Should I use Pressure Sensitive Labels or Shrink Sleeves?

Important considerations when deciding between pressure sensitive labels and shrink sleeves for aluminum cans.

There are two labelling options when it comes to aluminum cans, and those are Pressure sensitive labels (PSLs) or shrink sleeves. Each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. So, here are some important questions to ask as you make the decision on what’s best for your beverage and your brand:

Am I applying my labels in-house or using a third-party application service?

It’s important to consider how the labels will be applied to cans and who exactly will be doing it when deciding which route to go. Using PSLs can allow you to apply in-house with the right equipment (like a labeller or your own two hands), but if you’re leaning towards shrink sleeves then a third-party applicator is necessary due to the specialty equipment required. 

How soon is this beer going to be giving a repeat performance?

If you’re set on this product going into cans for the foreseeable future, then either label option can be made to work for you using Summit’s For the Love of Beer program. 

Keep in mind the following schedule:

  • Pressure sensitive labels run weekly on the For the Love of Beer program. 
  • Shrink sleeves run bi-weekly on the For the Love of Beer program.

Where do I need my labels to look their best?

Shrink sleeves have crisp artwork registration and 360 degrees of design space, so you can really make them stand out on the shelf amongst the competition and communicate a lot of information on an individual package. If your cans are going to be in coolers filled with ice, then a water-resistant PSL is going to withstand the conditions and keep them looking fresh.

These are just some of the important things to consider when launching a new product in cans and hopefully a helpful resource when deciding which label format to use.