Canned Wine: Shrink Sleeves vs. Printed Cans

As people go outside to enjoy summer activities, the demand rises for portable, outdoor friendly wine containers. Wine in a can has become popular among consumers and continues to take up more shelf space in stores, with both large and small brands adding canned wine to their product lines. Customers interested in 360° top-to-bottom graphics on canned wine have two labeling options: printed cans or shrink sleeves.


Printed cans have a high minimum order requirement, longer lead times, and can be more expensive for small to mid-size producers who don’t need a large quantity of cans. Therefore, it is not always the best choice for brands that are just getting into shrink sleeves, want more flexibility with their design, and faster print-to-market solutions.

Design Flexibility and Color

Shrink sleeves allow brands to trial different designs in the marketplace more easily, since the order requirement is smaller and the lead time is faster. Customers also gain flexibility by being able to change or upgrade designs when they want – instead of waiting to run through a large inventory of printed cans. Furthermore, colors are more vibrant and opaque when printed on a shrink sleeve. Ink that is printed directly on cans appears muted and hazy due to the gray metallic of the can showing through the ink. Shrink sleeves ensure your graphics pop and helps your brand stand out on the shelf.

Savings for Small to Mid-Size Producers

Another benefit of shrink sleeves is the savings for small to mid-size producers. Shrink sleeves are an affordable option for customers who do not want to invest in a large quantity of printed cans. The minimum order quantity for printed cans typically starts at 100,000 cans, or twelve pallets. While the cost per can is higher for shrink sleeves, small to mid-size producers end up spending much more for printed cans that go unused and/or can’t be used the following year due to information changes or new government label requirements.


Lead times for printed cans can be up to six months, which is a big obstacle to get products to market quickly. Customers who buy printed cans must get in line and wait much longer than shrink sleeves orders that can be completed in four to six weeks.

Want to learn more or receive samples? Contact our shrink sleeve expert Perla Soto at