Branded Labels

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    Tough Product Labels Help Your Brand Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

    When your product demands a cold environment in stores, your labeling requirements are different from the average business's needs. Unless you find durable labels, your branding won't last as long as it needs to. This is where Lightning Labels can step in, delivering great-looking packaging for your ice cream or other frozen treats this summer.

    July is a perfect time to purchase new product packaging labels for your ice cream products, because it's National Ice Cream Month. These weeks, set aside to celebrate frozen treats, can yield new limited-time flavors or simply bold and attractive imagery to remind customers to pick up your everyday offerings. While you may believe there's no need to tell people that ice cream tastes great in the summertime, a little reminder wouldn't go amiss.

    Pick Your Labeling Strategy

    If you've decided to launch a new flavor  to celebrate National Ice Cream Month or the summer in general, a new label design is a natural addition to your brand's offerings. You simply need to ensure that it matches a distinctive, can't miss appeal with enough continuity that buyers tie it in with the rest of your line.

    Even if you're not branching out with a new flavor, a custom label strategy based on National Ice Cream Month is a fine way to drum up excitement and attention for your brand. Potentially, the packages could even have a functional element to their design, listing desert recipes that make use of your ice cream. This time-tested strategy can encourage people to take the products home and follow the instructions.

    "You have to employ durable labels so that they'll stay visible and vibrant."

    If neither of the aforementioned ideas fit your strategy, you can simply execute a line-wide redesign. That may be enough to catch the eyes of consumers in the frozen foods aisle, especially if you make use of colorful and compelling imagery. You have to make sure, however, that you employ durable labels, so that they'll stay visible and vibrant after months in a freezer case.

    Lightning Labels Can Help

    You have your choice of label materials and finishes with Lightning Labels, including those capable of resisting the moisture and cold temperatures associated with ice cream. Combine this with lightning-fast turnaround times enabled by an all-digital printing process and you've found the ideal partner for your brand's next redesign, whether it takes place during National Ice Cream Month or not.

    The warm summer months are made for ice cream, and your brand can launch promotional campaigns during this time for a perfect storm of attention and excitement among customers.

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  • Custom Window Decals Add a Personal Touch to a Car

    Promote Your Organization with Window Decals and Bumper Stickers

    Stickers designed for the windows or bumpers of cars are an ideal way to get a name or logo out there, and they work for just about any kind of organization you can imagine. Small businesses, large companies, schools, sports teams, nonprofits - the list goes on. It's time to consider whether decals for auto use fit your promotional plans for this year.

    Decals That Look Great

    There's something about decals for cars that makes them different from other forms of advertising. First and foremost, people stick these to their cars because they're happy about how they look. The decals serve the dual purposes of promoting your brand and letting the car owner express his or her personality.

    "People will have little hesitation about sticking a good-looking decal on a car window."

    This focus on appearance can be an important guiding principle when you design custom window decals and bumper stickers. Instead of going for openly promotional messages, why not just use your visual logo or brand name? People will have little hesitation about sticking a good-looking decal on a car window, provided they have a history with your organization and like the way the logo complements the vehicle's appearance.

    Cars bearing your branding will travel around, spreading your name or logo far and wide. This has the potential to raise awareness of your organization, and it's just one of the many uses of these stickers. When you order decals tough enough to stick to car windows or bumpers, you gain a versatile marketing aid that can be applied to just about any hard surface.

    Quick and Seamless Ordering

    Window decals, bumper stickers and other kinds of promotional materials are easy to procure when you work with an experienced partner like Lightning Labels. Due to its all-digital printing processes and use of domestic facilities, Lightning Labels delivers quick turnaround times. You can see your designs on car windows and bumpers in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

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  • Which Lamination is Best for My Product Labels?

    Picking a Suitable Lamination Type

    The appearance of a label comes down to more than just the information printed on it. Product labels are defined by the materials they're printed on - and the lamination types applied to them. When you're planning your company's next order of custom labels, you should consider the method of lamination, as it can help you present a unified look and feel.

