Cider Corner: How Educational Are Your Labels?

​A key selling point in the creation of a label is being able to communicate what’s inside the glass​ or can​ when ​you, a sales rep or anyone else educating the consumer, is not around​.

Ben Wenk of Ploughman Cider said he spent a lot of time on ​getting the look right. ​It’s not just to be ​aesthetically pleasing​, but to also teach a potential consumer of what is inside.​

​”​We wanted something that had some simplicity and refinement but it also had to look like it was made on a farm because, well​ ​… it was, and that’s the most important thing for us​,” he said​.

Chris Denkers of Coyote Hole Ciderworks said labels need to catch the eye of the consumer and draw them in so that they take a closer look.

“All of our ciders (minus Sangria) are between 6.7-6.9 percent ABV, so making sure people know that our ciders have a higher than average ABV is important,” he said. The cidery also puts a story about the cider or the name and where it comes from on the label.

Ben Nielsen of Lassen Cider said he wanted to have a vintage appeal that harkens back to the history of cider and its esteemed status as one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the early part of our country’s history. He used the old fruit crate labels for inspiration.

​Wenk had Ploughman Ciders’ look go with a traditional front/back labeling technique, with the front making a simple statement about what’s in the bottle​ and​ the back giving insight to the drinker as to some of the more unique qualities of the cider.

​”​We feel like the best communication is the most simple/straightforward communication, for better or worse​,” he said.​

Although labeled cans add cost, they also allow for larger variety because producers don’t have to invest as much volume in each flavor to get to the pre-printed can minimums, ​noted Swift Cider’s Aidan ​Currie.

Swift is choosing to work with the sticker labels because Currie said ​he wanted​ the option to heat pasteurize off-dry ciders​ — shrink wrap labels would deform in a pasteurizer — so ​labels can be applied afterward​.

Currie pointed out that more ​cider ​brands are taking the same approach, which is normalizing the labeled-can look.

For consumers in the know, the sticker labels are also a good tip off that the product came from a small producer.

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