A growth opportunity: Retail Removable Labels

Most of us have been frustrated at some point when trying to remove labels from a recent purchase. In a recent US study by Avery Dennison involving more than 800 consumers, eight out of ten respondents said they had experienced a difficult time removing a label in the last year*, with kitchen-related purchases the worst offenders. More than half reported a sticky residue left behind on a product, and four-fifths said they had felt frustrated when removing a label.

Brand loyalty can be jeopardized by a retail label that delivers poor customer experience, which might include permanent marking or extended time spent removing the label. Product returns can also rise as a result. Yet many buyers of labelling are still unaware of the importance of choosing a suitable removable labelling material – opting for the wrong removable construction or even a permanent label instead. The challenge for label converters is twofold: how to create awareness and resulting demand in end users, and how to access the resources they need for dependable removable label applications.

When to use removable labels
Removable or temporary labels can provide tracking, pricing, product identification or promotional information. All must be easy to remove when no longer needed. Example applications include promotional/retail (price tagging, magazines and books); window stickers; auction house labels; and administration labels.

Selecting a removable labelling material
Removable labels can be selected predictably given the right information and resources – and with a methodical approach that takes note of all relevant factors. Those factors include all of the following:

  • Material of the substrate - e.g. stainless steel, glass, ceramics, wood, HDPE, polypropylene or polyester
  • The product it is being applied to - e.g. is it flat, curved, textured, corrugated, coated with varnish or oils
  • Label facestock - which may be paper or film
  • Label size
  • Fragility of the product it is being applied to
  • Durability requirements
  • Environmental factors

Get any of these wrong, and the resulting issues include a torn paper facestock; substrate ghosting (a faint area of discolouration left behind); adhesive residue; and ‘butterflying’ (where label edges detach).

Avery Dennison advises and collaborates with converters and end users to make sure that the right solution is chosen for individual removables applications. Such close technical support is important, because relatively small variations can make a difference (so what worked last time might need to be adjusted this time, unless all factors are unchanged).

The broadest portfolio of removable adhesive technologies in the industry means that Avery Dennison can meet most removable application needs – including prime papers, films and thermal materials. The range includes FSC®-certified and recycled materials, to improve on sustainability.

"As consumers, almost all of us have experienced frustration at some point when trying to remove a label from a new purchase. We believe that removable labels are an area where label converters can really make a difference, not only by enhancing the brand image of their customers, but all the way down to individual consumer experiences. We are committed to giving the detailed technical support needed to select the right label with confidence. Most converters need assistance with some removable label applications, and we are here to help with material selection.” Carolina Svensson, Product Manager Removable Labels Avery Dennison EMEA

*On February 16, 2017, Ipsos fielded five questions for Avery Dennison in its daily eNation Omnibus to 1,000 adults across the U.S. A total of 819 participants qualified to answer these questions.