Monthly Archives: February 2016

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    Costco Faces Lawsuit for Allegedly Deceiving Customers With Coconut Oil Labeling

    Consumers are taking legal action against health claims made on coconut oil labeling.

    Consumers Claim Health-Related Labels Are Misleading The consumers who make up today's market appreciate healthy products. People are more informed on the impact diet has on overall well-being. In addition, individuals are becoming more socially and environmentally responsible, so they look for goods manufactured by companies that align with these values. Marketers know this, which is why so many organizations have used labels and packaging to position themselves as being the better, safer choice.

    Another trend that can be attributed to the growing interest consumers have in making smarter lifestyle decisions is the rising popularity of coconut oil. Wanting to steer clear of using and consuming products that contain harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients, many people are looking for holistic alternatives and natural solutions. Coconut oil has hit the retail scene promising a wide range of benefits. One Google search on the topic will produce an extensive list of articles, blogs and studies arguing the powerful and varying uses of it, from whitening teeth and conditioning hair to facilitating weight loss and moisturizing skin.

    However, it appears some customers are extremely dissatisfied with the realization that not all jars of this magical oil are created equal.

    Coconut Oil Controversy and Class Action Lawsuits This week, James Boswell and Malia Levin filed a class-action lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation with the United States District Court for the Central District of California Southern Division, Legal Newsline reported. The suit calls into question the retailer's brand of coconut oil, Kirkland Signature Organic Coconut Oil, which the plaintiffs claim is misleadingly and incorrectly labeled as being healthier than other alternatives, such as butter and other types of cooking oils.

    Boswell, Levin and other members of the class action lawsuit, which, according to the report, includes over 100 people, averred that the health claims made by Costco on the product packaging were deceiving. The plaintiffs are assaying for corrective marketing and labeling of materials, as well as reinstitution and compensation for damages and legal fees. The news source also revealed that Costco has requested the case be reassigned to a federal court.

    This is not the first time that coconut oil brands have faced legal ramifications for mislabeling. Earlier this month, reported that a similar class action lawsuit was filed by Amy Boulton against Carrington Tea Co. LLC for its Carrington Farms extra virgin coconut oil and coconut cooking oil.

    Allegedly, the product's label makes health claims that go against the regulation guidelines set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The report also added that the plaintiff indicated the statements violated California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law and Unfair Competition Law.

    "Carrington is well aware of consumer preference for healthful foods, and therefore employs, and has employed, a strategic marketing campaign intended to convince consumers that the Carrington Farms coconut oil products are healthy, despite that they are almost entirely composed of unhealthy saturated fat," the complaint says, according to the source.

    The Problem With Loose Labeling Regulations The lack of definitive terms and labeling policies with the FDA has been an area of concern for quite some time. Many companies and consumers are calling on government agencies and manufacturers to increase product transparency to provide shoppers with a clearer understanding of what is actually in the goods they purchase. The problem is that there is too much flexibility and room for interpretation with the current guidelines, which make it possible for businesses to mislead people.

    In an article for, best-selling author and nutrition blogger Sarah Pope highlighted some of the biggest issues with certain brands of coconut oil, particularly in relation to how the products are labeled.

    First, she explained, that genuine, pure and high-quality coconut oil can be on the pricey side. To avoid paying more than necessary, shoppers will buy it at wholesale stores, such as Costco. Pope indicated that the growing interest in this product has put such retailers in a predicament because they have to figure out "how best to capitalize" on it without losing sales.

    In addition, the source pointed out, "extra virgin coconut oil" which is what many of the brands sold at Costco labeled theirs as - does not exist. It is available in one of two forms: refined or virgin. Furthermore, Pope said that an industry professional she spoke with explained that companies using the phrase "extra virgin" on items that are not olive oil are not applying it in the appropriate context of its actual definition.

