Answering Consumer Challenges in the Flexible Packaging and Labeling Industry

Flexible packaging has become the preferred method for many consumers. They are easy to transport, can fit into places standard boxes can’t, and often allow for resealing so that consumers can use a product and not worry about the product spoiling quickly.  

As the market shifts away from rigid boxes and into flexible materials, meeting customer desires will be essential in completing conversions and driving business. There can be difficulties, however, obtaining packaging that meets customer needs from suppliers.

Answering Major Challenges in the Flexible Packaging Industry

Packaging can be the key component in a customer selecting your product over another in a store – and in whether they return to your product in the future. As such, it’s essential to meet customer demands when designing packages. To do that, it’s important to understand what the most important aspects of packaging are.

According to a poll held by the Global Pouch Forum, the top factors that should play into packaging development are:

  1. Shelf impact and differentiation

  2. Customer convenience

  3. Cost

  4. Improved shelf life

  5. Speed to market

  6. Sustainability

The specific level of impact of these factors on your packaging will vary with your brand message and your audience. However, shelf impact and customer convenience have some of the highest margins of importance in packaging design.

Shelf impact is what makes your package stand out from other brands, as well as highlighting what makes your product different from the others. Flexible packaging allows you to make the most of your space to appeal to the customer.

Consumer convenience involves visual appeal, easy to use functionality, sustainability and freshness. The convenient storage options of flexible packaging combined with the potential to reseal a package contribute to these factors. Additionally, flexible packaging is quicker to market, lower minimum order quantities, and cost savings from digital printing, allowing for a reduced impact on the environment.

The drive to emphasize convenience for an on-the-go lifestyle and emphasis on sustainability of products is gaining momentum, partially thanks to the number of Millennials making purchasing decisions. 

Even outside of the younger generations, roughly 71% of consumers prefer flexible packaging over non-flexible counterparts – and not adapting to this change means that you can lose customers to businesses that do. However, not all suppliers provide flexible packaging options, which puts a roadblock in the path to making this change.

Active and Intelligent Packaging

In addition to providing flexible packaging options, you want your packages to do more than just provide a convenient way for consumers to recognize and use your products. Incorporating active and intelligent packaging can engage the customers further, bringing in better business. As technology develops, many new ways to develop active and intelligent packaging have come into use:

  • Augmented reality

  • Incorporating company vision

  • Educational product training and safety

  • Product use, promotion of other products, and contests

  • Water-soluble paper materials

While some of these options are new and others are updates on older strategies, they are all great choices to help enhance your packaging plans. Flexible packaging makes it easy to incorporate these elements, giving you even more options for strengthening your marketing plans and attracting customer interest.

A Most Unique and Timely Packaging Innovation

How can SmartSolve materials benefit you and your customers? SmartSolve water soluble materials are the perfect choice for flexible and other packaging options, providing materials that meet all the essential factors of successful packaging and giving you the variety you need to develop the optimal packaging strategy for your products. SmartSolve can benefit you and your customers by providing:

  • Employee and customer safety. Some products may include harmful chemicals that can impact both your employees and customers. With SmartSolve water-soluble pouches, you have a barrier between the product and the user for additional safety.

  • Sustainability. SmartSolve packaging goes beyond recycling and has several certifications of “green” from agencies like TPCH and OSHA.

  • Time and labor savings. For customers who work with critical equipment, our water-soluble paper solutions make for easy label removal and cut down on cleaning time of products and packaging, increasing the amount of labor spent on growing your organization.

  • Innovation. With water-soluble paper materials available in multiple thicknesses, coatings, and configurations, there’s an option ready for your needs all while providing a convenient to use product.

  • Product portioning. If your product requires specific portion sizes, SmartSolve can give you whatever packaging you need to maintain the integrity of your product for use.

SmartSolve provides pouches, board stock, and label stock packaging solutions that are sustainable, cost-effective, convenient for customer use, and differentiation in a changing market. 

To learn more about meeting consumer challenges, view the full Webinar we recently gave for the Contract Packaging Association. As always, we’re here to answer any questions; just call 800.537.9429.

