Label-less packaging: gimmick or effective?

In a move towards sustainability, Sprite recently announced it would remove labels from its bottles in a UK trial. CR speaks to a handful of experts about the risk to brand recognition, and whether these initiatives actually make a difference or whether it’s just a good bit of PR

Last week, Sprite declared it would be “stripping off the labels” from their Sprite bottles in a short UK trial lasting until March across eight Tesco Express stores. Instead of labels, the 100% recyclable clear bottles will feature an embossed logo on the front of the pack and “laser-engraved product information on the back”.

The idea is to simplify the recycling process and reduce the use of packaging materials. Of course, by removing the only element that contains the Sprite logo, there’s a risk the brand will no longer be recognised on a crowded shelf.

“It is quite a bold move, because they’re really losing brand recognition space. Without the label, the logo isn’t as prominent. Looking at photographs you can hardly see that it’s Sprite,” says Jo Barnard, founder and creative director of design agency Morrama. “It just looks like a clear bottle with a green cap, so it will be interesting to see whether that’s a barrier.”

Top and above: Sprite’s label-less bottles on trial in the UK