    As consumers push for better goods, businesses will likely face increasing scrutiny and investigations on honest and transparent labeling practices. But, until the FDA enforces stricter regulations, it is probable that companies will continue to exhaust all efforts to market their products to appeal to health-conscious customers.

  • Improving Food Labels for Customer Clarification

    Labeling regulations in the food industry causing consumer confusion.

    Flexible Food Packaging Regulations Lead to Shopper Confusion Not everyone takes the time to read the packaging of an item before buying it. However, even those who do may be surprised to learn that the labels indicating a food is healthy may actually mean the complete opposite. In an article for Next Avenue, Rashelle Brown recently revealed that, according to research conducted last year by the Cornell Food and Brand Labs, eating items that they perceived as healthy sometimes caused consumers to gain weight. The study attributed this to people feeling like it was okay to eat more of something if it was "good" for them, as well believing it took more of the food to satisfy them.

    It seems as if a new issue arises every day pertaining to the labeling and packaging of food and beverage products. Manufacturers have faced a rapidly increasing demand to employ more transparent practices and provide consumers with nutrition facts and labels that are easy to understand. Much of this issue has been fueled by information that some feel is easy to misinterpret.

    How Labels Can Be Misleading Many people have argued that the existing regulations and guidelines set forth by the United States Food and Drug Administration allow companies to deceive customers by manipulating certain details on the packaging of goods. For example, brands are able to make a food seem healthier by listing a relatively small serving size, meaning an unrealistic proportion based on actual consumer eating habits, thereby decreasing the nutritional value numbers listed on the label. Shoppers will sometimes glance at this information on a product, see that it isn't high in sugar or carbohydrates and decide to buy it.

    Another food label trend that has faced growing scrutiny is the use of terms such as "all natural," "grass-fed" and "organic." As Brown pointed out, it is important that shoppers keep in mind businesses use labeling as a strategic marketing tool and will therefore purposely use phrasing that put a healthy or eco-friendly spin on packaging. As people become more health-conscious, companies know that to appeal to them they must highlight the nutritional benefits of a product.

    However, according to the Courier-Post, research studies have shown that, when it comes to the amount of minerals and vitamins present in food, organic products do not provide any significant advantage. Charlotte Markey, a professor at Rutgers-Camden, told the news source that the organic label does not have to do so much with nutrients as it does with chemical and pesticide exposure, or lack thereof.

    Understanding Food Regulations The Courier-Post highlighted the fact that a lack of clear definitions can also perpetuate consumer confusion. Qian Jia, a coordinator of the Rowan nutrition program, told the source that the FDA does not officially define the meaning of "natural," but, rather, loosely applies it to products that don't have any artificial coloring, flavoring or synthetic additives. Furthermore, there is a regulatory discrepancy because, although it wouldn't be unheard of for consumers to use words like "organic" and "natural" interchangeably, those terms adhere to entirely different guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and FDA, respectively.

    The FDA recently proposed a much-needed revision of nutritional label practices to better reflect the scientific findings of health and nutrition experts. These adjustments, such as a more predominantly displayed calorie count and realistic serving size, could help Americans make smarter, healthier choices and reduce the growing obesity epidemic.

    Without enforcing a more uniform and standardized labeling system, legislative bodies will be unable to adequately control how food companies use certain terms, making it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions. It is important for shoppers to understand the meaning of certain words on products, as well as the regulation policies used to govern such labels.

  • Make St. Patrick's Day Count with Custom Stickers

    StPatricksDayNothing Better than Shamrock Stickers for St. Patrick's Day

    St. Patrick's Day is a beloved holiday in the United States, despite tracing its origins back to ye olde country of Ireland. It is a colorful time in which many cities will host massive parades, revelers will line the streets and fill the pubs, and adorn themselves with virtually anything green and sparkly. This presents firms with a unique opportunity to get the word out about their brands through the development and distribution of stickers for St. Patrick's Day.