High-Quality Custom Product Labels That Dissolve in 30 Seconds

A recent study has shown that eco-friendly products are becoming more important to consumers. Specifically, 84% of consumers care deeply about recyclable packaging options, with a large majority making their own efforts to recycle. Based on these statistics, products with eco-friendly packaging offer benefits for customers and businesses who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and utilize recyclable packaging.

What Are SmartSolve® Labels?

SmartSolve Labels are high-quality custom product labels designed to dissolve in water in under 30 seconds. Water, no matter the temperature, will make the labels dissolve off of the packaging, resulting in a clean container that is ready for repurposing. In fact, the labels completely dissolve, leaving behind no sticky residue.


The removal of most labels from packaging requires harsh chemicals. SmartSolve Labels dissolve using just water. Removing labels from product packaging allows consumers to repurpose containers right in their own home, saving costs for trash facilities and keeping more packaging out of landfills.

Environmental Awards

SmartSolve Labels have received several awards and certifications from various eco-friendly organizations. These companies have certified the labels to be eco-friendly and a good use of resources. The labels received “green” certifications from the following organizations:

  • The Toxins in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH)
  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) 2008
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (EU Reach)
  • California Prop 65
  • Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC)
  • Nourish The Planet (NTP)

They are also certified for distribution by the Forest Steward Council (FSC), which has very strict standards for responsible forestry.

Higher Quality Printing

When printing a label onto plastic, it can be very hard to create a high-quality design. Inks do not stick well to plastic and can appear blurry. SmartSolve Labels provide a high-quality label, giving products and their packaging a high-end appearance. Customers love the clean look and the crisp colors. The company uses color-matching technology for labels and trademarked exact colorations.

Uses for Dissolvable Labels

These are some of the most common use cases for labels that dissolve in water:

  • Food storage containers. Dissolvable labels allow consumers to reuse the containers for other storage when the original product is gone.
  • Temporary labels. Businesses can ask customers to return containers in a store-initiated recycling program – saving the business money on purchasing new containers and reducing their carbon footprint.
  • Time-sensitive decals. Kid’s items, like bicycles, skateboards, and balls, often end up discarded due to the fact the child’s interest changesor the character is no longer relevant. Dissolvable labels allow the product a longer life, completely removing the decal.
  • Hospital labeling. A new label for each patient can completely wash away during the disinfection process, making less trash and single-use items for the landfill.
  • Laboratories. Specimen samples or other collections of samples can have their own label. Like a hospital, when sanitizing the container, the label will disappear.

These are just a few of the ideas for using the labels as a way to get ahead in business. Century Label has spent over 30 years innovating new product labeling technologies for companies across the U.S. Hella Cocktail Company and Sun King Brewery both offer up their testimonials on working with Century. For a complete rundown of what Century Label has to offer, check out the home page.

What Are Hyper-Customized Printed Labels?

Stand Out with Hyper-Customized
Printed Labels

What are Hyper-Customized Printed Labels?

Century Label has offered high-quality customized label printing since 1980. Our process allows businesses to order custom-made, top-notch labels for their products. We consistently win design awards for our labels, year after year. One of our top services is hyper-customized printed labels, where we design 100 percent unique labels for short-run prints.

What is Hyper-Customization?

Hyper-customization means our process creates labels that aren’t just unique—they’re truly one of a kind. Every hyper-customized printed label goes through only one short- to medium-term print run, and is designed specifically to be a unique creation that is never repeated.

The Hyper-Customization Process

For our hyper-customized label designs, we use HP Mosaic to generate customizable artwork. This is the best tool in the trade for generating automatic art with customizable data. We begin each label with a single vector file, which we produce and customize to your product’s specifications. Automated generation allows our hyper-customized labels to be an explosion of eye-pleasing color and complex patterns. Contrary to the name, automated generation is not the computer doing the job for us; we curate each generation to make absolutely certain the design suits your print run, and every label is different—just one factor that makes hyper-customization so popular.

Once generated, a vector is transformed into a variety of fractal imagery or interesting design patterns. This system provides flexibility of design in a way other customization methods lack. It’s also why every run is so distinct, as generation only produces one of each image.

The results of this process are full-color labels with endless variation. Each hyper-customized label is a one-print run with no repeats, meaning every single product has a single unique label, and not even the same item will have two of a kind. These unique runs are perfect for small, simple products that need a standout label with eye-popping colors and patterns.

