Packaging Spotlight

Hola Fresca and the Spear Toybox

April 19, 2012

Spear continues to innovate in the global beverage and beer markets.

Carlsberg UK has formed a strategic partnership with Mahou-San Miguel of Spain to create a fresh sunshine lager, San Miguel Fresca. As a supplier for both breweries, Spear, the label manufacturer headquartered in Mason, OH, USA, was delighted to create the contemporary, clear look labels to compliment this dynamic brand.

Fresca is brewed by Carlsberg UK, and the beverage maker describes this product as a “crisp refreshing lager, best served chilled with a slice of lime.” According to research carried out by Carlsberg UK, the 4.4% ABV premium bottled beer will appeal to an upmarket consumer at occasions such as barbecues, al fresco dining and live music events.

“The starting point for any new product development is to look across the portfolio for gaps, and we realized there was a need for an easier-drinking sunshine beer,” says Marketing Director David Scott on the new product launch.

The brand required a contemporary label with a similar feel to ACL style decoration. The Spear team worked closely with their suppliers to achieve this look on clear, pressure sensitive labels.
Spear’s developmental leadership position was key in allowing them to provide Carlsberg UK with a technological solution that ensures competitive advantages for the brand. Spear collaborated with their ink supplier to specifically develop a soft touch matte varnish; this was combined with an innovative “coarse touch” tactile varnish to create a contoured effect. UV inks were then utilized to create a standout visual contrast on the bottle. Spear also reduced costs by employing a thin material for a wider front label, enhancing the premium “no-label” look.

The Spear Toybox

For the Fresca label, Spear used
UV inks to create a standout
visual contrast.
For the Hola Fresca project, Carlsberg went with the no-label look, a look that has become a popular trend in the beverage label market. Brands and marketing agencies pay close attention to packaging trends, and today we’re on a wave of consumer change. The modern consumer requires interactivity and connectivity; the brand must communicate. Spear creates labels that will engage the consumer through innovative design and functionality, and their “ToyBox” is a treasure chest full of exciting options including everything from holographic material to talking labels.

Intelligent Labels
In a society where smart phones are prevalent and the consumer requires information at their fingertips, intelligent packaging has become a key trend.  Spear is at the forefront, incorporating QR codes, augmented reality and talking labels into their ToyBox, allowing the label to create an interactive experience between the consumer and the brand.

Interactivity is not only attainable via mobile technology. For example, Spear has created personalized labels for Bud Light allowing the consumer to write their own message onto the label.

Spear has also developed thermochromic labels for brands such as Carlsberg and Diageo which change color in response to temperature variation and can reveal hidden graphics or messages.

Promotional Labels
The ToyBox encompasses a range of Peel and Reveal labels, a dual layer label that features a peelable, re-sealable top. Combined with variable print, infinite individual numbering specific to each label can be included to allow for competitions and promotions.

Spear’s Bud Light label is
interactive, allowing consumers
to write their own message onto
the label.
Decorative Labels
The Spear ToyBox identifies the latest innovative film, ink and application technologies to help customers create dynamic one-of-a-kind packaging.

Brands such as Miller, Desperados Red and Bombay Sapphire have teamed with Spear to create a label with a “feel” to the image using a tactile varnish. For that bar shelf stand out, Spear created a label which “glows” when exposed to UV light for brands such as Grolsch and Bacardi Oakheart. Other special materials and ink effects such as holographic foil, glitter and translucent inks can dramatically enhance shelf appeal and capture the consumer’s interest.

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