail yourself, you can bring home some trail magic with a 12 pack of Vienna Lager and savor the view from anywhere you enjoy DB beer.” Kim Oakley, Marketing Director at Devils Backbone Brewing Company



The Importance of Label Design Luang Prabang | MCC Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Your label is the voice of your product - it tells the consumer who you are and how you are made. Having a design that speaks to the consumer and not only draws attention but builds identity can set your brand apart. So what goes into great label design? We talked to Mathijs Aliet - founder at branding and packaging design agency, Square44 to find out.


Square44 is a Branding & Packaging Design Agency based out of Bangkok, Thailand. Square44 has a bit of a unique agency model, focusing on brand owners in emerging markets across mostly Asia, the Middle East and even Africa and helping brands of all sorts have access to some of the best talent in branding and packaging design in the world.

What was your inspiration for this label design? The brief to Square44 from Carlsberg was to develop the brand and packaging design for a completely new brand. The client wanted the new brand to be positioned as a craft beer and the name Luang Prabang was the only mandatory element from the brief. The objective was to really celebrate the unique heritage of the city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage city, but in terms of design we had a totally open brief. It’s always great fun working on new brands whether it’s an alcohol, food or a personal care brand. You have no baggage to consider and you get to explore different styles and look for solutions you think consumers would really love. At the concept stage we broadly explored a range of different directions, looking at cultural symbols, famous landmarks, doing a thematic series of different aspects of the city before the client settled on the design that was launched.

Square44 partnered with Carlsberg / LBC to develop a new craft beer brand called Luang Prabang. The brand was named after the famous UNESCO world heritage city in LAO. The design agency collaborated with famous Lao artist Khotsouvanh Hongsa to add a unique, authentic touch to a unique new brand.

What was your design creation process for this label? For Luang Prabang launch Square44 partnered at the concept stages with a very senior creative director based out of Australia who has worked all over the world on some of the biggest alcohol brands. He had great fun working on the early stages of this project and collaborating with our team. Once the client settled on a direction that featured a vintage street-scene of Luang Prabang, we wanted to Mathijs Aliet add authenticity to the label, so Founder at Square44 the idea was born to transform the brief into an artist edition. We pitched the idea to the client who absolutely loved it so we engaged three local artists from Laos



to develop street scenes. In the end Hongsa’s design was liked by the client so we had it scanned at high resolution and then sent over to us digitally for slight retouching, color correction and cropping before we created print-ready artwork files. At which point in the design process do you start to think about the printing of the label? Actually early on in the process, the client reached out as they had issues with their label printer not being able to get labels done on time. The client had targeted a specific launch date to avoid trademark expiry but the project was held back internally until it was given the go-ahead at the last minute, so it was a bit of a race against the clock. Square44 has previously partnered very successfully with the team at MCC so when the client asked us if there were other print houses that would be able to work within very tight deadlines, a quick call to Joerg Thalmann at MCC, who we’ve known for years solved all problems! In the design phase of a label do you consider various inks, materials and printing technologies? How did MCC help here? At Square44 we notice that clients in some of the emerging markets we focus on tend to take more of a wait-and-see approach when it comes to innovations in packaging design. It’s a hugely missed opportunity in many cases as there are so many novel ways a certain paper substrate, ink, print technology or finish can add that much extra to a label. You really have to be able to look at packaging design beyond just a cost factor on your A&P budget. More and more companies start to realize however that a well-executed pack, drives the highest ROI you

can get out of any marketing instrument available these days. Your packs are often your only marketing instrument that live at the critical moment of purchase and beyond that of all marketing tools available your packs communicate longest and most frequently with your target audience. A poorly executed pack similarly can really hurt sales or brand performance. When it comes to innovations in packaging, we can always reach out to the team at MCC to discuss paper types, ink types, novel printing methods or technologies that can help a brand or a pack stand out or get noticed faster, add a hint of premium or a touch of modernity depending on the brief. They are always extremely helpful when we approach them to look for solutions that fit a client’s brief well.

What can a good label do for your brand?


Get noticed A good label or packaging design helps a brand get seen first of all and getting seen means getting sold. Getting contrast within the environment when and where a brand is sold and attracting the eye is a critical thing for a brand to get right.

