Monthly Archives: October 2011

  • Out of the Blue: Blue Bunny Recalls Ice Cream

    Wells Enterprises, the producer of Blue Bunny ice cream, has issued a recall of its Blue Bunny Personals product due to labeling errors, the Sioux City Journal reports.

    In some instances, the product advertised as Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic will actually contain Super Chunky Cookie Dough instead. The lid of these containers is accurate, but the actual carton is not.

    According to the company, the ingredients labels on these products do not mention that they contain wheat. People with gluten sensitivities could be negatively affected by the product, so Wells Enterprises decided to recall the batch of ice cream.

    Wells was made aware of this mistake when a grocer called the company to inform it of the packaging error. So far, no adverse reactions have been reported, but Wells still hopes to get all mislabeled packages back. Affected products were sent to retailers in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and 13 other states, the news source notes.

    Consumers with food allergies are more likely to make note of product labels, so having accurate ingredients lists is crucial for these individuals.

  • Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: SFI Responds

    Earlier this month, Greenpeace asserted that some companies were taking advantage of eco-friendly status symbols on their labels to misguide consumers.

    However, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, one of the programs challenged by Greenpeace, has responded to the claims. The organization says the report was based on misinformation, and that brands achieving recognition from the company are indeed practicing sustainable business methods.

    SFI explained that it does not allow conversions which would have adverse effects on the environment, does have requirements to protect natural forests and habitats, and does respect indigenous communities.

    "While we know that people can be swayed by misinformation, we strongly encourage individuals and organizations to seek out the facts about competing programs before forming opinions," SFI recommends.

    "Forest certification can take credit for some of the recent advances in sustainable forest management. This is important that the global supply chain seeks out assurances of responsible forestry when procuring forest products," the company added.

    Consumers are becoming more cognizant of their impact on the environment, so having sustainable logos on product labels can help businesses generate more sales from these shoppers.

  • How New Labels Are Recycling Consumer Misconceptions

    Environmental nonprofit GreenBlue has come up with a new labeling initiative it believes will increase the number of consumers recycling products.

    The reason most consumers throw away their products after they are done with them is because manufacturers don't include directions on how to dispose of them. The Packaging Recovery Label, a voluntary label developed by GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition, hopes to provide this information to consumers.

    "The goals of the labeling system are to reduce confusion for consumers with clear recycling instructions and to develop a consistent, accurate labeling system for companies that adheres to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 'Green Guides,'" DC Velocity reports. A separate report from GreenBlue highlights the problems caused by mislabeling products and the shortcomings of the U.S. recycling system.

    In 2012, a pilot phase will be put into effect, with brands such as Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, REI, Seventh Generation and ConAgra Foods testing the label out.

    Studies have shown customers are becoming more cognizant of the environment, so clearer labels could encourage more Americans to recycle used products. 

  • Fiber Bar Case Dismissed by the Bar

    Chicago courts recently threw out a case that claimed General Mills and Kellogg misrepresented the fiber content in their products, Court House News reports.

    Plaintiff Carolyn Turek asserted that the companies' products are mislabeled as containing 100 percent dietary fiber, when in fact they use different types of the ingredient — some of which can cause stomach problems. For example, Kellogg's "Fiber Plus" bar contains inulin. However, the label suggests all nine grams of fiber amount to one-third of the daily value.

    An Illinois federal judge dismissed the case, however, stating the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 pre-empts the suit.

    "It is easy to see why Congress would not want to allow states to impose disclosure requirements of their own on packaged food products, most of which are sold nationwide," the news source quotes Judge Richard Posner as saying.

    Consumers are pushing for transparency from food manufacturers, and labels will play a crucial role in this effort. Many food producers are beginning to make nutrition labels the focal points of their packaging to help consumers choose healthy products.

  • Banana Republic Dresses Wine Bottles with QR Codes

    Banana Republic has teamed with Clos du Bois Winery to promote both brands through a new quick response code labeling initiative, Mobile Marketer reports.

    Limited-edition bottles of wine from Clos du Bois will feature labels designed by Banana Republic's creative director. The embedded QR codes will lead buyers to online party planning resources, where users can pick holiday party soundtracks, read style advice, garner entertainment ideas and find wine and food pairings.

    "In this campaign, the QR codes are connecting consumers to additional content right from the bottle," David Javitch, vice president of marketing at Scanbuy, told the news source. "This is a fantastic way to extend brand engagement from something as simple as the package, and the content they are providing is adding value to the consumer."

    A growing number of companies are including QR codes on their labels to further drive user engagement. As of August, more than 84 million Americans own smartphone devices, which are needed to redeem QR codes.

  • Government Addresses Food Label Clarity

    A new report issued by Congress suggests food manufacturers should come up with an intuitive and easy-to-understand universal labeling system.

    Congress recommended that the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration work together to develop a standardized labeling system that makes it easier for consumers to grasp the healthiness of products. The Institute of Medicine asserts that every grocery product should have the calorie count of a single serving size featured on the front, along with a health score.