    Consider Your Options

    When you work with Lightning Labels, you have four different laminate options. Each is especially suitable for certain kinds of labels, and picking one over the other can elevate the quality of your product labels. The following are a few of the traits that each of these different lamination styles brings to the table:

    High Gloss: High gloss labels receive the closest thing Lightning Labels offers to a "standard" laminate. It's popular, flexible, and costs the least of any option. It protects your labels to ensure they survive the manufacturing and selling processes, and gives a shiny, glossy sheen that makes products attractive on store shelves.

    Matte: Instead of the shininess of high gloss, matte labels have a different feel. If you're going for a highly modern or more "natural" look for your product labels, this may suit your design better.

    Thermal Transfer: If you use an over-printing thermal transfer printer, this is the laminate for you. While it's designed to work with most of these printers, you should order a sample first to ensure it suits your needs.

    UV Outdoor Gloss: This laminate is the toughest option we at Lightning Labels offer. When combined with a vinyl label material, it makes sure your products will be safe and sound in the great outdoors. The UV resistance that gives the finish its name is designed to ensure the sun doesn't wither your products' labels.

    A Label for Every Occasion

    The mix-and match quality of materials and laminates at Lightning Labels ensures your products will always have the look they need. From cast gloss labels for the wine industry, which combine a paper base with a high-gloss finish, to Recycled Kraft Labels that aren't laminated at all, there is a combination to suit every brand. Lightning Labels is committed to delivering these customized labels in a quick and efficient manner, printing at domestic facilities instead of outsourcing and using all-digital processes to keep minimum orders low. You can give your products the labels they need in a hurry, to ensure that they look great on store shelves, with consistent branding topped by the right laminate.

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  • June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

    Summer Means Produce

    A whole host of different fruit and vegetable varieties are becoming ripe as spring gives way to summer. If you can and preserve produce, you can save this freshness all year round. Those canned goods are also great to give away or sell, provided you can give them the proper pizzazz.

    "It's time to think about harvesting, preserving and canning your goods."

    When you're ready to turn your green thumb into a small business, launching your own line of food products, you'll want eye-catching labels and stickers to mark the products. Preserves and canned foods made from your own fruits and veggies are great to give away to family and friends or, if you have enough on hand, they can be a big hit at farmers' markets and local stores. In June, designated as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, it's time to think about harvesting, preserving and canning your goods.

    What's Your Brand?

    Whether you're canning goods to give to acquaintances or to be sold at markets, the process involves thinking about jar label design. There's no reason to leave the jars blank — not when there are affordable labels for canning available from Lightning Labels. Friends and family will love the personal touch that comes with your chosen imagery, and if you choose to sell the goods, branding just becomes that much more important.

    Shoppers at a farmers' market will likely have a choice between many different growers' offerings. How can you prove yours are worthy of their money? Label design plays a key role here. The imagery and text you choose for your packaging, as well as the material, finish, font and other little design touches, will set your preserves and canned goods apart. If you opt for canning jar lid labels, you can brand multiple faces of the jars and make them look more distinctive, no matter what angle people view them from.

    Preserve labels can include descriptions of the flavors within, or use local imagery to promote the locally sourced nature of your items. Shoppers today have a lot of choices regarding how they get their foods and what brands they consume. Playing up the wholesome nature of your offerings could help them stand out in a world largely dominated by big brands and artificial ingredients.

    Team Up with Lightning Labels

    Whether you're simply a hobbyist or you've made the jump to produce entrepreneur, Lightning Labels can help you stand out, with labels for canning that fit every need and requirement. Since you operate independently, you may assume that professionally made labels are out of reach, with high minimum order sizes and prohibitive costs getting in the way. Lightning Labels, however, works differently.

    Lightning Labels uses digital-only printing processes at domestic facilities. This means you get your labels in a hurry, and can place an order affordably even if you don't need many labels in one go. The produce in the fields and orchards is getting ripe and because it's National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month — there's no better time to get serious about your canning and preservation efforts, whether as gifts for your acquaintances or the beginning of a new business venture.

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  • Make Your Logo or Message Stand Out with Custom Laser Cut Labels

    Make Your Designs Really Stand Out

    A compelling product label isn't just defined by what's printed on it. Other elements, such as the material and finish employed for that label, can determine whether it creates an interesting and consistent feeling or not. Another trait may be even more overlooked: shape. When you work with a brand that offers custom laser-cut labels, you gain the ability to increase the focus on your distinctive brand logo, no matter what it may consist of. Laser cutting can also deliver custom logo stickers to hand out to your customers.

