roll-fed labels

Roll-Fed Labels: A Commercially Viable Solution

The Kennedy Group Label and Packaging

Roll-Fed Film Provides Assortment of Label Benefits

Roll-fed labels check all the boxes when considered as a commercial labeling solution. Roll-fed film leads to the production of labels that are more cost-effective, provide a visual punch on store shelves, won’t slow down production processes, and are more sustainable.

Sometimes referred to as unsupported film labels, roll-fed labels are supplied via a continuous roll of labels without a liner or adhesive pre-applied. Application machinery cuts the roll into individual labels and then adds an adhesive as the label wraps around the container.

The Kennedy Group has provided labeling solutions for many companies across various different industries for more than four decades. We know how effective roll-fed film can be for a variety of labeling needs, including durability and cost-effectiveness. Today we’ll discuss four of the biggest benefits of using roll-fed labels for your commercial packaging needs.

4 Benefits of Roll-Fed Labels

Generally speaking, the benefits of roll-fed labels can be summarized into one of four areas: Appearance, Cost, Usage, and Variability. Let’s dive into each of these segments in more detail.

Visual Impact

One of the most noteworthy strengths of using roll-fed labels is the impact they can have on your products visually, and the aid they can give them compared to others on store shelves. Roll-fed film labels are made to fit the outer dimensions of your container and can provide complete coverage of almost any round container — be it a jar of peanut butter, a water bottle, or an automotive product canister. Roll-fed film can be used on many container materials including plastic, glass, and metal.

While you won’t get full shrink capabilities (typical roll-fed film has only 5-7% shrink), you will be able to potentially maximize 360 degrees of marketing opportunity. This wrap-around label space is much more difficult to execute with pressure sensitive labels and provides more area for marketing messaging, product information, and other elements on the label itself.

With the full-color capacity of roll-fed film, often further enhanced with flexographic printing, you’ll also have the ability to design eye-catching graphics that will add shelf appeal. The end result is a full wraparound label that can be packed with vibrant, crisp graphics.

Cost and Sustainability

One of the major differences between pressure sensitive labels and their roll-fed counterparts is the use of a liner and pre-applied adhesive needed to make pressure sensitive labels stick to the product. Roll-fed labels do not use a liner or adhesive in the process of being applied to the product, instead using adhesive only to ‘connect’ the label around the container.

This is a substantial difference in the amount of material used in the labeling process. Roll-fed labels typically measure only 1.5 mils (0.0381 millimeters). This is half of the width associated with more traditional labeling methods (3.0 mils, or 0.0762 mm).

The use of fewer materials means both the cost to produce the labels is lower, and the environmental impact of roll-fed labels is less. Roll-fed film labels, when applied to recyclable materials like water bottles, can also be more easily removed prior to putting the container into a recycling bin. This means processing that container is easier and comes with fewer complications in the recycling chain.

Usage and Efficiency

Because roll-fed labels use fewer materials in the application process, they cost less to implement. This cost difference can be substantial in larger production runs. There will be savings no matter the size, but even a fractional difference in price will yield large savings if the run is in the hundreds of thousands — or millions — range. But with quick turnarounds possible and low minimums needed, roll-fed labels can be used on a variety of production run sizes.

And implementing roll-fed labels won’t negatively affect the production time, but instead will actually improve it. Roll-fed labels are able to be processed more quickly than pressure sensitive versions of the same type and scope. In testing done by The Kennedy Group, roll-fed labels were applied at a rate of 500-700 bottles per minute. This was an approximate 20% improvement over the rate for pressure sensitive labels in the same environment.


While roll-fed labels provide marketing opportunity, visual impact, efficiency, and potential savings, you don’t have to eschew optional or special elements. You’ll still have access to specialty finishes and options to further add to the individual nature of your labels.

Depending on the desired appearance, you can choose from clear, metallic, and white opaque films to add distinct looks. Clear films enable a clear-on-clear (‘no label’) look that can highlight or draw attention to the color of your product. With a white opaque film, inks that may be harder to see on a clear label will stand out more, or pop, on the finished product.

There are many more options available to roll-fed film labels. There’s the capability for holographic imaging, you can use a metallic finish for a distinguished look, or employ cold foil for extra emphasis on fine details and consistency.

Partner with TKG for Roll-Fed Labels — and Much More

No matter your needs or industry, The Kennedy Group has the knowledge and expertise to help you create label solutions. As an innovative, quality-driven, family-owned business with more than 40 years of experience, we’ve developed capabilities in-house to accommodate and address all of your labeling and material handling needs.

We’ll also back up our work with service. With our roll-fed film products, we’ll assign application engineers to go to your location to conduct tests on how the film interacts with your machinery and products. Our engineers work in your facility to make any necessary adjustments — to the machinery or film — to ensure that it runs in the manner and fashion that you need and expect.

That is just one example of the many ways we can provide ideal labeling solutions. Contact The Kennedy Group today to acquire samples of our roll-fed film products to see if they’re right for you, or to receive a free quote.