Shrink Sleeve Labels Offer Customization and Creative Solutions

A case study illustrates improved messaging and increased sales.

When it comes to product appeal, packaging is paramount. To capture a customer’s attention, you need packaging that showcases your brand in the best possible light and entices a customer to move your product from the shelf to the shopping cart. Waterloo Container’s sleeving process uses color, 360 design, feel and coverage to turn an ordinary bottle into something extraordinary — a captivating and cost-effective work of art that can dramatically increase sales.

“Shrink Bottle Sleeves are a creative marketing solution that meets the challenges of today’s wine packaging industry”, says Bobbi Stebbins, Marketing Director at Waterloo Container Company. “Customers said they wanted their products to look different from the competition. At the same time, they are very cost conscious and want the most value per dollar spent on packaging. Since only so many bottle designs are available, and custom bottle molds can be expensive, choosing to label with shrink sleeves is a great way to create visual interest and add messaging space to any label.  In addition, shrink sleeves can be enhanced with special effects and textures not achievable with paper labels.  This is another way to grab attention”

Benefits of bottle sleeving:

  • Make a less expensive bottle look expensive through color, design, feel and coverage
  • 360 design capability
  • Bottles ready to fill (no labels, blue, label labor)
  • Works on complex shaped bottles
  • Small runs that may be available for market testing and prototypes
  • Spill proof, wipeable sleeves reduce waste at filling

This recent case study involving Waterloo Container’s client Tennessee Homemade illustrates the benefits of bottle shrink sleeving.

The Challenge: Tennessee Homemade wanted to differentiate its cream-based wines from other wines in their Experimental Series. With a product with an ingredient composition similar to Mountain Chocolate, some ingredient striation or fallout is expected, resulting in a visual marketing hurdle.

The Solution: Tennessee Homemade decided to focus on the label update using heat shrink sleeves applied at Waterloo Container to address both challenges simultaneously. Upgrading the label was relatively seamless, as glass and closures were already supplied at Waterloo Container. As a bonus, a less expensive glass color and capsule worked with the new label design, helping to reduce overall package costs.

The Result: Mountain Chocolate is now one of the top selling wines in Tennessee Homemade's entire catalog, and the largest seller of the companies cream varieties. The full color coverage of the new sleeve on the seasonal-favorite Pumpkin product pops on the shelf. Tennessee Homemade is planning to produce more cream varieties and will definitely choose bottle sleeving to market them.

More than 40 years of experience

Waterloo Container is a family-owned wine and beverage packaging supplier with more than 40 years of experience in the wine packaging industry. Bottle sleeving clients who work with Waterloo Container get in-house sleeve project management and a dedicated customer service representative. The company offers two steam tunnels (including a state-of-the-art high speed shrink sleeve applicator), stock bottles ready for sleeving and the ability to do multiple projects by hand on different shapes and sizes of bottles. Waterloo works with clients to make sleeving work for their product. They’ll also work with a client’s preferred sleeve vendor or order sleeves for the client.


Price is determined by volume, application method and packaging needs. Glass and sleeve costs are additional. Cost includes repack required for every sleeve project. Automated sleeve application is less costly than hand sleeve application. Once all pertinent information is provided, your service representative will provide a quote.

To get started, choose your bottles and let your imagination go wild. Your Waterloo Container Sales Representative will assist you in filling out a Sleeve Project Worksheet that provides Waterloo with all the details needed to start the project. Waterloo stays with you throughout every step of the process. Samples of sleeved bottles, caps and closures are available upon request. For more information, visit

Waterloo Container

Waterloo Container

Waterloo Container is a premier packaging supplier, offering an unmatched variety of glass bottles for wine, liquor and spirits, and beer. Complete your package with our huge inventory of corks, capsules, and closures. We offer state-of-the-art Custom UV 8 color bottle printing and high-speed shrink sleeve labeling at our own steam tunnel. Repack is also available. We can completely customize your bottle, cap, and box to enhance your shelf presence and make you stand out! As a family-owned business founded in 1980 by current President, Bill Lutz, we are unmatched in experience, expertise and service within the wine packaging industry. We are proud to have been an integral part of the wine and craft beverage industry’s growth in Eastern North America. Check out our products at today! Call 1-888-539-3922 to place an order with one of our friendly customer service representatives!