Monthly Archives: February 2012

  • Whole Foods is the Driving Company Behind Clean Labeling

    Clean labeling — promoting a product by advertising natural ingredients or nutritional value on the label — has become more common among food brands.

    According to Jennifer Lindsey, director of marketing for DuPont Nutrition, the grocer Whole Foods is a leader in the adoption of clean labeling. Before that company became involved, many food manufacturers were conducting clean labeling initiatives based on what they thought their customers wanted, which produced a difference in standards.

    Whole Foods, on the other hand, created a list of unhealthy ingredients, which many brands have come to use.

    "In the absence of an official definition of what constitutes clean-label or natural ingredients, Whole Foods is the one who has willingly stepped out on a limb to define what it — and its customers — consider unacceptable," Lindsey told Foodnavigator USA. "In doing that, it has provided consumers, and the entire food industry, with a benchmark that many have found very useful in addressing this issue."

    Some confusion has arisen because consumers can get confused by labeling terms such as "all-natural," which is an issue that brands should avoid as they employ clean labeling tactics.

  • Kirkland Signature Recycles Old Labels

    Private-label firm Kirkland Signature is rolling out a line of new recycling labels on cans, bottles, bags, overwrap and boxes, Packaging Digest reports.

    The labels are part of the new Packaging Recovery Label System that is being implemented — voluntarily — by a number of companies this year. Early adopters hope the new labels make it more clear how certain products should and can be recycled, something that many big-name brands believe consumers struggle with.

    "The labeling system includes three main label options, each describing a different level of national access to recycling for the product at hand: widely recycled (60 percent or greater access to recycling), limited recycling (between 20 percent and 60 percent access) and not yet recycled (less than 20 percent access)," the news source explains.

    Several other brands, including Campell Soup, Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Unilever, similarly use the new labeling system.

    Companies that aren't eco-friendly may not have the same appeal to consumers, so using the new labels may improve customer perception.

  • Twisting the Truth: Unclear Labels Trouble Nutrilite

    Amway is facing a lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest for the allegedly misleading labels of its Nutrilite line of dietary drinks and products.

    Nutrilite's Fruits and Vegetables 2Go Twist Tubes, for example, claim to have two servings of fruits and vegetables. However, upon reading the fine print on the label, it actually says they only have the antioxidant equivalent of two servings. The company's Immunity Twist Tubes are similarly flawed, suggesting the product will provide sickness immunity - a claim that is unlawful, CSPI notes.

    Now, the organization is looking to take legal action unless Amway stops misrepresenting its products and revises its packaging.

    "Amway is sending a horrible health message to American consumers when it holds out its Twist Tubes as a shortcut to getting the health benefits of real food," said CSPI staff litigator Seema Rattan. "People who want the health benefits of two servings of fruits and vegetables are far better off eating two servings of fruits and vegetables."

    CSPI has sued a number of companies for poor marketing of unhealthy foods, including McDonald's and General Mills.

  • California County Leads GMO Labeling Effort

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are cropping up in an increasing number of domestic foodstuffs, which has led to some opposition from organic farmers.

    Most recently, a group of growers from Monterey County, California, began pushing for new labels that denote when products are made using GMOs. Some products, such as corn and soy, use GMOs extensively during production. The group, The Committee for the Right to Know, has begun collecting signatures to put the issue before voters this November.

    The Californian reports that the group has until the end of April to collect approximately 850,000 signatures for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to be present on the ballot.

    "The group wants labels on processed foods, produce and genetically modified meat. Their ballot initiative excludes alcohol, animals raised on GMO feed, food that unintentionally or unknowingly includes GMOs or anything meant for immediate consumption, including food from restaurants and food stands," the news source notes.

    GMO awareness is becoming a more pressing issue throughout the United States. For example, a march that went to the White House earlier this year hoped to generate more exposure for GMO labeling.

  • 10 Environmentally Friendly Packaging Practices

    As the world's resources are depleting and harmful emissions are rising, it is important for businesses to rethink their production and packaging practices. To improve the green image of a business, there are many ecofriendly packaging methods that can be implemented.

    1. According to "Branching Out," an IPM newsletter for trees and shrubs, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) set up a program that "aims to set a worldwide, common set of principles for certifying well-managed forests." Materials from these forests are given a "green certification," and companies can look for this seal when selecting their products.

    2. Using soy- or vegetable-based inks on packaging can reduce the amount of emissions a business produces. As one of the first companies to mix their own vegetable-based inks, Harris LithoGraphics states that "vegetable and soy based inks avoid the use of petroleum, and release less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air."

    3. The environment can benefit from upgrading in-house manufacturing equipment. In 2000, the Fuji plant upgraded its exhaust gas treatment equipment and was successful in reducing its chemical emissions and transfers by 74.8 percent in just 10 years. Staying current on green trends will help companies improve their manufacturing sites.

    4. Using recycled materials for packaging is an ecofriendly practice. According to the governmental online resource, Business Link, "using recycled materials in your packaging can enable you to cut costs and environmental impact.

    5. Reducing the product-to-package ratio helps eliminate wastes. To reduce the amount of packaging used, Business Link suggests "eliminating unnecessary layers of packaging, reducing or eliminating the use of adhesives and tape" and using "embossing or in-mould direct printing to avoid using labels."

    6. Using only raw materials and energy sources that are renewable helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem. An article from "Packaging Digest" states that "when we are talking about packaging, we are generally referring to fiber and other bio-based, renewable materials."

