Get Crafty With Craft Beer Label Materials

Craft Beer Label Materials Graphic

The craft beer market continues to grow in popularity across the United States, but it’s doing more than simply changing what Americans are drinking. According to data released from Brewers Association, craft brewers reached 11 percent volume share of the marketplace and the number of operating breweries grew 19 percent (totaling 3,464). With the rise of craft beer, the shelves are getting crowded and packaging and labels are the easiest way to differentiate a brand and attract the eyeballs of potential buyers. The materials that craft beer labels are printed on are an important consideration because they can not only attract consumers’ attention, but they can also help you communicate the idea of quality. Find out which craft beer label materials have the most and least influence on customers’ purchase decisions.

Craft Beer Label Materials Study

In a recent study conducted by Clemson University and sponsored by Avery Dennison, researchers examined the shelf impact of craft beer labels in a simulated retail store environment. They had 193 “shoppers” wear calibrated, eye tracking glasses while “shopping” inside Clemsons’ Consumer Experience Laboratory simulated store environment. The glasses recorded the eye movements of each study participant, providing researchers valuable insight into why individuals gravitated towards certain craft beer labels.

The two-day study examined the eye movements in three particular areas: time to first fixation, total fixation duration, and fixation count. A post-experiment questionnaire helped measure recall. Let’s take a quick look at what they discovered.

Tracked Eye Movements Reveal Preferences

Each of the participants viewed six sets of craft beers – each set comprised of 10 bottles. Within each set, one of the 10 bottles had an Avery Dennison label with one of the six materials being studied (paper, matte film, glossy film, metalized film, wood veneer and clear film).

What they measured and found with the eye tracking glasses:

  • Time to first fixation: This measurement refers to the time it took for participants to first fixate on a craft beer product after entering their field of vision.
Craft Beer Labels Study Time to First Fixation Chart
  • Total fixation duration: The total time a participant fixates on a specific item.
Craft Beer Labels Study Total Fixation Duration Chart
  • Fixation count: The total number of times a participant looked at a specific product.
Craft Beer Labels Study Fixation Count Chart

Researchers found there was a strong correlation between how long (total fixation duration) and often (fixation count) participants view a label material with their product selection. In the qualitative part of the study, researchers gained deeper insights into the participants’ preferences. Part of the questionnaire the participants filled out asked what qualities they perceived when viewing the label materials. Here is what the researchers found:

Pie chart craft beer label materials

Selecting a Label Material in Summary

Shelf impact is an important aspect of selling products on store shelves – and craft beers are no exception. It can be argued that labels play an even bigger role for craft beers since consumers are more likely not to be familiar with the product, which increases their reliance on attractive packaging to make a purchase decision. There are a variety of factors that should be considered when selecting a material for craft beer labels like cost, how it works with the bottle/can, label application method, compatibility with the label artwork, and whether it goes well with the brand. Our label specialists are ready to help you create a labeling solution that best fits your craft beer packaging.

References: Avery Dennison (2015). Measuring the Impact of Label Materials on Craft Beer Purchase Decisions [White paper].