There are so many reasons why hard seltzer labels have taken the world by storm. They’re lower-calorie, gluten-free, and go down easy. Their ballooning popularity is changing the beverage industry in a big way. In 2022, their global market size was 13.48 billion USD and in 2023, they’re set to grow to 18.7 billion.
Because of this, you may be tempted to launch a line yourself, either as a new brand or as part of a pre-existing one. If you’re in the latter category, there are a lot of people who are thinking like you. That’s why it’s imperative to absolutely nail your packaging. And we’re happy to help you wrap your head around what making labels for a hard seltzer will entail.
Here’s what you need to know about designing and manufacturing your hard seltzer labels:
Essential requirements for hard seltzer labels
Let’s start with the simplest (but not least important) details that you must legally include on a hard seltzer label. Here they are:
Here are the essentials:
- Brand name
- Class (e.g., hard seltzer) and type designation (e.g., natural lime hard seltzer) in French and English
- Alcohol content (e.g., 5% alcohol content) in French and English on the front panel
- Name of the company
- Net content (355 ml)
- A list of ingredients in French and English
- A list of allergens, gluten sources and sulphites at a level of 10 ppm or more in French and English
- Nutrition facts (e.g., 100 calories) in French and English
Labelling of alcoholic beverages is controlled by the government of Canada. If you want to learn more, these are the detailed guidelines.
Sizing your hard seltzer labels
It is likely that your seltzer is going to end up in one of two can sizes: 355 ml or 473 ml. And those two sizes can end up being produced in a variety of different shapes. Depending on how tall your can is, these are the label sizes you’ll be looking at. (Also, note that if you produce a seltzer in both can sizes, you should choose a label that looks good on both of them. You’ll save quite a bit of money that way.)
Picking the right materials
Think about what the average alcoholic beverage can goes through: transported long distances, knocked around, dunked in water, subjected to a wide range of temperature changes. That’s why their labels have to be particularly robust. What material types will go the distance but also suit particular design choices?
These are the options:
Applying gloss lamination to a hard seltzer label gives it that brilliant, light-catching finish – a true eye-catcher. Plus, it adds a touch of luxury by making the label thicker.
Just like gloss lamination, matte lamination transforms your hard seltzer label’s appearance and texture. With its subtle, natural look, matte stands out as a unique choice. In a world where gloss dominates, opting for matte could be your secret to grabbing attention.
Spot UV is all about adding a glossy finish to select areas of your hard seltzer label, creating a captivating 3D effect. It’s a cost-effective way to infuse elegance and sophistication into your product’s appearance.
Foil adds a striking look to your label, making it stand out. Incorporating metallic foil takes it up a notch, infusing a lavish, elegant touch. Elevate your seltzer’s visual appeal with these premium design techniques. This look can also be achieved by printing directly onto a silver substrate using no extra dies.
Designing your hard seltzer labels
Truthfully, a lot of the same design advice applies to all different types of alcoholic beverage labels. Obviously, on crowded liquor store shelves you need something that catches the eye while remaining on brand. That’s always the goal! But when it comes to hard seltzer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Reflect the experience
Aside from the fact that hard seltzer is lower-calorie and gluten-free, why do people reach for this type of drink? A fizzy, fruity seltzer is refreshing, easy to drink, and above all else, a lot of fun. Does your label design reflect that effervescent experience?
Highlight your difference
There is a lot of hard seltzer competition out there these days, so what’s your difference? Is it your unique flavours? Is it a particularly low-calorie offering? How can your design really showcase that differentiation?
Craft beer and wine labels have been utilizing unique works of art for some time now, and hard seltzer brands are now following suit. Hiring an artist to create custom artwork—like illustrations that reflect the themes of your beverage—is a way to instantly elevate your brand.
These are our basic but still pretty thorough guidelines for designing functional, legally compliant hard seltzer labels that will generate buzz for your brand. But if you still have questions, please reach out! We love talking about the ins and outs of label design and production, especially with the creative and dynamic entrepreneurs in the alcoholic beverages industry.