Soon to be celebrating its 150th anniversary, Bayer has been the gardener’s friend for generations, helping keep lawns pristine and borders vibrant. That famous Bayer Cross logo hasn’t stayed on top by standing still, which is why the Bayer Garden range now incorporates a series of Ready To Use (RTU) sprays, with bottles clad in shrink film made from Eastman Embrace™ copolyester.
Embrace™ catches the eye, but its appeal goes beyond the superficial. Unlike the old-school pressure-sensitive labels they supersede, Embrace™ shrink films offer great performance when faced with long-term exposure to the garden spray’s natural habitat: the damp, musty shed.
“We’d expect an RTU to last a season or maybe two, but it really depends on how active the gardener is,” says Steve Mead, head of marketing at Bayer Garden. “Those using it over a longer period will typically keep it in the shed, where historically labels fade with age. Embrace™ is resistant to that: the product will look just as good after a couple of years as it did when it was bought.”
For gardeners the appeal of the Embrace™-clad RTU begins in the shopping aisle. “We have a massive thumbs-up for the shrink sleeves, they introduce a whole new appeal into the market,” says Mead. “Our containers have become much more fun to look at, which makes it easier to shop.
“Sales of RTUs took off once we started using Embrace™. I can’t stress how big an improvement it is over pressure-sensitive labels. It makes the bottles look better but also nicer to pick up and handle. From a marketing perspective, it allows us to be more creative and colorful with the design of the packaging because obviously there is more surface area to play with. The shrink sleeves allow us to have any color we want. Consumers staring at a busy garden care shelving unit tend to go for the impulse purchase: they buy whichever product leaps off the shelf.”
In addition to vibrant color, changing to Embrace™ has allowed Bayer Garden to significantly de-clutter its packaging. The required regulatory information and instructions become less cramped, leaving more space available for graphics and photography. And everything is displayed with improved clarity, thanks to the excellent printability of the shrink film.
The new, energetic Bayer Garden RTUs are revolutionary. The greatest compliment is Bayer’s competitors are now also beginning to shed their pressure-sensitive labels in an effort to compete, attempting to replicate what Jon Cowan, sales director at CCL Decorative Sleeving, Bayer Garden’s shrink sleeve printer, calls “a complex pack to create.”
“The pack is of a complex shape and requires a very high shrink percentage,” Cowan says. “With design features like the finger grips at the top, it’s a very uneven shape and therefore an uneven shrink, and because these are big bottles, the side-to-side orientation is very important. The big, bold colors and the graphics are also challenging, particularly because the high shrink rate requires some pre-distortion.
“Basically, creating the films that met all of these criteria made it very important to choose a high-quality, reliable, high shrink material. Embrace™ was selected because it was the highest performance material available for this project.”
Bayer Garden’s portfolio of one-liter RTU trigger sprays featuring Embrace™ continues to expand. And with the endless range of vibrant colors and graphics offered with Embrace™, it could still be rolling out new designs when Bayer celebrates 200 years.