    For obvious reasons, shamrock stickers are likely to be the most successful in terms of individuals actually accepting the items and wearing them on their clothing or placing them on cars, backpacks and other possessions. St. Patrick's Day takes place on Thursday, March 17, giving you only a few weeks to get the designs ready and printed for release ahead of the big event.

    Don't Be Too Brand-Focused

    While it might seem counterintuitive to really focus on the holiday rather than your business when approaching branded materials, St. Patrick's Day is not necessarily the time to launch a raw marketing campaign. Even the companies that have the most demand during this holiday - such as Guinness and any manufacturer of corned beef and cabbage - tend to produce ads that are mostly focused on St. Patrick's Day with a relatively small plug of their brand somewhere in the content.

    You should consider following in their footsteps this March, creating stickers, labels and other branded materials that are mostly composed of celebratory content and imagery, then placing the name of your company somewhat inconspicuously. This will ensure that the items actually get put to use in circulation. The goal of the project should simply be to align your business with the holiday, but St. Patrick's Day has to come first for this to be effective.

    St. Patrick's Day Stickers in a Rush

    Again, the holiday is rapidly approaching, and you will likely need at least a little time to map our the strategy with respect to design and distribution. Once prepared, though, consider leveraging Lightning Labels for all of your St. Patrick's Day sticker needs, as this firm has an industry-leading track record with respect to turnaround times on orders and accuracy of the printed materials.

  • How Will You Approach National Wedding Month?

    NationalWeddingMonthFebruary is National Wedding Month

    Love is in the air this month, as February hosts both Valentine's Day and National Wedding Month, all within the shortest number of days of the year. If you produce candles, wine, wedding favors or any other products that are a bit more popular during wedding season, which generally falls in the spring and summer months, the time is now to get moving on customized label projects that will let newlyweds-to-be know that you are a good choice for their event.

    In many ways, this month is a great time to build brand awareness through several different types of campaigns, including those that celebrate National Wedding Month and Valentine's Day, directly market relevant services or get the brand name into the minds of individuals planning their weddings for later in the year. At the end of the day, custom wedding gifts are a great place to start, as virtually every couple will make sure that their guests receive some token of appreciation following the ceremony.

    Wedding Favor Labels

    Regardless of which types of wedding-related products you might be selling, custom labels can be a great way to differentiate your items from those of competitors, and getting out ahead of others in the industry can help to drive revenue down the road. Customizing wedding favor labels will allow the bride and groom to land on a specific product that they would like to be included in the baskets, but then personalize each one for the guests who are receiving them.

    Candle labels, as well as custom stickers for other hot items such as wine and cheese, can also be a relatively simple and affordable means to the ultimate end of building demand for your products rather than those distributed by others in the marketplace. Because personalization and customization have become two of the primary drivers of customer engagement and loyalty, they should not be overlooked this National Wedding Month.

    Lightning Labels for the Win

    With February coming to a close and the spring just a month away, you will likely need a quick turnaround on orders for custom labels and other branded items. To ensure that your labels are ready to go and printed nicely ahead of the busy wedding season, consider partnering with Lightning Labels for all of your custom needs in the coming weeks.

  • Bumper Stickers Now Available at Lightning Labels

    BumperStickersBumper Stickers for Marketing Success

    In the world of branding, companies that find ways to get their names into the minds of their target prospects in creative fashions will tend to be the most successful, and this demands a certain level of channel diversification. Internet marketing has certainly been a revolutionary and transformative trend, but studies indicate that the average consumer is still turning to somewhat traditional mediums to find businesses from which they will purchase products and services.

    When it comes to the physical environments and battlegrounds associated with brand competition, billboards and bumper stickers might be the most prolific and effective, as they will be seen by a high volume of prospects when properly placed. Custom bumper stickers can be used for a range of purposes, including customer engagement among those who put them on their cars and visibility building for those who see the labels on fellow commuters' vehicles.

