The future of smart liquor and beer labels

Last month, beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch debuted its first ever Internet of Things (IoT) connected label, marking another addition to the growing number of creative, interactive labels on liquor shelves. With more companies concerned with creating an experience with their brands, Anheuser-Busch's special limited edition Oculto beer is more than just a smart label, it's a smart business move.

In an interview with Packaging Digest, Oculto's senior brand director Mallika Monterio said that the new beer label uses smart-label technology with LED lights powered by paper batteries to "further the brand's personality of mystery, intrigue and seduction through a full sensory experience."

To create this experience, Anheuser-Busch teamed up with Inland Packaging. The packaging company used innovative patent-pending technology to create a label that uses electronic pathways, paper batteries, micro switches and LED lights that are pressure sensitive. The pressure switch was strategically placed where thumbs naturally fall on the bottle, so the LED lights shine through a mask's eyes when the bottle is gripped.

"This technology demonstrates how packaging and marketing can come together to bring consumers a full sensory experience," Tricia Sime, Inland's packaging innovation director, told Packaging Digest. Sime said that this label was a "fun project that pushes the envelope of high-functionality smart packaging that's part of the brand's identity."

The beer was served for the first time at Anheuser-Busch's "Garden of Hedon" even in Miami on November 19 and will be featured at other select Oculto events in 2016. According to Sime, the label took six months to develop, meaning the project began around the time the Oculto brand debuted in March.

Diageo, a British alcoholic beverages company, also debuted an interactive label this year. The company released a 500 bottle limited run of its Johnnie Walker Blue Label whiskey that were fashioned with near-field communication tags. The tags include patent pending capSeal opening detection technology and Amcor smart capsules. Consumers are also invited to scan the bottles with the Johnnie Walker application to access different privileges, like VIP invitations and personalized digital postcards and lifestyle content. So far, the bottles are only available in Thailand, but is not the only one of its kind. Remy Martin, a cognac producer, also released a bottle with NFC tags with bottle opening detection technology.

The best way to update your labeling strategy and play with creative, interactive technology is by investing in your own printer for custom labels. At DuraFast, we carry a wide selection of printers and printing supplies to help your labels stand out for all the right reasons. Contact us today to learn more about how a flexible printing solution can take your marketing efforts to the next level

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