There’s nothing like a cold craft beer! It’s estimated that craft beers sales are growing at 15-20 percent annually. In 2015 craft beer sales exceeded $22.3 billion. With all of this growth and competition how does a micro-brewer stand apart from the crowd? Sure, you can have a great brew, cool labeling, and a hot social media campaign, but being sure your brews are served fresh will keep customers and local taprooms coming back for more. Clearly displaying accurate date coding on your bottles will let everyone know you take brewing seriously.
The Brewers Association recommends that date lot code be clearly coded to aid with marketing freshness, but more importantly traceability for brewers, distributors, importers, and consumers. According to the Bioterrorism Act, brewers are required to insure traceability of their beer. Brewers must keep internal records of the specific ingredients, including manufacture lot numbers that were used in individual batches.
Having clearly labeled lot coding benefits the producers, distributors, and the consumers. The most vital role in lot coding is in the unfortunately event of a quality of safety recall. While brewers to there best to prevent recalls, it is essential to be prepared for them. Empowering retailers and distribution chains to utilize a first-in first-out strategy will ensure that stock stays fresh Allowing consumers to understand the shelf life of beer educates the public about the industry, but more importantly about how brewers value freshness and transparency.
According the Brewers Association, there are several best practices for coding craft beer*:
- Standard or Gregorian Date package date coding
- “Best by” dating
- Julian date coding
- Unique company specific date coding
SSI packaging group are date and lot coding specialists. We have coding solutions for the smallest of brewers in the country to the largest. For bottle and can lot coding our Jet2NEO continuous inkjet printer by Leibinger, and our .UNO system. UNO system by ink. jet are both compacts and economical. The Jet2NEO has a unique Sealtronic system that prevents the ink from being exposed to air, and therefore preventing clogging and additional maintenance between product runs. The UNO high resolution system features ink cartridges from HP and is a great turnkey solution for brewers.
When it comes to case coding for craft brewers, print image and code accuracy is key for successful distribution and sales. Simple to use and maintain case coding systems from SSI Packaging Group include:
- Inc.jet .UNO
- Inc.jet . core
- Julian date coding
Of course, SSI Packaging Group is your complete warehouse solution as well with thousands of warehouse supplies in stock every day. From boxes and carton sealing tape, to high speed lot coding systems for bottles and cases, at SSI Packaging Group “we help you pack an track your image”®