Wrap Around or Shrink Sleeve Labeler for Your Round Containers & Bottles?


The right labeler for your product depends on a variety of factors, and you may find that the answer changes as your product lines expand.

From beer to cosmetics to CBD to kombucha, attractive and durable labels are essential for grabbing the attention of a potential customer. That said, your particular product's round containers may demand drastically different labels than what some other product might need. What might be the perfect material for a lipstick tube could be less than ideal when applied to a bottle of iced tea. 

Depending on your industry, the differences in criteria such as cost, appearance, and durability between wraparound labels and shrink labels could be negligible or could be enough to impact your bottom line.

Which type of label is right for your product depends on a variety of factors, and you may find the answer changes as your product expands into the marketplace or your company starts making new products. 

For example, if you operate a brewery that produces craft beer meant to emulate the aesthetic experience of British beers of the mid 20th century, front and back or wraparound labels on brown or clear bottles would be appropriate. But if your brewery expanded to produce modern craft beers contained in aluminum cans, you might transition to shrink labels to maximize space for creative artwork. 


The choices you make for labels and labeling equipment aren’t necessarily permanent. It’s critical to assess your current needs and make a decision that will best suit your budget, support your brand identity, and capture the attention of consumers. After all, consumer research has shown that 1/3 of decision making regarding purchases is based on packaging design alone.

Product Visibility

When a potential customer picks up your product, do you want them to see what's inside the container?

Wrap Around Labels: These labels do not cover the entire container. This may be a positive attribute if you want your product to be visible through a clear bottle. If you're crafting beer, soda, or kombucha, visibility might be key to your branding and marketing. The same goes for front and back labels. Your logo and other information, while important, leave enough uncovered to let the product speak for itself.

Shrink Sleeve Labels: Shrink labels cover your container from top to bottom and completely around the circumference. This allows you to create labels that take advantage of maximum space for some truly breathtaking designs. And thanks to sophisticated software used by label converters, even irregular shapes and indentations won't distort the images on your label. However, unless you're using a transparent material over a clear container, the product inside won't be visible. This might not be a vital factor for you, and might even be a plus, since complete coverage means that products that are negatively affected by sunlight are more protected.


You should have a reasonable expectation that labels will stay affixed to your product from the moment they are applied to the moment the customer is finished using it.

Wrap Around Labels: They are generally made from paper or plastic with an adhesive that binds the material to the container. If your product doesn't require refrigeration, such as cosmetics or CBD oils, you may never have to consider the effects of condensation or moisture. Even if your product gets exposed to dramatic temperature differences, such as going from a hot warehouse to a grocery store refrigerator, a properly manufactured and applied label can withstand such changes and retain a professional and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Shrink Sleeve Labels: Completely moisture resistant. There is no adhesive, so temperature differentials or condensation are of no concern. There is also far less chance of tearing or snagging during shipping. Shrink labels act as if they are one with the container to which they've been applied. Since there's no adhesive, another benefit is container reusability.

Tamper Evidence

Not every product needs tamper evidence. If potential customers occasionally sampling your product is not dangerous to them, it may not be worth the extra cost. But even with no safety issue, tamper-evident packaging on products such as food or beverages can give both you and the consumer peace of mind.


Wrap Around Labels: Your product will need a separate tamper-evident seal, requiring a separate labeling machine to apply the seal.

Shrink Sleeve Labels: Can be applied with tamper evidence built-in. There's no need for a separate process. Whether t-perforation, horizontal perforation, or vertical perforation, most sleeve labeling machines can create a tamper-evident seal.


Cost considerations go beyond the initial purchase of equipment. Other factors, such as the speed of application or whether containers can be reused, will need to be considered.

Wrap Around Labels: Wrap around labels and machines generally cost less than shrink labels and machines to purchase and operate. Wrap around labels can also be applied at much quicker rates than shrink labels, and are static-free, which can increase the reliability of the application. 

Shrink Sleeve Labels: Choosing shrink sleeve labels may result in a 25% cost increase over wraparound labels, but according to Resource Label Group, they offer a 150% greater label area. Your product has only a few seconds to make maximum impact on a consumer before their attention moves on to the next item on the shelf. The small increase in initial cost over wraparound labels might be worth it if your product's label has a brilliant design.


Which Label is Right for You? 

You may need the speed of printing and product visibility of wraparound labels, or you might decide that the huge design area and option of built-in tamper-evident seals means you're set on shrink labels. Whether you choose wrap around labels or shrink labels for your beverage, CBD product, cosmetics, or any other product you take pride in manufacturing, Pack Leader USA can help make your labels stay put, winning over customers and increasing your profits.

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