    7. Since the packaging process can produce a lot of waste, companies should recycle materials that are not used. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that 31 million tons of plastic waste was generated in 2010, and only eight percent of that amount was recovered for recycling. Packaging divisions can do their part by increasing that percentage with recycling programs.

    8. The chemicals used in packaging processes have a great impact on the environment. An article from "What They Think?" lists aspects to consider when choosing the right chemicals. They suggest "lowering the level of VOCs, using non-hazardous materials to manufacture, ensuring the product will not impede recycling or biodegradation while using bio-derived, naturally based, renewable raw materials."

    9. Some companies improve their environmental impact by using light-weight materials like plastic rather than metal, glass or paper. The EPA states that "lighter weight materials require less fuel to transport and result in less material in the waste stream."

    10. The package design should be carefully considered and altered for recycling. To achieve this goal, Business Link suggests "avoiding materials that are not standard and may cause recycling problems, making your packaging compatible with established recycling process, designing packaging that minimizes any product residue and ensuring your packaging can be easily disassembled."

    Following just one of these practices will improve the environmental impact of a company. The most important things to consider are recycling programs and lower emission rates. By redesigning the packaging methods, companies can help achieve a greener future.

  • Innovative Packages Recognized by FPAAs

    Several product manufacturers were recently recognized by the Flexible Packaging Association for their innovative designs.

    More than 26 labels and packages earned a 2012 Flexible Packaging Achievement Award, with categories such as Packaging Excellence, Printing Achievement, Technical Innovation and Environmental Achievement. Among the winning packages were Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up bowl — a popcorn bag that turns into a bowl after being heated up — and Grouper Fillets, for its distinctive matte-gloss labeling and packaging.

    "Last year may have been rocky as far as the global economy was concerned. Some businesses are still shaky. But innovation in flexible packaging was steady and strong," Packaging Digest adds.

    Innovative packaging can help products stand out on shelves and has become a pivotal way for new companies to gain consumer mindshare from bigger brands. Jay Gouliard — vice president of global segment innovation for sustainable design firm Avery Denniso - even cited innovation as being vital to company survival, given the current economy.

  • Coconut Water Claims Are Murky, Report Says

    Coconut water recently became popular in the United States, especially among active Americans who use it as a low-calorie natural energy drink.

    However, a recent report from ABC Action News suggests that the claims coconut water manufacturers are making on labels may not be all they are cracked up to be. The news outlet teamed up with Dr. Top Cooperman to test the top three brands of coconut water, and determined that two of the three didn't have the amount of electrolytes claimed on the packaging.

    "The labels on two of these products were clearly misleading, we double-checked these in another independent lab and found the same problem," Cooperman told the news source. "If people like how coconut water tastes, it's fine. We just found labels on a couple of products to be misleading..."

    In fact, Vita Coco — a leading coconut water producer in the United States — recently settled a class action lawsuit for $10 million for its misleading labels. The brand is in the process of revising its labels to make them more straightforward.

  • USDA Has Beef With AA Meat Products USDA Has Beef With AA Meat Products

    The Maywood, California-based brand AA Meat Products Corporation has been ordered to recall several products that weren't properly inspected.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service ordered the recall on Wednesday, noting as many as 16 different products, ranging from duck feet to pork chops. According to the USDA, the meat and poultry products are being pulled back because they were produced without the benefit of federal inspection.

    "FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a healthcare provider," the USDA notes on its website. Labels can be used to identify the bad batches.

    "FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that recalled product is no longer available to consumers," the agency added.

    A Massachusetts-based chili manufacturer was recently ordered to similarly recall its products because an inspection person missed a day of production.

  • Cruelty-Free Labels May Actually be a Cruel Marketing Ploy

    Today's consumers want to have a positive impact on nature and are looking to support products that aren't created using animal testing.

    However, cosmetic manufacturers claiming their products aren't tested on animals or are "cruelty free" may be misleading consumers with their labels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration actually doesn't regulate animal testing, so companies can say their products aren't being tried on animals first when they actually are.

    "The Food and Drug Administration has said they will not and do not regulate those terms," Vicki Katrinak, of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, told KABC-TV. "Therefore companies have free will to say whatever they want, make their own 'no animal testing' claims and have no data to back it up."

    Nancy Beck, a policy advisor for the Physician's Committee, told the news station that many cosmetics manufacturers don't test on animals simply due to the damage an exposé could do to their brand.

    Transparency is always key to label design. Companies need to be straightforward with their customers to win their trust and good favor.

  • Oh Snap: Jelly Belly Launches New Snapple-Inspired Product

    Jelly Belly and Snapple have teamed to produce a new juice-flavored snack. The jelly beans will come in a variety of traditional Snapple flavors.

    The package and labeling is what will really set the product apart. The fruit snack comes in a container that looks like a Snapple drink, complete with a cap that hinges on the top. To further pull off the look, the label is almost exactly the same as that on the drink bottles.

    Packaging Digest suggests that the new jelly bean would be perfect for party favors and adds that it is also conveniently sized for pockets and purses.

    "Jelly Belly sought to capture the essence of popular Snapple flavors in a jelly bean with the Jelly Belly Snapple Mix," says Rob Swaigen, vice president of marketing for Jelly Belly Candy Company. "We used the flavors and juices found in Snapple juice drinks, so the flavor is noticeably true to life."

    Snapple is already famous for its packaging. Many consumers collect the lids of the product, as they contain various facts and trivia.

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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.