Sleever: 50th anniversary this year!

Sleever Group is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! This anniversary testifies to the Group’s expertise in shrink-sleeve technology (heat-shrinkable label), its constant search for innovation, and its international development serving the most prestigious brands in Beauty and Wines & Spirits.

Explanations by Eric Fresnel, owner and Chairman.  

Question: You’re celebrating your 50th anniversary this year! Has this been a family, financial, and technical saga?   

Eric Fresnel: Sleever is a family-owned group that started out as a start-up which – as our baseline indicates – has combined science and emotion for 50 years: “science creates emotion and emotion inspires science”. Today, we have operations on all five continents. This global presence allows us to be close to our customers. We have been active on the North American market for over 25 years, and we support the development of Luxury Beauty and Wines & Spirits brands.

Our Group’s innovation, creativity, and expertise (over 250 patents, its exclusive material formulations) combined with technological control of the entire value chain, transformation, and equipment manufacture help brands develop their sensory identity and create a unique relationship with their consumers. Sleeves provide personalization, dynamization, and security solutions.

So we are celebrating our 50th anniversary.  Fifty years of international development, in particular thanks to flagship events, such as the Luxe Pack trade fairs and, more specifically, the Luxe Pack NY trade fair, in which we have been participating since the very first event twenty years ago. Fifty years of innovation that has shaped the Luxury world by supporting Brands in their search for differentiation and story telling. By way of example, I can cite some of our innovations inspired by timeless luxury codes, such as PureWhite®, a porcelain finish with the YON-KA brand for a limited edition designed by illustrator Fifi Mandirac.  SkinEffect®,  with its 3D sensory and tactile effects chosen by ORIBE to create the 10-year anniversary collection of its textured hair product by reproducing festive black and gold sequins. Another example, for champagne this time, is the launch, 13 years ago, of IceClub®, an opaque white finishing for MOET & CHANDON’s famous IMPERIAL ICE, which has since become emblematic of this consumption on ice.

Question: Fifty years of rewards shared with your teams and customers!  

Eric Fresnel: That’s right! This recognition is also due to all our employees and their dedication. Their hard work and constant search for excellence, the key to our success, must be hailed! It has allowed us to receive numerous awards, including the Formes de Luxe award in 2006 for Flower By Kenzo decoration, which combines the expression of the brand’s image, the fragrance’s security, and the fragrance’s protection from light. We also received numerous awards for the Canne Bleue vintage collection by Rhums Clément, which showcased Sleever innovations with a “Bronze Pentaward” in 2015 for an all-textured version using Skinsense® followed by another “Bronze Pentaward” in 2019 for an evocative version of the porcelain bottles, one of the first applications of IceClub® in the field of spirits, and a PLD certificate in 2021 for a festive and sensory creation, a blue metal and gold glitter label. And last but not least, a “Red Dot Award” in 2018 for the Laolu limited edition of Belvedere vodka. And since it is the Group which organizes the Luxe Pack trade fairs and publishes the Formes de Luxe magazine, we must cite our Formes de Luxe award in 2020 for Moët & Chandon’s exceptional “Signature” vintage for which we combined the best of our expertise and products.

Question: What is Sleever’s economic weight  today?  

Eric Fresnel: I should remind you that we are the creator of the concept and the innovative pilot of this shrink-sleeve technology. We currently make 70% of our turnover in exports, of which almost 20% are in North America. Our offer includes shrink-sleeves as well as the manufacture of dedicated machinery for their application and services. The Group employs 1,000 people and has an annual turnover of 150 million euros, including 8 million dedicated to research and development. It has eleven industrial sites located in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

Question: You  are present in a large number of markets and provide turnkey solutions! 

Eric Fresnel: Indeed, our expertise applies to multiple markets ranging from luxury and premium markets, such as Wines & Spirits, Perfume, Care, and Makeup, to demanding and very different markets, such as Pharmacy.  

The Group’s technical mastery of the entire value chain, with the integration of all business lines, allows us to offer turnkey solutions to luxury brands and stakeholders, with equipment integrating a circular economy and reducing the carbon footprint. Integrating specific modules, such as marking systems (code, serialization, etc.) for traceability and late differentiation, offers great flexibility.

Question: Environmental and carbon intensity reduction have become  major issues!

Eric Fresnel: Obviously! Our commitment to the ecological transition goes back more than twenty  years! As part of their CSR policy, Luxury Brands have, for several years, oriented their packaging and product strategy towards specific solutions built around the famous  “3Rs”, for which we have designed specific responses:

Recycling: in essence, the shrink-sleeve label is adhesive-free – consequently a temporary, identifiable, and separable finishing of primary packaging. This allows us to offer 360° labeling and decoration solutions while respecting the recyclability of packaging. To enable brands to integrate the circular economy with their PET packaging, we have developed LDPET®, which promotes the closed-loop recyclability of PET and is approved by EPBP packaging in Europe and APR packaging in the USA.  
Reuse: we are increasingly integrating recycled materials into the composition of our sleeves and offer Brands a range of labels and security and promotional products incorporating 30% PCR certified by RecyClass®. We offer shrink-sleeves with pre-cut perforation systems to separate the sleeve from its packaging after use, facilitating its separation and reuse of primary packaging.
Reduction: we are strongly committed to this eco-design approach, which involves reducing material and thickness, in order to move towards carbon neutrality. Our LWPET® product offers a 50% reduction in sleeve thickness depending on usage.
In general, we aim to support market trends in order to offer our customers solutions that are in line with their challenges.

Thus, in terms of ecological transition, we have researched and developed circular economy products for twenty years. This is at the core of our strategy.

Question: Is one of your strengths the diversity of your markets and therefore your  offer?

Eric Fresnel: Yes. We also support brands in their transition to the digital economy, including our latest innovation KolorSmart®. This is a cutting-edge technology that offers a new visual recognition solution allowing the brand to offer the consumer a physical journey to maintain the link between them and the Brand from the point of sale to the home and vice versa. Thanks to this made in France breakthrough technology, the product, connected through its graphic design, also offers the Brand data and visibility on consumer behavior and their purchasing intention.

In a context where the gearing of consumer offerings and the atomisation of markets have changed the product life cycle, understanding the consumer journey, combined with late differentiation, makes sense in this new offering.

Brand behavior needs to be agile and flexible in order to adjust production and distribution flow. To enable them to respond easily to fluctuations in demand, we offer full-service services. For 50 years, we have prioritized a process that is as close as possible to the customer in terms of finishing and we have developed our industrial capacity to suit this mode of operation that includes Brand and product image, marketing, and packaging including the management of component flows and supply chain logistics.