    Now Available from Lightning Labels

    Lightning Labels, a provider of custom labels for food and beverage products, health and beauty products and more, is now offering customized bumper stickers, which can be used to get the word out about brands quickly. Think about it this way - politicians need not be the only ones to distribute these marketing materials to followers and supporters, as evidenced by the growing rate of companies taking this unique approach to marketing.

    Now, this does not mean that a business can simply put its name on a black and white bumper sticker, distribute the item widely and expect customers to put them on their cars or passersby to even notice them. Rather, the stickers have to pop and align with the general brand messages and images that have been developed through other advertising efforts, and this is why Lightning Labels can be a boon to such projects.

    Customers who want stickers for car bumpers and the like will only be likely to paste them on when the label has a little pizzazz, especially considering how much the average American loves their automobile's aesthetic appeal. By looking to Lightning Labels for support in these efforts, businesses can ensure that all of the work they put into design will be well worth it, as the labels will be vibrant full-color bumper stickers on premium white vinyl material in the four most-popular sizes to guide designs in the right direction.

    Separating the Brand from Competitors

    Again, this is not the most popular approach to branding, but that is why is can be so effective for such a wide range of businesses, as those firms that think outside of the box and take a unique approach to their marketing strategies will tend to stick out from the crowd. Empowered with services that expedite custom bumper sticker products and focus on quality of completion, this new method of getting the company's name out into the open can come back with impressive returns.

  • The Psychology Behind Effective Packaging and Labeling Designs

    Properly designing the label and package of products is essential.

    Customizing Product Labels to Appeal to Target Audiences The purchasing behavior of consumers is heavily influenced by the packaging and labeling of products. Businesses must make sure high-quality materials are used that prevent deterioration or damage, but it is also important that the presentation is unique and attention-grabbing. When people browse store shelves, they are presented with a wide range of goods. To stand out against an increasing number of competitors, companies must leverage innovative strategies and solutions that enhance the

    There are many factors to consider when designing a package. And it is crucial that businesses understand that each component plays an important role in consumer psychology. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami and the California Institute of Technology found that when a person is shopping for retail items, elements such as color and font can influence whether or not they notice, interact and purchase a product.

    Below are some of the most essential aspects of packaging and labeling design that companies should consider.

    Color and Font A lot of research has been conducted that has found different colors evoke various emotions. Brands should select ones that are representative of the feeling they want their products to draw from shoppers: Blue is often associated with honesty, red can represent passion or excitement and green can indicate sustainably or growth. Similarly, typography can be used to communicate different messages about a company. For example, labels on items designed for children often have the appearance that they were written in crayon by a young person.

    Format and Layout In an article published in the Journal of Interpretation Research, Stephen Bitgood explained that the less clutter a label has around it, the more likely it is to be noticed by people. He also said sizing and scaling should be considered and that the information included on a package should be formatted in a way that makes it easy for the consumer to process it.

    Companies are encouraged to consider how much information is needed and, if it is text- heavy due to, say, directions for cooking or using the item, bullet lists may be more effective than paragraphs. Bitgood also said that to make reading the label quicker for people, texts could be formatted in close proximity to images.

    Verbiage and Messaging The words and information printed on the label of a product are important. With such a limited space, companies must maximize the use of text to properly communicate with consumers. The verbiage and statements made on the packaging can make or break a sale. To determine what should be included, businesses might find it helpful to pinpoint what exactly about their product sets it apart from others on the market.

    It is also crucial to know what would appeal to target audiences. One labeling trend that has gained significant popularity across industries is the use of buzzwords such as "natural" and "organic." Shoppers are becoming more health-conscious and environmentally responsible, which is why many marketers have positioned their products to attract these shoppers by highlighting that the item is free of harmful or toxic substances.

    Material and Adhesives People often associate quality with price, so it is essential that innovative packaging solutions are used to help distinguish a product. The type of material used is also necessary to ensure it is long-lasting and durable.