HP SmartStream Mosaic

HP’s Mosaic software is an art generation tool used by graphic designers and custom printers to simplify the process of creating pattern art. The software is an easy-to-use solution that can smoothly integrate with other design essentials. Mosaic generates patterns using full color and is based off of a set of generation rules that were curated to create only the best patterned images. When an image is created, we can manipulate text and data to enter your product information or even add other images.

The automated designs serve as only the base for our labels. Once an image is created, we can curate the remaining information into a unique design that truly highlights what makes your product special. 

Available Options

We offer hyper-customization for a variety of labels. Not only is this available for traditional, simple labels, but we also provide the option for customization on most digitally printed products. We can hyper-customize shrink sleeves, pressure-sensitive labels, and several other items.

Beyond the different types of labels, we also offer variable data labels. For situations in which you need to change elements (such as product names, numbers, or even barcodes), our process will automatically create the next consecutive item without error—providing full flexibility in our printing that saves the hassle of generating a new label. 

We can do this because of the power of digital printing. When we send items for runs, we do not need to change the entire process; instead, we can alter small pieces to create unique, fully customized labels at a much lower cost.

Hyper-customization is an excellent design option for low-cost, unique labeling and packaging that packs a punch, without taking away from your product and design needs. 

For a no-obligation, confidential initial custom bottle label consultation with one of our design experts, click here.

Custom Bottle Labels That Stand Out from a Crowd

The craft brew market is growing, which is great news for the industry. Individual brewers are seeing more competition for the same consumers, so it’s up to each brewer to find a way to stand out from the masses. You know your beer is the best, but until consumers buy it, they don’t. How do you get the customer to choose your brew? Custom bottle labels. 

Craft beer labeling matters almost as much as the beer’s taste. Customers have to notice your brand so they can find out just how fantastic it tastes. Maybe your labels just don’t pop. Maybe they’re looking for your beer, but they can’t remember what the labels look like. Either way, crafting a solid impression is just as important as crafting the beer itself.

Take a look at some of these custom bottle labels from Century Label. You’ll never forget them, right? What gives something like the Great North Aleworks or Sun King Brewing labels such an edge?


Color Me Surprised

Turns out, there’s a lot of science behind why customers prefer one brand design over another. Color, texture, typeface, and material all influence buyers’ choices. Did you know that 90 percent of judgments about a product are made because of color alone? 

Color selection and design need to be based on the personality of your brand. Is your craft brew a down-to-earth, average Joe’s choice? Go with an earthy brown, basic bottle. There’s an entire psychology behind color theory and its impact on marketing. There’s a lot of debate about how much, say, yellow affects someone’s mood. 

One thing that’s certain…

Colors provide associations your customers may not be aware of. 

Sometimes, it’s best to let your product do the talking. If you’re bottling your drinks in clear glass, for example, you need to design your label in a way that highlights the drink itself. This includes matching the colors of your drink to the label.

Century Label’s custom bottle labels for Sun King are good examples of this strategy. The combination of vibrant, warm colors works really well for a standout, high-energy brand. Take a look at the colors. That orange and blue combination is a classic of color theory. The strategy here is using complementary colors – colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel from each other – to make the product bright and sharp. You can also use a monochromatic design, with one color in different shades, and triple color schemes for different effects. That’s the advantage of custom bottle labels – they really arecustom.

Crafting Memories

The size of the market means you can’t afford to have a generic label design. Your beer needs a custom bottle label that people will remember. You need to consider all aspects of your container, product, and even the sales environment. Buyers will have trouble recognizing your product’s name if the text on your bottle is too small or unclear. And while a reflective, metallic texture will certainly catch the eye, it also may be difficult to read if you don’t make accommodations for lighting. 

The drink’s container also has an impact on your labeling. A bottled drink offers less design space than a canned package. Century Label’s Wolf Pack design is an innovative solution: Some bottles are made from aluminum, which, in addition to other advantages, turns the entire bottle into a canvas. This solution means the beer has a consistency in its design – even across containers and materials.

There is no universal rule for good bottle label design. Branding your beer comes naturally, and you know yourself and the product better than anybody. Choose the custom bottle label that works best for your drink’s identity. 

For a no-obligation, confidential initial custom bottle label consultation with one of our design experts, click here.