Over the past year we have successfully converted Budweiser labels from traditional paper to pressure sensitive labels.
For almost 20 years we have been supplying A-BI with more than 90% of their pressure sensitive labels (PSL). Because of our longstanding relationship, A-BI trusted us to ensure a smooth transition in their conversion from paper labels to PSL.
The first challenge, in early 2015, was converting Budweiser from traditional C&S paper to metalized BOPP film. This involved gravure printing in our TN plant, as well as applying a UV tactile process to replicate the C3 embossing on the original C&S paper label. This was the first time that solvent gravure UV screens were printed in combination with one another, causing unforeseen challenges. For example, we learned that when the label was exposed to at least 50% water for more than two hours, the interaction between the UV and gravure ink was compromised, shattering the ink when the label was peeled. We were at risk of compromising the launch but due to hard work, perseverance and good R&D we were able to come up with a rock solid solution in time for launch.
In September of 2015, the Budweiser brand converted to the current global design. This design eliminated the C3 embossing replication, but still required the UV tactile element. Instead of replicating C3 we now have raised areas on the label which gives the label a tactile feel and higher quality finish. The transition from the original Budweiser PSL design to the global design was seamless and this design is even more favorable to our operation as we are no longer die cutting thru white ink.
The first Budweiser PSL bottles were released in late September 2015 in parts of the Northeast. The global design hit the market in late October/ early November and the national release was in the late first quarter of 2016.
A-BI loved the results of their new Budweiser label so much that they decided to convert Bud Light to Metalized BOPP film with our help. The conversion is just now getting underway. We know that this transition will be even more seamless as there is no UV tactile element and the breweries are now familiar with Metalized film. The new Bud Light bottles will start hitting the market in late March/early April 2016.