    The following are a few valuable use cases for each kind of laser-cut logo design. Labels for your packages and stickers for your customers are both great potential applications for any company with a distinctive visual sense and an interest in making its trademark imagery really pop.

    Custom Laser Cut Labels

    Bottles, bags, boxes, no matter what kind of packaging your product comes in, you can spice up the look of those containers with laser-cut labels. While labels that wrap all the way around an item could be better in some situations - as when there is a large amount of regulation-mandated information to impart - custom logo labels are an exciting way to make goods look professional and compelling.

    A container adorned with a small label laser-cut to the shape of the brand's logo can show off the color and shape of the bottle, jar or bag. Furthermore, small companies that go for laser-cut labels can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with large brands. Making such a sophisticated packaging choice could inspire confidence in your brand among consumers, who may take the well-delivered imagery as an indication of your items' quality.

    Custom Laser Cut Stickers

    There's no need to always stick your label on packages of products. Custom logo stickers can go on everything. You can opt for window stickers, bumper stickers or small stickers to hand out with a purchase. It may even pay to distribute these stickers at third-party events such as local fairs or other get-togethers to get your logo in front of as many people as possible. As with the labeling of your products, opting for a custom shape instead of a basic square or rectangle can add visual interest. Logo stickers are also perfect for businesses that don't produce packaged goods. For instance, sports teams can raise their profile in their local markets through local stickers, shops that perform repairs can hand out their logo to happy customers and nonprofits can pass these items out to people who make donations.

    Time to Order

    Once the urge to change up your brand's visual presentation strikes, there's no need to wait around. No matter what shape or color your brand's logo is, Lightning Labels can quickly translate it into laser-cut labels that show off its uniqueness as a way to appeal to customers. Whether you opt for labels on your products or stickers to be handed out independent of your items, showing off your logo is a professional and interesting way to catch eyes. When you're trying to get a company off the ground, such branding is of immense value.

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  • How Custom Cannabis Product Labels Help Sell Cannabis Products

    A Promising New Market

    The slow rollout of legal recreational cannabis sales across individual states and Canadian provinces represents an opportunity for companies. If you're planning on wading into this market, you should take two steps: compliance and branding.

    There's a need to get in line with all relevant laws and ensure your firm isn't undone by regulatory action. This process goes hand in hand with your selection of bold and exciting branding that will encourage shoppers to pick your brand in this new market. The recreational cannabis market comes with no history to speak of, meaning you can carve out a new niche for your items - your cannabis product labels have a big role to play in this process.

    Time to Design

    "Brands must know what their prospective customers are looking for."

    When there's a whole new field to operate in, it's important to stake your place with a memorable look. The Spokane Spokesman-Review, spotlighted the efforts of local designers to create looks that suit cannabis brands. Propaganda Creative's Jason Clerget told the newspaper that the current anything-goes mentality from developing brands is a "designer's dream" with plenty of room to work on new strategies.

    Clerget added that some companies are going for irreverent imagery to play up the outsider appeal of their products. Others are better off with clean and modern-looking custom cannabis labels. As with any industry, brands in this expanding field must know what their prospective customers are looking for. From one region to another, the default legal cannabis customer profile may vary widely.

    Each state will have its own restrictions on what must be on custom cannabis product labels - and what cannot be printed there. However, knowing the rules is a fairly simple item for designers to check off as they make their way to finalizing a look. Clerget noted that his studio "quickly became well-versed" in the Washington regulations. The main challenge regarding cannabis's legal situation will likely involve staying aware of any

    Medical Consideration

    "There are a web of changing regulations about medical marijuana labels."

    While operating in the medicinal space requires a different approach than working with recreational products, there are a few common requirements. For instance, there are a web of changing regulations about what can and cannot be printed on medical marijuana labels. Occupational Health and Safety reported that the California Department of Public Health is taking public comments on the labeling of medical products.

