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Optical illusion helps cider stand out

Dazzling graphics on full shrink-sleeve labels are becoming the rule on bottles of New Age libations and some alcoholic beverages as well. Now from the U.K.

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comes a variation on the theme: an opaque full-body label with a transparent window on the front allowing eye-catching graphics printed on the underside of the label to show right through the beverage. The product is Al. Cool(TM) cider de luxe, a 33-cL (11.16 oz) alcoholic cider from Templecrown Enterprises Ltd., which is based in Cross Hands, England. Distribution is primarily through off-premise outlets. The label is supplied by Sonoco Harlands, the European division of Sonoco Engraph (Atlanta, GA). It's a 2-mil polyvinyl chloride that is gravure printed in three colors. Surface printing simulates a frosted look in light blue with red and black copy. The key image is surface printed on the inside of the label and is positioned on the back of the bottle. It's Al. Cool, and he's illustrated from head to toe, brandishing a bottle of the beverage named after him. The image is only 3" tall. But when it's viewed through the clear front window of the otherwise opaque label, it appears magnified by the clear cider. "Faced with a proliferation of brands in the cider market, we were seeking to decorate our product with visually high-impact graphics that would differentiate Al. Cool from competitive brands," says Martin Templeman, buying director of Templecrown. The Sonoco label, he says, gives the bottle "irresistible shelf appeal that has helped us gain access to new markets throughout Europe and Scandinavia."

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