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Beer bottles get glow-in-dark label glam

Global brewer SABMiller plc is using glow-in-the-dark, pressure-sensitive clear film labels from Spear for a special promotion of Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) beers.

Pw 11117 Miller Genuine

Produced at Spear’s Cwmbran, Wales facility, the labels incorporate optical brighteners in the label varnish that glow under the black lights typically used in nightclubs.

The six-color-screened front label is made of 2-mil biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP)/emulsion adhesive/1-mil PET liner. The back label serves as a coupon with a removable top layer. It is made of two-ply white BOPP. The two-color flexo-printed bottom ply incorporates a varnish; the two-color flexo-printed top ply uses an optical brightener varnish.

The labels are applied post-filling/crowning at SAB’s Chamdor, South Africa brewery, using a Krones Top Module labeler. Labeling speeds are approximately 700 bottles/min.

Spear Systems points out that while the cost of clear p-s film labels is an estimated 2.5 times that of traditional paper labels, breweries are discovering that the “total applied cost” is on-par or even less expensive than paper/glue systems, due to manufacturing efficiencies, less downtime, and higher throughput made possible with p-s labeling systems.

SABMiller is using South Africa as its introduction point for these new labels. The MGD beer application is only the first phase of the transition from paper to p-s film labeling. MGD brand manager Abey Mokgwatsane says: “Thank you to Spear for helping us pull this one together. It will go down as one of the key initiatives that positioned MGD at the cutting edge of the category.” —Judy Rice

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