    The proposals include the creation of an ingredient listing on cannabis edibles and health claim prohibitions like those seen on some nutritional supplements. Furthermore, there may soon be a cannabis symbol that instantly identified a medical marijuana item. Remaining aware of these changing regulations will be important for any company in the field.

    Custom Cannabis Product Labels Needed

    If you're getting ready to launch a legal cannabis product, Lightning Labels is a top partner to turn to. With a variety of labeling materials and finishes to suit any branding style, Lightning can also deliver low minimum orders and quick turnaround due to its all-digital processes. When you can get a reasonably sized order of cannabis product labels in a hurry, you an keep up with changing rules with no excess waste.

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  • Customize Bike and Motorcycle Helmets with Custom Helmet Stickers

    National Bike Month is a Great Time to Think About Custom Helmet Stickers

    There's no wrong time to think about creating custom stickers or labels for bike and motorcycle helmets. Indeed, this protective equipment is essential for any rider to remember at any time of the year. However, May has a special place on the calendar: It's National Bike Month. If you sell or manufacture bike helmets or other accessories, you can take this moment to refresh your branding, release decals for helmets or even create bumper stickers for consumers that spread awareness of bike safety.

    The possibilities are endless, and with Lightning Labels on your side, you can commit to custom helmet stickers and labels in a remarkably short time. It pays to get your new initiative off the ground while the spring and summer are still dawning and people are uncovering their bikes and motorcycles for the season.

    Custom Helmet Stickers for Looks

    While helmets for bike and motorcycle riders are primarily for the safety of their wearers, they can also look good. Helmet stickers sold at retail or included with the items themselves allow people to put their own personality on display and show off their hobbies, interests and uniqueness. Companies at all levels of the bike industry can get in on creating these stickers, from manufacturers to specialty retailers and stores that sell or service bikes in addition to other products. Stickers for helmets can cover any number of topics. Shops can produce stickers with their own logos to encourage loyalty and attract new customers. There is also room to invoke local pride, with riders eager to wear the emblems of the places they come from. Motorcycle helmet stickers may be a particularly fertile field. Motorcyclists can cover a lot more ground than bike riders and may be especially keen to salute their regional identity with a customized helmet.

    Custom Helmet Labels for Safety Instead of simply using stickers to improve the look of a bike helmet, you can use custom helmet labels applied to the equipment itself or outer packaging to trumpet the health benefits of protecting one's head while riding. You can even tailor the messages on these labels to act as reminders of the laws in various parts of the country. Whether because of legal requirements or the simple need to protect themselves in the event of an accident, everyone on a bike should be in line for a helmet.

    Now is the Right Time

    With National Bike Month underway, it's clearly a great time to commit to a new set of stickers or labels, whether to promote safety or help riders show off their individuality. Working with Lightning Labels can help you make these plans into reality, as all-digital printing processes ensure short turnaround times and enable you to work with a wide variety of different materials that will suit your project's needs.

    As it gets warmer outside, people who had stored their bikes away are getting them out again for another year. This is your target audience for your safety products, labeled and stickered for safety and looks alike.

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  • Food Safety Product Labeling Must Have Allergens in Mind

    Careful Food Safety Product Labeling a Must

    When you're launching a new food or beverage product, listing possible allergens is one of the most important steps on your to-do list. Unless you take this process extremely seriously, you may be forced to issue a costly recall. Producers of food and beverage products can ill afford to make a mistake or oversight in their lists of potential allergens. This is what makes food safety product labeling an absolute must for food and beverage producers.

    Relevant Rules

    A recent JD Supra article by product liability advocacy law firm Wilson Elser offered a reminder that not only are allergen mislabeling problems serious for companies, they're happening at a worrying rate. For instance, there were 650 food recalls carried out in 2016. That's way up from the 154 that occurred 10 years earlier. Most of the allergen issues are clustered around the eight major allergens that must be labeled per Food and Drug Administration rules: milk, fish, eggs, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans.

    Wilson Elser added that food producers' diligence goes beyond checking foods themselves for the relevant allergens - if there is any possibility of cross-contamination with relevant items, that is cause for labeling attention as well. Whether labeling takes place at the production, manufacturing or distribution stage of the supply chain, this is one responsibility that's impossible to set aside. Considering the seriousness of allergic reactions, customers' health could be at risk.

