A short while ago, US based brewer Anheuser Busch sold its packaging unit – PPPI, which prints 28 billion labels per year – to Spear, which operates label plants in the US, UK and South Africa. Now, Anheuser Busch itself, as was widely reported in the press, has been acquired by Belgian-based Inbev, and the new entity has become the biggest brewer in the world with a whopping 25 percent of total world markets. While unions worry about jobs and drinkers worry about taste, label converters are also biting their nails as they wonder what the procurement and marketing policies of the new colossus will be.
Readers of this column might remember how digital label printing is making its mark in the malt whisky business. Now comes news of another spirited innovation: A well-known brand of Scotch whisky is marketing a magnum-sized whisky bottle called Mix Light for discotheques. The bottle has an electroluminescent sleeve label which shines in half-light.
In an entirely separate development, German label converter Doros now makes continuously printed 3D labels and logos. It is only a matter of time before someone puts the two together with a liquor label that shines in the dark and springs out at you.