Craft Beer Label Trends to Keep an Eye On

Those who specialize in the craft of beer label design and printing understand just how large a role the label plays in establishing market share. A quality, eye-catching label, one that stands out on the crowded shelves, can give the craft brewer the edge needed to win the battle taking place in the beer aisle.

To help you remain ahead of your competition, we thought we would take a moment to review a few of the label design trends shaping the landscape.

Label Designs Get Straight to the Point

In his article “6 Trends in Beer Packaging for 2015,” Chris Aukett, from The Big Picture, is quick to point out that the rising popularity of flashy ‘sweet shop’ style beer labels has led to some confusion on the beer shelves. The simple truth is that while these eye-catching designs are intended to help the brand stand out, the opposite is actually happening. In the eyes of the consumer, when the shelves become filled with colors and creative designs, distinguishing one brand from the next becomes overwhelming.

In his article, Aukett states, “Look out this year for others to follow anti-establishment hero Brewdog’s recent example and ditch some of the crazy labels and mishmash styles in favor of more grown up brand identities and cohesive ranging.”

This is not meant to imply that the label will become any less important. Instead, expect to see increased focus on designing thoughtful and to-the-point labels capable of showcasing the brand’s quality and appeal.

Pressure Sensitive Labels & Shrink Sleeves Gain in Popularity

“Cut and Stack” labels have long been the go-to choice, and for good reason. Because these labels are cost-effective and can be applied at a high rate of speed, they offer a versatile appeal that craft brewers find hard to ignore.

However, according to an article by Chris Cowell of Craft Brewing Business, pressure sensitive labels and shrink sleeves have been steadily growing in popularity. And while “Cut and Stack” labels remain the most popular option, craft brewers are quickly recognizing the advantages these other types of labels have to offer.

Local Brewers Take Advantage of Regional Pride

Not too long ago, before craft beer went mainstream, simply being recognized as a craft beer was enough to gain the consumer’s attention. The landscape has since changed drastically, the shelves have become crowded, and being branded simply as a craft beer is no longer enough to win the consumer’s attention.

While one might view this increased competition as an obstacle, many local craft beers have identified this as a giant opportunity, as they have begun capitalizing on branding and messaging focused on regional preferences. And while quality of product remains a major selling point, local brewers are gaining a definitive edge by showcasing their local and regional roots on the label.