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Digital, digital, digital...What next in packaging

The Drinks Report speaks to Kevin Lyons, sales director at The Label Makers ahead of Label & Print at Packaging Innovations 2018

Kevin Lyons The Label Makers

What is the most important market sector for you to target when exhibiting? 

At the moment, definitely premium and craft spirits. 

How many years have you exhibited at Label & Print – Packaging Innovations in Birmingham and why is this an important show for you?

Five years, which demonstrates how important the show is to us. We have always had an excellent experience at the show both in terms of business leads, but also the opportunity to meet with existing customers and other industry professionals. 

Do you have global/regional supply? 

We supply to both UK and EU.

How long have you been supplying the drinks trade? For which drinks are the products best suited? 

Although The Label Makers have been established since 1963, we have been supplying the drinks trade since 2004. Given the premium nature of our labels and the vast opportunity for different finishes and embellishments, the best suited products included malt whiskies, premium gin and rum, as well as other craft and artisan distillers. Our wine labelling part of the business is also exceptionally strong. 

What are your newest styles of labels suitable for the drinks trade? 

Reverse printed labels on clear spirit bottles to allow the graphics to be seen through the liquid – a classic example of this is on the award winning Mary Rose Gin which will be on display at the show. Digital short run is also proving popular featuring cask & limited edition numbering. Multiple colour foiling and American number plate style embossing are another areas we are seeing focus adding to greater levels of impact. 

Have you made any recent technological advances? Please describe 

As already mentioned, the reverse label printing is a complex use of digital Inkjet and conventional flexo print to create a very unique end product with foiled detailing on the reverse of the label. These advancements helped us to win Print Week’s Label Printer of the Year 2017.

What are the biggest packaging challenges in the drinks industry?

To minimise waste and offer sustainable means of supply, yet at the same time to convey in many cases the provenance or heritage of the product.

What is the most exciting development in packaging?

Digital, digital and digital! Can be used for increasingly longer print runs, helps to minimise waste, energy, set up times, and at the same time delivers flexibility. Digital’s compatibility is excellent with traditional embellishments, such as foil, emboss and special finishes, and offers a lower risk entry to market for brand owners and helps maximise opportunities – such as personalisation, seasonality, regional provenance and foreign text versions for export.

What distinguishes your style of labels from others in the market? 

Our unique manufacturing mix. We believe we are different from all our competitors, enabling us to bring together all the benefits of the various print processes to fulfil the design aspirations of our customers, with least compromise as it all happens under one roof.


2 February 2018