In the returnable beer bottle market, brewers are increasingly looking for brand differentiation and more sustainable practices. Claire Legrain, marketing manager of process and labels at Munksjö, explains how the design of new base paper for metallised wet-glue labels meets those demanding needs.
Trends in the beer label market are evolving; consumers are driving the industry towards more premium products and the demographic of these consumers is changing. Consequently, brand-owners need to further enhance the shelf appeal of their products to differentiate them from the competition.
"The use of metallised labels is ideal to attract attention and build premium brand positioning," says Claire Legrain, marketing manager process and labels at Munksjö.
In the meantime, brand-owners are looking for solutions to reduce their environmental impact, without compromising on quality, performance and visual enhancement.
"In such a context, innovation in labelling plays a key role to meet new market requirements. And the use of renewable materials, such as speciality paper, can really help the industry move forward more sustainably," explains Legrain.
Half of all beer brewed worldwide is sold in returnable glass bottles. So when it comes to labelling, the technical requirements are extremely demanding, as the labels undergo a wash-off process after use.
For returnable beer bottles, the selection of the base paper used to produce the labels must be carefully made.
New label paper for returnable bottles
In 2015 Munksjö launched Metalkote Expert, an advanced label paper dedicated to the metallising process and specifically designed for returnable beer bottles. Metalkote Expert is an upgraded version of Metalkote Evolution, and is adapted for wet-glue labelling.
Metalkote Expert has an improved paper surface, which provides optimised varnish consumption and outstanding gloss after metallising.
For printers, performance in die-cutting is improved. Munksjö maintains its best balance of features to satisfy the entire value chain. Metalkote Expert enhances brewers brand image while delivering optimised performances, including high runnability in the metallising process, high-printing speed, trouble-free labelling, and quick and cost-efficient bottle wash-off. Metalkote Expert is a one-sided coated paper that is formaldehyde-free and made of natural fibres, which are responsibly sourced. This advanced label paper enables brewers to use sustainable materials for the labelling of returnable beer bottles.
High expertise in paper for metallising
In 2013, the combination of Munksjö and Ahlstrom's label and processing activities created Munksjö Oyj. Munksjö is a leading global producer of speciality papers with 15 production sites in Europe, Brazil and China. Metalkote Expert is manufactured at Stenay Mill in France, which has more than 20 years of expertise in manufacturing one-sided coated papers for wet-glue labelling and metallising. Chain-of-custody FSC and PEFC-certified, the site manufactures other label papers for wine, spirits, soft drinks and mineral water applications.