Increase brand value A good label should clearly communicate the superior value your brand has when compared to others. What makes you different, better, unique. Why would a consumer that already is happy with another brand switch to your brand. What are you promising.

Drive brand loyalty The purpose of branding is to drive loyalty for your brand, a distinctive label with a unique combination of visual assets or branding elements can be used off-pack to create a visual identity for the brand that travels across channels. Some of the most iconic brands are masters of using assets, think of Heineken with its green color and red star.

Tell your story A good label should tell the story of your brand, in the case of Luang Prabang it’s about capturing the feeling you had when you visited or representing the mood and tone of the place to draw you in. If you’re stuck in lock down somewhere unable to travel, at least drink the beer, so you can feel for a moment you are there.

What are the trends/innovations in label design? What are brand owners asking for? As a branding and packaging agency, Square44 get briefings coming in each day from over 20 markets from every kind of category. You can see how trends impact brands. With the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of brands are looking for innovations that drive health and safety, this affects label design as well as product innovation. We are starting to see brands that take a more green approach - looking for durability, sustainability, recyclability and reducing carbon footprint. When it comes to pricing however of solutions that already exist a lot of companies still take a wait-and-see approach and the urgency when it comes to taking action seems less than what brands talk about publicly. We see a constant push for premiumization especially in the Asia region, where consumers demand higher quality, trust and credibility which a good label

and print finish can help emphasize and if the pack is executed poorly can really hurt a brand. Last thing we see is that category norms are fading, which means category language gets redefined with the coming of age of constantly new generations of consumers. Where craft used to apply to beer, you see craft now affecting many other categories such as coffee, spirits even juices. As a result the typical beer label starts to go out of fashion and a new look, a new style is emerging. Something that affects many categories and bodes exciting times ahead for brands, their visual identity and the packaging they come in.

To read more about Luang Prabang check out our website



A Persistent Pursuit of A Better Tomorrow, Today

Glass Packaging: a Clear Choice The benefits of glass packaging are clear: it’s 100% recyclable, reusable, refillable and, according to the Glass Packaging Institute the top choice for environmentally conscious consumers. MCC’s Director of Sustainability Stijn Billet chatted with Scott DeFife, President of the Glass Packaging Institute, to discover more about the trends and sustainable benefits of glass packaging in the beverage industry. Glass Packaging Institute Founded in 1919 as the Glass Container Association of America, GPI is the trade association representing the North American glass container industry. On behalf of glass container manufacturers, GPI promotes glass as the optimal packaging choice, advances environmental and recycling policies, and advocates industry solutions for policy challenges.


Stijn: Tell us a bit about the glass packaging market today Scott: In the USA nearly 98% of the market for glass packaging is food or beverage. Beer continues to have the largest share, but now is just shy of 50% which has decreased over the past decade. This is due to Scott DeFife President of the Glass Packaging changing tastes but also the trend of craft brewers who begin Institute with glass but as they begin to expand its market reach, often diversify to the use of

cans. The food, non-alcoholic beverage and pharma/ cosmetics segments are fastest growing by percent. However, in the past 2 years with aluminium shortage and COVID response, bottle lines have started to reopen. In a recent survey, we discovered that 66% of grocery shoppers over the age of 21 prefer to buy beer in glass. Stijn: What are the key differentiators of glass as a sustainable product? Why should our customers opt for glass? Scott: In our worldwide Eco Focus survey, results have shown that consumers believe glass is clean, sustainable, natural, high quality and best for health. It is considered the most eco-friendly material for food and beverage packaging because it is 100% recyclable and is made from all natural raw materials. Stijn: What is the main sustainability trend you see emerging in the glass industry? Scott: We see refillables getting a lot of attention. Refillable glass containers are the most sustainable packaging option. They last the longest, they can be refilled until they break and then they can be

recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity. Many of the studies that are emerging about refills, especially for food and beverage are showing that the key differentiator for glass is that it is completely inert. You can use it for any food or beverage product without concern for food safety, as there is no chemical interaction between the glass and the product. Metal containers and cans – they need liners or plastic needs to be tested for interaction. Stijn: Is there a difference that you see in weight for refillables? Scott: All refillables regardless of material, need to be more resilient than single use. They are a little thicker in order to be more robust and withstand the washing and transport process. However, with refillables, the filling and washing all stays local during this cycle – mini circular economies. I think many brands are trying to figure out whether returnables and refillables are possible at a large scale. There are significant brands studying this for North American markets, and if they make that move, others will follow.

