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Beer label changes colors down under

Though common by now in the U.S., red lagers are new to Australia. So when Lloyd Products of Regency Park, Adelaide, Australia, launched its Red Ant lager last summer, it wanted packaging that would draw attention to this unusual product.

Pw 24103 Thocombynow 36

It got what it needed in a color-changing pressure-sensitive label that conceals 13 ants when the bottle is cold. As soon as the bottle begins to warm up in the hands of the consumer, the ants become visible. The insects perform their little trick thanks to the proprietary thermochromic inks used by label converter Spear (Mason, OH). In its Melbourne plant in Australia, Spear prints the 2-mil biaxially oriented polypropylene labels in four colors on a flat-bed screen press. The 330-mL (11.16-oz) glass bottles of lager are priced in the same range as premium imports. According to marketing manager Irene Chumak, the labels are about twice the cost of more conventional alternatives. But the brand is positioned as a handcrafted niche product, so the added cost is justified, says Chumak.

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