A look inside our label lab: Specialised testing for wine labels
Both performance and beauty are paramount for all of our wine label clients. At MCC we will ensure your wine stands proud on the busy retail shelf and your label does justice to the unique positioning of your brand. Our in-house specialised testing processes help to ensure that the finished label not only looks sharp, but also works as it should: no scuffed labels before they even get on shelf, no labels floating off the bottle and into the ice bucket, and no grey moisture-damaged labels in the fridge.
We use specialist and customised equipment in our laboratory, specifically for the testing of self adhesive labels. We conduct wine label tests based on procedures outlined in international standards such as FINAT and ISO, as well as proprietary test methods we have developed for our specific, local requirements.
Here we share three key tests that we perform in our laboratory specifically for the wine industry.
What are they?
- Ice Bucket test
- Transportation Simulation test
- Cobb test
Why do we test?
In carrying out these tests we support our wine clients with an industry-leading research and development service. This ensures we specify the right labels for your wine labelling requirements, taking into consideration material look and performance, label embellishments and finishes, application method and environment, supply chain considerations, and much more.
What are the tests?
The Ice Bucket test
The ice bucket test is specific to the wine industry and is predominantly used to test labels for white and sparkling wines which are, of course, stored and served chilled. We measure the performance of a labelled bottle which has been immersed in a water and ice bath. This test determines the label’s stability and resistance to damage whilst stored in an ice bucket. This is a qualitative test where we conduct a visual inspection by looking for any bubbling, tunnelling and water penetration to measure performance. We can then recommend a label material best suited to our client’s situation.
The Transportation Simulation test
In our laboratory we have a custom-built vibration machine that simulates what happens to a carton of product when shipped via road, to measure the impact of transport on the label in the supply chain. The testing simulates various vibrations and temperatures that the case of wine will encounter. After testing, each label is examined for evidence of damage such as scuffing, abrasion, ink removal and label tear.
The Cobb test
The Cobb test is an industry-standard method for measuring moisture absorption of paper labels. It is used by many industries, including wine and beverage markets, particularly where labels are exposed to large amounts of moisture and condensation – such as the ice bucket, the retail chiller or the home fridge. The Cobb test determines the quantity of water that can be absorbed by the surface of a paper label, and the effectiveness of the paper to repel the water in a given time under standardised conditions. We are then able to rate and compare different materials, which informs our recommendations for a solution that will meet your requirements and expectations. You can read more about this test on our blog A look inside our label lab: Measuring moisture resistance with the Cobb test.
In combination these three tests provide a powerful picture of how your wine label will perform. Our goal is to identify the most appropriate solution for your wine to ensure your brand is best represented in front of your consumers, out in the market. Make the time to effectively test your label material before any problems arise. Talk to one of our experienced Account Managers to see how we can help.