Consumers support Sustainable packaging* Grocery shoppers viewed glass as the most “eco-friendly” material for food and beverage.*


Nearly 75% of grocery shoppers view glass food and beverage packaging as good for the environment.*

*Ecofocus consumer trends survey, 2020.


A basic rule of recycling is to keep it simple, don’t mix materials. Glass is simply one material – making recycling much more efficient.” Scott DeFife, President of the Glass Packaging Institute

Stijn: Yes we are experiencing that too. On refillable packaging, we see an increasing amount of interest for the adhesive to cleanly wash off. Is there anything on a label that would negatively affect the recycling process. Scott: Some have raised a concern about a problem with Microplastics in the water supply. You do not want the labels to be breaking up and entering the water supply. Stijn: Yes, we get that question a lot. Our solution is to have a label that cleanly comes off as one piece and nothing gets absorbed into the water supply. Scott: Indeed, the regulatory challenges that are under review will analyse materials that wash into the water supply and it is preferable for the labels not to dissolve. The only other issue I see is a label or decorations with high metal content. In the recycling system, the glass is broken and so for example, if there is any little residue piece it will come off in the furnace and evaporate. Metal is a problem in the glass furnace.

Request a copy of our Beverage Sustainability Roadmap to learn how MCC is developing sustainable labels and advancing sustainable initiatives at facilities around the globe. This whitepaper also includes inspiring success stories.


Stijn: Do you see any differences between the North American and European market? Scott: I think, for the consumer, the perception is similar. From a packaging recycling standpoint we are running a bit behind Europe. We want to double the amount of recycled content that we use in making the typical North American bottle to get to where Europe is now. We’re at around 30-35% recycling rate so we want to increase that to around 70%. We’re close to 30% recycled content so we aim to get that to the 50%+ range. The same CPG company trends we see in EU are migrating over here. The 3rd biggest trend is the move to produce Extended Producer Responsibilty (EPR) schemes in the USA like they have in Europe. Currently, deposit systems are the most sophisticated we have in the US. Our studies have shown that the EPR will dramatically improve the recycling process. Stijn: Glass has a very strong position in the beer and wine market. Do you see a threat to that if recycled content doesn’t increase as companies search more and more for sustainable containers. Scott: I think every material has a problem. For aluminium it is smelting and energy intensity, for paper it’s deforestation and chemicals, for plastic its extraction and mismanaged waste, and for glass it’s the weight. The industry is working to reduce its carbon footprint, and to study the scope of our supply chain transportation reach so that we can improve our sustainability. Stijn: Would you like to share a message to our customers as to why they should choose glass and what they should be looking out for? Scott: The original is the best! If you go back thousands, of years our ancestors were packaging beverages in glass and it still makes sense today. It is the simplest, cleanest and most natural packaging option for beverage. Choose Glass!

Ocean Spray | MCC Fulton, New York (USA)

Sustainability Case Study

Ocean Spray Goes One Step Further to Achieve Optimal Recycling of Its Products The Ocean Spray® logo is a key differentiator on store shelves – it’s an easy way for consumers to identify the brand against competitors. The Ocean Spray team wanted to maintain their strong logo presence, while making their products as recyclable as possible.

“Working with MCC print technology to deliver a more sustainable logo substrate on our bottles was a perfect match!”, commented Ocean Spray key collaborators. MCC has been a partner to Ocean Spray for 10 years and proved to be one of the best in class when they launched a new product in large format shrink sleeves. We are always pleased to be part of their projects, but especially proud when it comes to sustainability initiatives. Ocean Spray is committed to driving sustainability in their packaging landscape. This initiative helps them achieve their goals with a recyclable logo substrate, while also having the benefit of improving plant efficiency.

The results Following the implementation of this new solution, the most important result for the brand was the improvement in the recyclability and sustainability of the entire Ocean Spray range. Ocean Spray is very pleased with the results! They have fully converted PSL to recyclable materials across the Ocean Spray beverage network.

The challenge The first trial of recyclable PSL was not a success as the sensor on the Ocean Spray equipment was unfortunately unable to pick up the new RecycLabel® substrate. MCC’s technical team was able to help with the technical assessment, determine the root cause and making adjustments to ensure a successful launch of their new label.