    In addition to the kind of material for the package, businesses should also be careful of which labeling adhesives they choose. There is an extensive array of selections available and the appropriate one will depend on the type of product. For example, classic crest labels are made of white paper stock with a matte finish, often used on wine bottles.

    To maximize the custom label providers to ensure the best possible materials are used.

    Packaging is a way for brands to communicate messages to potential customers without actually interacting with them. With the retail market rapidly evolving and expanding, businesses simply can not afford to neglect modern marketing tools and resources. By understanding the psychology and behavior of target audiences, companies will be able to make better, more informed decisions when designing a custom label.

  • National Children's Dental Health Month is Upon Us

    DentalHealthMonthCustom Stickers for Dental Health Awareness

    February is National Children's Dental Health Month, acting as a time to ensure that the parents of the country understand how best to teach their children about good tooth and gum hygiene. As many adults already know, failing to practice good dental health practices at a young age will start someone on the road toward costly medical bills, painful visits to surgeons and other undesirable problems in the future.

    And, as many kids know, going to the dentist can be a scary experience, but dental professionals can help to ease their patients' worries and ensure their clientele are taking good care of themselves with the right custom stickers. Dental office stickers can make the rooms and items inside far less scary and more welcoming, and act as an affordable measure to observe this month's awareness event as well.

    Customized Stickers for Awareness

    If you are a pediatric dentist who feels passionately about your profession, chances are you want to put as much effort as possible into empowering and educating the kids who frequent your office, and even those who do not. As is the case with virtually any aspect of hygiene or health, the most challenging and important component of advocacy is ensuring individuals are aware of the dangers of not following doctors' and dentists' orders, as well as the benefits of doing so.

    Dentist office stickers can either be highly informative or more eye-catching to make children interested in how they can take care of their teeth and gums. Either way, because children will be the target market in this regard, dental professionals will want to ensure that they are tailoring the designs to the preferences of the kids they serve. Dentists can also consider creating custom stickers that are targeted at parents who frequent the office.

    Stickers for the Whole Year

    While observing and raising awareness for National Children's Dental Health Month is a righteous venture, you do not need to stop creating and implementing stickers once March comes along. Rather, consider keeping your stickers fresh with new designs every couple of months, as well as different types of information in each iteration.

    If you need a quick turnaround and aesthetically pleasing custom stickers, look no further than Lightning Labels, which is an industry leader in specialized stickers, labels and other materials.

  • Capitalize on National Canned Food Month

    CannedFoodMonthFebruary is National Canned Food Month

    Food manufacturers that produce canned foods will have an opportunity to boost the visibility of their products in the eyes of current and prospective clientele, as February is designated as a month to observe the importance of these items. As is the case for virtually all types of major national events, individuals and organizations that have an attachment in one form or the other should work to establish themselves as leaders in the field by riding the increased attention being paid to the marketplace.

    To celebrate, food manufacturers can revamp their labels and packaging strategies to ensure that their items are jumping off the shelves this month and in the time that follows. Adding healthy recipes can be a great way to put a new spin on items that have been around for a while, and simply pointing out the advantages of the products, including their convenience and longer shelf lives, can be accomplished with the right quality custom labels.

    Considerations for Custom Labels

    As competitors in this marketplace already know, there is a lot of saturation to contend with in the stores and on the Web today, as so many different companies - large and small - will be vying for the same consumers. What's more, many firms already have customized labels on their canned food items that include helpful information or simply a bit more pizzazz visually to grab the attention of shoppers.

    Consider leveraging canned food labels that do not stick to the cut-and-dried practices of the market at large, but rather align closely with the missions, values and general image of the brand itself. This is one of the more straightforward ways to differentiate your products from those of competitors in the marketplace, and enhance your stature in a relatively affordable fashion.

