The Advantages of Shrink Sleeve Labels

You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you still don’t advertise it well, it won’t sell. For anyone who puts out a product to sell, without great marketing and promotion, the public has no way of knowing what the product is about, where they can find it, or how it even benefits them. After marketing and promotion however, what about when you want to find that product in the store? The process doesn’t end once a customer steps foot inside the store. In fact, one of the most important parts of promoting a product is making sure that it’s labeled to catch attention and maximize exposure. We do this through its packaging and/or labeling.

There are a few different kinds of labels; there are standard roll-fed labels, foam labels, in-mold labels. But one of the best types of labels are heat shrink sleeve labels which have many advantages over other types of labelling.


  • Branding – If you had only 3 x 2 inches to showcase your brand and your competitor had 3 times that much area, whose product do you think would likely catch a consumer’s eye first? Custom shrink sleeve labels can wrap around an entire container/cover for a product, giving the customer essentially 360-degrees of viewing area. This gives you the chance to really show off your product with full-color graphics and more room for messaging. A 3” x 2” label could never compare with that!
  • Flexible & Strong – Shrink sleeve labels can fit many differently shaped containers where traditionally made product labels might not. Labels usually print in reverse on the inside on transparent shrink film, protected by 40 – 70 microns of clear film. This means resistance to scratching and scuffing, and it reduces chances of the products getting damaged when in transit to distributors and stores.
  • Security Through Tamper-Evident Seals – Ever since the tragedy of the tampered Tylenol bottles, product manufacturers have become aware of the need to secure their products against similar tampering. Shrink sleeves have an added benefit in that we can extend the sleeve up the neck of the product to create a tamper-evident seal to increase security.
  • Sustainability – Many older custom product labels use plastic that may be difficult to recycle. Newer shrink sleeves in use today use more biodegradable and environmentally-friendly materials. You can remove shrink sleeves made with PVC or polyolefin easily from plastic bottling for easy recycling.
  • New Technology – With shrink sleeve labels, the flexographic press limited us to long runs, but today, we have the choice of using a digital press. Digital allows for shorter runs and quicker turnaround—even label by label variation for promotional and holiday campaigns, or flavor variations within a product line. These innovations in shrink sleeve labeling are among the most important to consumers when making purchasing decisions. A study linked innovative packaging to purchasing behavior, and consumers who are satisfied by the packaging of a product are more likely to buy it again.
Diet Coke bottles printed with HP Mosaic

With these advantages, shrink sleeve labels provide a clear advantage over traditional smaller pressure-sensitive labels, especially if your container is an odd shape. Shrink sleeves conform to fit different contours of containers, and they provide the opportunity for a 360-degree branding area. Building in tamper-evident seals into a shrink sleeve label for security builds trust between you and your consumers. The benefits are clear.