The MCC technical team has an extensive knowledge of label materials and equipment. During testing and trials, MCC’s ability to quickly identify the root cause of problems and propose tangible resolutions, on site, make them a fantastic partner for this type of technical challenge.” Jo Qiao, Packaging Engineer at Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.



Labels with Added Value Did you know that our Pressure Sensitive Labels are vertically integrated? Our self-coating capabilities provide a quick and easy way to test materials and solutions. Our dedicated R&D team can work with you to develop tailor made solutions to benefit your brand.

We spoke to Product Manager Self-Coat Material, Stefan Schneider. To get an insight into the capabilities and benefits of this technology. Where is this service available? We have one coater available in Germany, Europe and one in Kentucky, USA. We work together to supply across our global network. Please explain the purpose of the coater It gives us the opportunity to make our own laminate for pressure sensitive labels so that we are not as reliant on external suppliers. We can tailor make solutions for our own plants and customers. How does it work? Essentially, it is one big lamination machine where we bring together the liner, the adhesive and the face material. We have PET liner with an adhesive coat which is always water based. We then laminate the label stock material against that. We can use different adhesives depending on the technology as well as different face stocks.


How do you determine which materials to develop? We look at what our sites are working on and how we could produce this ourselves. We also look at external trends such as sustainability. We have developed solutions for RecycLABEl® (recyclable material for PET) available in metalized, transparent or white. We also produce ThermoWash™ material which is a wash off construction for returnable glass bottles. What is the benefit to our customers? We can work closely with our customers to tailor make materials. Testing and therefore speed to market all becomes more efficient in this way. An example is a project whereby we are developing paper PSL for wash off bottles with 100% recycled paper. This is a first, one of the exciting ways the coater can make a huge difference. We are also working with one of our customers who develop their own adhesive and we are able to use this adhesive in the construction of their material. We can work with them to develop the adhesive and test it to ensure it fulfils their needs.

FILMS • Clear BOPP Facestock • Top coated and Non Top coated • White OPP Facestock • Metallized OPP Facestock • PET-Shrink Facestock • Clear PE Facestock • White PE Facestock

ADHESIVES • Permanent Adhesive • Glass Recycle Adhesive • PET Recycle Adhesive: Recyclabel® • Glass wash off adhesive: ThermoWash™

The self-coating capability is a huge advantage for MCC and its customers. The vertical integration allows us complete flexibility and gives us unique opportunities for exciting projects and new business.” Stefan Schneider, Product Manager Self-Coat Material at MCC


Services Case Study

The Craft Beer Driving You To Challenge Your Status Quo Engkanto, Napa Gapa Beverages Corp. MCC Manila, Philippines (Asia) In 2018, Napa Gapa Beverages Corp. introduced to the market a line of highquality craft beers tailored for the Filipino’s palate. Craft breweries have been starting to emerge in the Philippine market accounting for an increasing share, but founder Ian Paradies believes that there is still room to grow. To capture this market, they approached MCC to print unique labels that will stand-out on the market shelves under the brand name: Engkanto. From concept to commercialization Engkanto launched five core craft beer variants in bottle format made only with four traditional ingredients and without additives: Lager, Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, IPA and Double IPA. Engkanto’s in-house graphic artist created an elaborate label design which makes “Engkanto” true to its name. The founder, Ian Paradies, derived the concept from Filipino folklore and mysticism in native Tagalog spelling to make it more relatable to the locals. With this in mind, MCC’s team helped with every aspect – from concept through to commercialization. 1. The label conceptualization process. 2. Finding the suitable material to withstand the wet environment during labeling & filling. 3. Providing printed samples used for color visualization. 4. Proposing two different raw material suppliers for label cost savings comparative analysis. 5. Supporting on post-sales labelling challenges to reduce downtime.


A successful partnership With the current success of Engkanto in the Philippines, MCC is looking forward to working on more projects with Napa Gapa. They not only encourage Filipino enthusiasts to choose high-quality craft beers, but inspire more people to challenge their status quo and change the things they’ve been meaning to change.

Do you want to learn more about our sales support services and gain valuable insights from application experts? Take the Concept to Commercialization journey. Request this whitepaper.