    Specializing for February

    Again, because February is National Canned Food Month, you could also specialize your labels to observe the event and make consumers aware of why it takes place each year. This is another way to boost the image of your brand in an efficient fashion and convert more prospects in the process. If you need quality labels printed in a hurry, consider using Lightning Labels for your orders, as this firm is an industry-leader with respect to custom labels, stickers and other branded packaging items.

  • Supporting American Heart Month

    AmericanHeartMonthHow Will You Observe American Heart Month?

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 610,000 American citizens pass away due to heart disease each year, accounting for a quarter of all deaths on average annually. This makes the disease the single biggest killer of the population, while the CDC also pointed out that very few people - roughly 27 percent of Americans - are aware of the full range of heart disease's effects, rather than only associating chest pain with the affliction.

    If you are a food manufacturer or distributor, you should consider taking the time this February to observe and support American Heart Month, which is meant to raise awareness of the fundamental facts about the disease among the population. As is the case with any illness, awareness and education, along with early education, are among the most important weapons against a continuous spread. With nutrition information labels, you can contribute to this righteous cause.

    What to Consider

    Regardless of which types of products you make and sell, you can use custom food labels to not only make customers aware of the benefits of your items with respect to heart health, but also ensure consumers know about American Heart Month. Healthy food labels on products that are specifically created and sold to help individuals follow their wellness programs are ideal, but you can even make ones that are entirely centered around the month of observance.

    From a marketing standpoint, any opportunity align the brand name with a major, national event should be taken, as such an activity can instantly boost visibility and trust in the marketplace, leading to stronger revenue as a result. Food product labels should be highly accurate with respect to the ingredients for safety purposes, but once that component has been completed, it is best to make the items stand out on the shelves with more unique stickers.

    Get the Job Done

    With February already underway, you will need to get moving on projects related to custom nutrition labels and stickers that promote awareness of American Heart Month. So long as you can get these initiatives moving swiftly soon, Lightning Labels can ensure that your orders are completed in a timely fashion, and that your products will be endowed with expertly printed stickers and labels.

  • Customer Spotlight: Smax Custom Vaping Product Labels

    Customer Spotlight: Smax Custom Vaping Product LabelsSmax foregos fad flavors for classic taste

    That’s probably not a claim that would come to mind immediately in the world of vaping and e-liquids. But, it’s at the heart of the e-liquid manufacturer’s operating philosophy.

    Another differentiating factor is Smax’s e-liquid dispensed in an airless pump. Notes Smax co-founder Tyra Pham, “It was intended to provide convenience in a stylized compact bottle since all e-liquids at the time were contained in Boston round bottles with generic droppers and were messy when applied in moving conditions.”

    She adds, “I was introduced to e-liquids by a few friends who got involved in the vaping industry back in 2014 and randomly met co-founder Roni Nisnisan, a talented e-liquid mixologist. I noticed that his flavors were much better than what was out there. We have a timeless brand, whereas 99% of vaping products are made to sustain for a temporary amount of time. Our flavors are classic and unique so we never fall into those fad flavor categories.”

    Notoriety of the pump style bottle has largely driven the company’s social media-centric marketing. Notes Tyra, “It easily caught the attention of vapers. I began posting images on Instagram and that has still been my main channel of sharing content. We have never spent a dime on advertising. All of our advertising comes from people taking photos of our products and tagging us in them on social media channels. Social media is the only tool I use to introduce products to the market, and the rest is just building meaningful relationships with customers and people in and out of the industry.”

    Relationship with Lightning Labels, the Custom Vaping Product Label Specialist

    Tyra explains, “Lightning Labels has helped with the flavoring and warning labels on the cap and back of the Smax bottle. We have used Lightning Labels for everything manufactured for our other brands, RNR Vapors and Stryker Juices. It’s been such a pleasant experience working with Peggy that I wouldn’t trade it for a better discount from other label manufacturers. Peggy has remedied every issue, and we’ve developed such a valued trusting relationship together that I wouldn’t go anywhere else for labels in the future.”

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