    "Saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars should form the basis of the symbol system. The committee developed an approach to evaluate saturated and trans fats, and sodium — nutrients strongly associated with the most pressing diet-related health concerns, and added sugars," the report notes.

    After such a system has been implemented, the Institute of Medicine advocates a watchdog organization be appointed to ensure food manufacturers abide by it.

    Grocery organizations have already developed a similar system called Facts Up Front, but participation is currently voluntary. The government program would require producers to include the nutritional information.

  • Halloween Products Could Have Scary Ingredients

    With Halloween right around the corner, many Americans are preparing their costumes. However, they should be cautious when using Halloween products.

    A recent report from the ecological group EcoWaste Coalition found that 42 of the 60 Halloween products they tested — ranging from toys and accessories to masks and makeup - contained poisonous chemicals, such as cadmium, lead and mercury.

    "Our latest chemical analysis confirms the presence of toxic metals ... in Halloween products often used by kids and adults in merrymaking," said Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition. "The test results, we hope, will inform and strengthen the ongoing drive by the government and other sectors to rid the market of products containing dangerous chemicals."

    The presence of toxic materials highlights the importance of reading labels. Parents should always check labels before buying products to ensure they are safe. Similarly, retailers need to avoid stocking products that don't come with informative labels, especially if they come from countries with no regulatory bodies.

  • Asian Makeup Manufacturers Cover Up Inorganic Ingredients

    Some Asian cosmetics companies are mislabeling their products to conform to global trends favoring organic ingredients, a new report concludes.

    Organic Monitor, a consultancy group that advises on organic component integration, notes that many consumers want their cosmetics to be chemically clean. To jump on the bandwagon while maintaining low production costs, a number of Asian cosmetic companies are mislabeling their makeup, PackagingDesignMagazine reports.

    Because the cosmetics industry is private, there are no certification standards or binding labeling policies, which is leading to consumer confusion. Some products are being promoted as being organic even when they contain very few organic ingredients, while others are using real organic logos illegitimately.

    This isn't the case with all Asian makeup manufacturers — some understand the importance of transparency and don't want to jeopardize customer loyalty for more sales.

    Consumers need to be observant when purchasing makeup if they want to avoid potentially harmful products that don't use organic ingredients. They should research cosmetics before making a purchase.

  • How to Save Money on Label Design without Being Cheap

    Smart businesses know how to save money on label design without compromising quality When you need artwork created for your product labels, it's almost always in your best interest to hire a professional graphic designer. After all, a product label is your most important, cost-effective marketing vehicle. That said, times are tough. And high-quality graphic design isn't cheap. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to save money on label artwork design — without being cheap compromising quality. Most of them involve saving time, which is especially important as graphic designers typically bill by the hour. Your time is a high value commodity, too. 1. Determine your budget. Before you contact a graphic designer, figure out how much you can afford to spend on label design. While this may seem like common sense, it isn't common practice — especially for people working with design professionals for the first time. Keeping a realistic budget top of mind is essential when shopping for a design firm or independent designer. Once you find yourself face to face with a graphic designer, a budget will give you a starting point for planning your label design project. 2. Figure out what you want. You don't need to hand your designer a full-color drawing the first time you meet, but you do need to determine the message you want your label to communicate, as well as the dimensions of the product container it will be affixed to. Being able to walk into a consultation with these basics already figured out will allow your designer to do what he or she does best — design — instead of billing you for something you can do yourself. After all, you know your product better than anyone else. 3. Hire a local designer. Working with a designer that you can communicate with in person is going to be more efficient than working out every single detail by phone and email. When you are in a face-to-face meeting, you can both focus on the task at hand with minimal interruptions. Good local designers are also easier to find. Ask your colleagues for recommendations. Tap your local network for suggestions and consult your Better Business Bureau. Once you compile a short list of possibilities, conduct interviews. Look for a graphic designer that presents himself as your business partner, one you can foresee working with on a long-term basis. Each firm and independent designer operates differently. Some offer brief consultations free of charge, while others will charge you for an initial consultation. In some cases, the consultation fee is deducted from your invoice if you end up becoming a client. Continue reading

  • Johnson & Johnson Looks To Reclaim Consumer Support

    Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has found consumers are increasingly opting for off-label brands, Bloomberg reports.

    Dominic Caruso, Johnson & Johnson's chief financial officer, says the problem stems from quality. Several Johnson & Johnson products — ranging from children's Tylenol to Motrin — have been recalled over the past years, which has made consumers more conscious of other brands.

    "Given that [Johnson & Johnson has] been off the shelves, and in a weak economy, it's natural that a lot of people moved to private labels," Jeff Jonas, a Gabelli & Co. analyst, told the news source. "It is going to be tough to bring them back because people see those other products work just fine and they're cheaper."

    Johnson & Johnson hopes to win back the minds of consumers by repositioning its brand, which could include everything from printing coupons to new labels.

    Coupons have proven to be an effective way of getting consumers to buy products during the economic recession. Many brands include discounts as a part of their labels, which can be torn off and used at the time of purchase.

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Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.