Engkanto has been a very supportive business partner. They have been reaching out to MCC for label developments for their specially crafted beers being supplied to hotel chains, restaurants, leading supermarkets and retail outlets in the Philippines.” Lars Schützenmeister, Executive Vice President Sales at MCC SE Asia


Solution Spotlight

Every Possible Label Solution In a dynamic beverage market finding the right label solution for your brand, whether it be a 360-degree shrink sleeve or a traditional paper label, can be complex.

This label is often “the face” of the visual brand and is the single most important packaging element. The solution must therefore align with your brand’s hierarchy of needs. Whether it’s comparing the most competitive technologies through price, deciding on additional functionality requirements to engage enduse consumers, or to simply add visual brand appeal to get noticed by a consumer on the shelf. Our beverage label solutions include: • Pressure Sensitive • Shrink Sleeve • Cut & Stack • Aluminum Neck Foil & SmartTop • Roll Fed • Heat Transfer


Incorporating multiple solutions into one product is a great way to increase branding visibility. Consider combining a pressure sensitive label with a neck foil to make it truly premium. Whatever vision you have, MCC is able to execute upon it with all these solutions under one roof. In this section, we will explain a bit about each solution and its benefits. We also want to share some great customer examples so that you can understand the versatility of each solution to help you choose what is best for your brand.

Roll Fed Labels Owens Illinois | MCC Monterrey (Mexico)

Intense graphic capabilities, cost-effectiveness and high rates of application make Roll Fed labels a great labeling solution for many products. Monolayer roll on shrink on (ROSO) The customer required a roll fed label with shrinkable properties for use on their iconic glass contour bottles. A technical challenge The main objective was to eliminate curling issues and defects in overlap, at the same time reduce the weight of the label. The solution presented was a label with construction of clear film, reverse printed in 40 microns. The first challenge was to develop the right coatings, inks that resist alkali solutions, rub resistance, high opacity and avoid the wet look due the condensation in filled bottle. Second challenge was to find the adequate operation conditions of the labeler and shrink process. As we reduce the material in the label, we had to find the exact temperature for the best performance in speed, label position on the bottle and the right shrink. The results By eliminating adhesives, using one layer of film and one lamination process, we were able to reduce the weight of materials by 16.4%. This new development leads the way in developing a monolayer construction in white film, surface printed for use in glass bottles and PET containers.

Key Features • • • •

360-degree, full wrap option Tear, scratch and moisture resistant Competitive unit costs High labelling speeds

Learn more about Monoloayer Roll Fed Labels. Request the whitepaper “Monolayer Roll Fed Labels: Do More with Less!” 31

Solution Spotlight

Shrink Sleeve Labels Birra FORST | MCC Lucca (Italy) Shrink sleeve technology optimizes the printable label area with 360-degree graphics, while accommodating extreme container contour.

In a year as unique as 2020, Birra FORST wanted to create something special that reminded us of their magical Christmas atmosphere. So they created, thanks to the shrink sleeve with metallic gold, a limited edition Christmas label, with six different subjects representing the enchanted world of their Christmas Forest, dedicating the product exclusively to the e-commerce channel. Visual impact The brand wanted to create a product with a high visual impact, in small quantities for special occasions. For example, international sponsorships and largescale events. To achieve that they trusted MCC Lucca, Italy to guide them in their experience with shrink sleeves, a solution never adopted by the company before, but the best for this occasion.

A company first Since this was a first shink sleeve label packaging project, MCC Italian team made sure to offer the customer the necessary technical assistance, such as the implementation of rapid prototyping samples, and the possibility of confirming their decision to use metallic inks such as gold, which is the typical color of Christmas. The choice to use digital printing allowed them to obtain a rapid time to market, as well as six different designs in small quantities. The challenge in this case was the desire of the brand to continue to be close to their customers, even in such a difficult situation as the Covid-19 pandemic, with a packaging specially created for Christmas. They wanted to bring Christmas Forst to Italian homes, and they did it well.

