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Article | December 31, 1997
Clear-film labels rev rum bottle intro
Late this summer, New York-based Seagram Americas introduced Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Puerto Rican rum flavored with coconut in clear rectangular glass bottles in 750-mL and 1-L sizes.
Bottles are decorated with clear-film labels that spotlight the swashbuckling Captain in his trademark "roguish" stance. The 2-mil pressure-sensitive labels are printed in seven colors on a combination screen/rotary letterpress system by Spear (Mason OH). A colorful parrot adorns the front label through which the consumer can also see the Captain in an island scene on the back panel. Visible from the reverse side of the bottle's back-panel label is a government warning on alcoholic beverage consumption. A color-coordinated neck band and a hand-applied recipe hang tag around the neck top off the attractive liquor bottle. Bottles are sourced both in the U.S. and in Mexico. Labels are automatically applied to bottle panels below the stair-stepped shoulder by a contract packer. Labeled bottles are then shipped to Seagram America's Baltimore MD plant for filling. Why so many steps? The Parrot Bay brand is sold in other bottle/label configurations and the company had to determine which specific offerings would use the rectangular bottle and clear-film labels. Until that decision was made it made sense to outsource labeling. "We didn't have the pressure-sensitive labeling equipment for these labels" notes Paul Donnelly chief packaging engineer. "Until the final package was decided upon by marketing we weren't certain what type of equipment to buy. Also when we started the product we were looking at [moderate] volumes where it made sense to [contract out the labeling function] on the outside." Happily product demand has been strong. As a result the company is "in the process of submitting a proposal to purchase labeling equipment" he says. Jennifer Crowl Seagram America's public relations associate tells PW that the brand is marketed to both on-premise establishments and spirits retailers where the 750-mL version (shown) sells for around $10.
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