Case Study with Flensburger

More Contemporary and Sustainable: Flensburger’s New Bottle Labels

Case Study on Cold Transfer Finishing of Labels in the Beverage Industry

The history of LEONHARD KURZ and Flensburger Brauerei - also known as FLENS in northern Germany - goes back a few years. As early as 2012, both companies were already in touch with a view to teaming up. Although this didn’t lead to a concrete project at first, KURZ at least created the finishing on the anniversary edition for the brewery’s 125th anniversary in 2013.

And about a decade later, the ball started rolling. A Hamburg-based design agency hosted a Designer’s Day in Fürth, which took place as part of KURZ LABEL WEEKS. Inevitably, at the major in-house exhibition, people also talked about the traditional brewery from Schleswig-Holstein - and that's how it came about that Heike Zilm, product manager at Flensburger, also accepted a subsequent invitation to Fürth, the Franconian city. At the same time, Flensburger already had a close collaborative relationship with the printing company Ellerhold Glücksburg GmbH, as labels were regularly printed there.

Now all the key sparring partners were ready. Won over by KURZ’s innovative technologies for the label and packaging industry, and the successful, trust-based collaboration with Ellerhold, an extensive partnership got the green light.

Andreas Tembrockhaus and Sylke Moerke, Flensburger brewery management, in front of a brew kettle

Flensburger Brewery

Flensburger Brauerei Emil Petersen GmbH & Co. KG is Schleswig-Holstein’s largest private brewery. Its hallmark since 1888: The swing top bottle for the unmistakable ‘plop’ sound.

Exterior view of the company building of the printing company Ellerhold Glücksburg GmbH in Wees near Flensburg

Ellerhold Glücksburg GmbH

The printing company in Germany’s far north is part of the Ellerhold Group, which produces posters, labels, packaging, and displays at a total of seven German locations.

Designbüro Hamburg logo; black, italics on yellow background

designbüro. hamburg

The Hamburg-based design team led by Stefan Wredenhagen and Sibylle Helmholz has been supporting its customers with visionary ideas and creations for over 20 years.

The Goal

Flensburger’s new brand image is more open and fresh, with the labels more clearly structured and looking tidier overall. The gold and silver shades (gold for alcoholic and silver for non-alcoholic beverages) were used more selectively and sparingly. In addition to the more modern design, the focus was also on more naturalness and sustainability in both the material used and the finishing, because until now the labels were mainly made of metallized paper in other European countries.

“The big challenge was to find a solution that would continue to deliver high-quality print results, while still relying on more environmentally friendly materials and processes, as well as being regional and efficient,”

says Heike Zilm, who is responsible for the label relaunch.

KURZ LABEL WEEKS had exactly what was needed: Ellerhold Glücksburg GmbH from the municipality of Wees near Flensburg was commissioned to do the printing.

Photo of the Flensburger Pilsener carrier with six bottles in a blue cardboard box with the lettering 'plop'

The Solution

The label finishing was carried out by the Ellerhold printing company using KURZ ECOFIN®. The cold-transfer decoration impresses with brilliant printing results on a thin 10 µm transfer carrier (formerly 12 µm), which now uses 17 percent less material and can save on roll changes by increasing the roll running meters. Printing is done on white, slightly textured paper instead of the usual predominantly metallized paper - this fulfills the desire to act more sustainably and also more regionally, with the already well-established printing company Ellerhold as a partner.

Other Advantages of Finishing via Cold Transfer:


  • High-gloss and matte in gold and silver
  • Optimal process characteristics
  • Perfect edge sharpness and excellent adhesion
  • Filigree or full-surface designs possible
KURZ DISTORUN®: Single-image and continuous designs via cold transfer
DISTORUN®: Brilliant results even with intricate designs

“We found using ECOFIN® totally straightforward, as there was neither a need to change complete machines nor a loss of print speeds,”

reports Birger Christiansen, Managing Director at Ellerhold.

The skilled cooperation between Flensburger and Ellerhold was already established, so that going forward, according to Flensburger, several million bottle labels are to be created at Ellerhold each year using ECOFIN®.


As an innovation driver, we have improved the efficiency of the cold foil process with unique decoration solutions all around. In line with our aspiration to ‘be a green leader,’ we always lead the way in terms of sustainability and, in addition to the thinnest decorative layers on the market, we also offer deinkable and compostable finishing qualities as well as fully recyclable transfer products with a PET take-back and reuse system that is unique in the industry. But we are not only a provider of innovative complete solutions, where our customers get machines, software, consumables, and service from a single source, but also a competent and well-connected partner. In short: KURZ doesn’t do anything in half measures! Neither do its partners, which is why Ellerhold, Flensburger, and KURZ form the perfect triad. Various transfer products were therefore supplied for test purposes, and the Ellerhold printing company was on hand to provide advice on technical questions. The result of this professional collaboration was a stunning label that can now shine at the POS.

Here’s what Michael Teschmit, Sales Expert Industry Labels / Brands & Designers at LEONHARD KURZ, says about the partnership: 

“We are delighted to have provided the right impetus and created regional links for the relaunch of Flensburger labels together with Ellerhold. The result is an all-round successful project with a focus on sustainability.”

Close-up of gold cold transfer finishing with reference to the thin substrate of 6 µm

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View of a ready-printed sheet with the matte shimmering Flensburger Gold labels