Key Features • • • • • • • •


360-degree graphics Tamper evidence Multi-packs Scuff resistance Great solution for unique shaped containers Digital, Flexo and Gravure Print Options Foil, tactile & embellishment options Sustainability options (supporting PET recycling)

We were very satisfied with the performance of this edition. The product was appreciated to such an extent that in a short time it was sold out in our online shop.” Birra FORST Brewery, Italy


Solution Spotlight

Pressure Sensitive Labels Cruzcampo Especial, Heineken | MCC Cwmbran (Wales) Pressure sensitive labeling, also known as PSL, can be used on almost any type of material and can be custom-made to fit any shape and size.


Cruzcampo Especial: heavily accented! Young artists express their voice in this unique and limited series of the brand’s most empowered beer, Cruzcampo Especial. Cruzcampo Especial The new recipe for Cruzcampo Especial is easier to drink, with a more intense and golden color, brewed with the Andalusian sun (with renewable electricity from solar energy). It incorporates caramel malt to achieve a more balanced beer, which combines mild bitterness and intense flavor. In January, Cruzcampo launched a new brand campaign, Con Mucho Acento (“Heavily Accented”) focused on diversity, which brand owners wanted to communicate across their packaging. Brand essence Cruzcampo Especial’s brand’s values are based around authenticity, diversity and being proud of your roots. To bring these beliefs to life, Cruzcampo engaged 6 young Andalusian artists to create 12 custom designs. Pedrita Parker (Málaga), Ahrde (Granada), Almudena Castillejo (Córdoba), Rebombo (Cádiz), Guillermo Anguita (Málaga) and Elena Serrato (Seville) have created an unrepeatable series exclusively for Cruzcampo Especial. The pursuit of perfection MCC Cwmbran specialize in Pressure Sensitive labels for the beverage industry. With a variety of printing options, the technical team chose to employ digital printing for this project.

“The 12 different images all had their own challenges, some with fine details and others with large solid areas and varied interaction with the individual colors. The combination of metallic foil and digital inkjet on our hybrid printing press enabled us to minimise any additional amendments to the artwork. The labels were finished off with a matte varnish to create a slight textured feel and subtle gold effect to help capture the light.” Andy Bowen, Technical Manager at MCC. This label was developed closely with the customer to ensure the artist’s designs were not compromised when creating print ready files.

Key Features • Offer a high-efficiency, glue-free labeling option • Available in transparent, white or metallized film and in a variety of paper substrates. • Suitable for PET, glass and aluminum containers • High-speed label application provides greater efficiency • Excellent print quality in up to 11 colors • One-way and returnable material options • Gravure, Screen/Flexo & Digital print • Foil, embossing & varnish options

MCC has been key to make this Limited Edition real, achieving an excellent coordination, communication, commitment & final result of the 20cl labels. Always looking for the perfection of the 12 unique designs.” Guillermo Regorigo Alonso, Associate Brand Manager, Marketing at Heineken España


Solution Spotlight

Cut & Stack Labels Quézac, Ogeu group MCC Nantes (France) Cut & Stack labels are extremely costeffective for high-volume products. They offer a variety of substrates and embellishments.


100% sustainable Quézac is a French sparkling mineral water originating in the Cévennes-Causses region owned by the family run Ogeu group. The bottling plant is located near to a small village which bestowed its name, Quézac in middle of Cévennes national park. 100% natural Quézac mineral water is drawn from a depth of almost 110 metres, from the preserved heart of the rocks of the Lozère. The purity of the water carries through into the product’s branding and philosophy to preserve the nature that gives it life. With this in mind, Ogeu challenged MCC to a more sustainable labeling solution than the existing paper labels, with a story that could be communicated behind. 100% recycled MCC proposed to print the labels on a 100% postconsumer recycled paper. The challenge was that the paper was only tested in very small scale beforehand, coupled with Ogeu’s time constraints on this new product launch.

MCC rose to the challenge using 100% recycled wet strength paper with 6 colors and no varnish. Following a successful launch, all paper labels have now been switched to the recycled paper. “The components of Quézac mineral water bottles and their corks are 100% recyclable. Printed with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper, our labels also contribute to a virtuous circle for the preservation of the environment.”

