Heat-shrink sleeve labels are seen more and more on various products found on our grocery store shelves. Why? Because they stand out more and are therefore more effective in attracting the attention of consumers.

Billy Bee, Canada’s iconic honey brand, decided to update its packaging and adopt the heat-shrink sleeve label; a decision that turned out to be a sweet move indeed as expounded in a feature article published in the September 2013 issue of Canadian Packaging.

In a stark departure from its previous format, which was a simple beehive-shaped bottle banded with a traditional label, the brand spread its wings with an unconventional recipient featuring a sleeve label over its entire surface. In doing so, the mascot that has been the “face” of this brand for over 50 years literally comes to life in the new packaging. Instead of appearing as a two-dimensional image on an everyday label, Billy Bee crosses over into our world, even right into our hand, in the new bottle and sleeve that now physically embody the cheery honeybee.

The foremost outcome of the makeover is, of course, the impact that it has on consumers when they see the product on store shelves. The shape of the bottle and the choice of colors (gold on black) make a powerful impression on shoppers. Despite its totally different appearance, consumers still recognize the product that they’ve known and loved for the past 55 years. As a result, the changes in no way compromise the brand’s identity.

Just as interesting, the choice of a shrink sleeve actually allowed the company to introduce a bottle that is both original and functional. In addition to personifying Billy Bee, the bottle is optimized to make it easy for children to hold (due to its size) and squeeze. All pertinent information is kept and easy to read.

Lastly, in introducing this new format, Billy Bee is also reducing its carbon footprint since the fabrication of these recipients requires less water and produces less carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.

In other words, the new packaging succeeds on all counts. In daring to take flight with the shrink sleeve, the brand has breathed new life into its star product and endowed it with a fresh image that is appreciated by consumers while also progressing towards a sustainable packaging solution.

Moreover, Billy Bee received a Gold medal in the New Brand Launch category of the 2013 Packaging Awards Competition for its new and innovative package; yet more proof that shrink sleeves represent an excellent alternative to traditional labels.