Key Features • Cost effective on high-volume products • Efficient application • Substrates: paper, film and eco-grade • Gravure, Offset and Digital Printing • 100% PCR Options


Solution Spotlight

Aluminum Labels Neck Foil Trophy Stout, International Breweries Plc. MCC Johannesburg (Africa) and MCC Hann Muenden (Germany) Aluminium bottle neck foils add sophistication as well as tamper evidence The Rich, Dark, and Satisfying Stout was launched in March 2020 for Nigerian Stout lovers. It is a brand-new product of International Breweries Plc. The drink is made to deliver incomparable richness, smoothness and tastiness to its consumers. Extra special satisfaction Trophy Stout invites the consumer to “Experience the richness” and this message carries through to its bold packaging design. It’s 600ml bottle is decorated with both a pressure sensitive front label and an exclusive gold neck foil. The addition of the neck foil label gives an extra dimension to the package and distinguishes it as a premium brand. Function and beauty Aluminum neck foils not only improve the appearance of the bottle but also provide hygienic protection as well as tamper evidence.



The material does not harbor or promote the growth of bacteria and is sterile following thermal treatment during its production process. The technology has proven to perform extremely well on twist caps. The foil can be easily removed for consumption thanks to a special layer on the inside of the foil, combined with a tear-off perforation beneath the bottle closure. These labels effortlessly adapt to any bottleneck shape and can be customized with embossing and debossing, as well as with luminous and thermosensitive inks. Sustainable solutions Our unique position at MCC allows for multiple labelling options. In this case, the combination of the neck foil and pressure sensitive label not only creates a premium effect but both are sustainable solutions. Designed for returnable bottles, the aluminium label as well as the Pressure Sensitive, ThermoWash™ label can be easily removed during the bottle washing process.

Key Features • Adapts to any bottle shape • Variety of ink effects and embossing patterns • Available in a variety of die-cuts • Provides tamper evidence and hygienic protection • Tear-off or full surface perforation


Solution Spotlight

Aluminum Labels Smart Top Cēsu Premium MCC Hann Muenden (Germany) Smart Top labels maximize branding as well as protecting your product. Cēsu Premium beer is a crispy, refreshing and well– balanced lager beer. Born in Cēsis, Latvia, it has been the best selling beer in Latvia for several years. Based on research conducted for Cēsu Premium brand, its team identified the need to update brand promises, values and visual representation to connect even better with consumers. Brand values Smart Top labels allowed the brand an additional medium to promote their brand values and make those important consumer connections. Key to its values is the importance of the city of Cēsis, where the production facility is located. “Born in Cēsis” is one of our brand values for Cēsu Premium and also for Cēsu Alus overall. We are proud to produce our products locally. The representation of Cēsu

Key Features • • • • •


Foil adapts perfectly to the can’s shape Additional branding space Protects against dust and germs Twist to open with replaceable closure Completely recyclable

castle makes the connection with the city even stronger and it is one of the corner stones for our brand.” Product protection The hygiene protection that the Smart Tops offer is a further advantage and much appreciated by Cēsu Premium’s consumers. The hygienic lid keeps the top of the can clean, protecting from dust and germs. Consumers can be sure to enjoy their beer with maximum safety and hygiene.

Want to learn more about Smart Top labels? Request a copy of our whitepaper “The Power of Smart Top Labels”


Solution Spotlight

Heat Transfer Labels Heat Transfer labels enhance brand packaging to create a visually appealing and highly-functional label with high scuff resistance. Heat transfer provides a seamless, aesthetic, ‘no-label’ look while offering virtual 360-degree application. This technology can be applied to a variety of containers in different shapes and sizes (from two ounces to five gallons) with extremely accurate label placement. Quality and versatility Heat Transfer labels allow greater adhesion and durability – even in high-moisture environments. They are also squeeze and product resistant, lightfast and have a high degree of ink opacity. HTL has environmental benefits too. Firstly, there is no facestock which removes waste from the process. Secondly, they are constructed using a combination of ink and wax making them fully recyclable – all without removal from the container.


Heat Transfer labels are reverse-printed using Rotogravure, Flexographic and digital processes, then transferred off a special release liner onto the container using heat and pressure.

Key Features • • • •

No-label look 360 degree application Fully recyclable Greater adhesion and durability

Discover our Knowledge Center! Discover educational topics in your favorite format such as video, whitepapers and offline magazines to help you grow and innovate your business.

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Whitepapers Learn about the latest market trends and innovations in our Beverage whitepapers!


What can we do for you? As a global and local beverage label partner, we look forward to partnering with you on your next project. Please reach out to MCC Beverage mcc.beverage

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