    Diligence in Action

    Packaging safety consultant Gary Kestenbaum, writing for Packaging Digest, noted that many recall apologies from brands explain that the company allocated its resources to areas other than labeling and notification, thus leading to the problems. The author suggested that companies reject this philosophy and have full-scale identification efforts to ensure allergen listings - all other relevant parts of food packaging - are accurate. He explained that while it may seem excessive to add extra steps to production, the savings from avoiding recalls can be considerable.

    While your company may be too small to implement the kind of extensive, multi-individual chain of responsibility recommended by Kestenbaum, his point is well taken: When businesses not only focus on their packaging but have multiple rounds of checking and verification to ensure they haven't missed anything, their food products stand a better chance of going out to store shelves wholly accurate, removing the need for a costly recall down the line.

    Recent Recalls

    There's no need to speak in generalities about the risk of recalls due to inadequate allergen labeling - it happens all the time. For instance, the Department of Agriculture recently reported a recall of 150 pounds of ready-to-eat couscous due to the undeclared presence of pecans. Pecans are a tree nut, one of the aforementioned allergens that producers need to declare in all cases.

    In another recent USDA action, the agency noted 30,537 pounds of frozen burritos were subject to recall. The issue was twofold for the burritos, as they contain egg and soy, neither of which was declared on the packaging. While the couscous problem was noticed by the supermarket distributing the items, the presence of egg and soy in the burritos was flagged as part of a customer complaint. There are numerous ways for labeling inadequacies to come to light, from inspections to input from the public.

    Getting Food Safety Product Labels

    When it's time to print a new batch of food labels for one of your products, there's no need to skimp on quality. After all, you've worked hard to ensure they are completely accurate and reflect the contents of your items. All that effort will go to waste if low printing quality renders the labels unappealing visually. Working with an experienced printer such as Lightning Labels is one way to give your food products a look that can stand out on the shelves while still giving adequate space to ingredients listings and all other relevant info.

    Since Lightning Labels uses all-digital printing processes and works from domestic facilities instead of outsourcing, your labels will arrive in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. This can be a remarkably helpful factor, ensuring that the printing step doesn't slow down the overall process of getting labels for a new product. Of course, an item's debut isn't the only good time to call on Lightning Labels - you can also commit to a redesign to suit a new season or simply to breathe new life into your branding.

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  • Spice it Up! Update Your BBQ Sauce Labels for National Barbeque Month

    BBQ Sauce Labels Provide A Bold New Look

    When you produce barbecue sauce, marinade and hot sauce products, you add the spice to your customers' meals. But if the BBQ sauce bottle labels for those items are bland or unmemorable, it harms your ability to convince shoppers to give your brand a try. There's no better time than National Barbecue Month to take a look at your sauce line and determine whether an exciting new look could be just what it needs to win people over.

    Adding New Elements

    There isn't just one way to improve BBQ sauce labels. In fact, just about every element of the graphic design can be tuned up and improved dramatically if you focus. As long as you work with a labeling provider that is able to realize your new ideas, you're free to get creative and update your food labels for maximum audience appeal.

    It's the dawn of cookout season, so a potential sales boom is right around the corner. Here are a few particular graphic changes you can employ to catch aspiring backyard chefs' eyes:

    Useful recipes: Maybe people are hesitant to buy a sauce or herb rub if they aren't sure how to use the flavoring. Putting simple directions and suggested ingredients on the package takes away that uncertainty. If you work with a producer of high-quality labels, it will be easy to print the necessary amount of text on the label without it getting blurry.

    Exciting graphics: BBQ sauce and hot sauce are sold on bold personality. You want to communicate to buyers who have never tasted your product that they'll enjoy it, and give them a sense of how it tastes. You can boost your brand's appeal via colorful imagery that evokes a flavor and potentially uses regional symbols to celebrate your local surroundings.

    Seasonal content: You can remind shoppers that it's National Barbecue Month - or just that summer is coming up and it's a great time to grill. Changing elements of your packaging every few months keeps things fresh, and as long as you work with a printer capable of producing reasonably sized orders, you can execute this strategy without waste.

    Reach Your Audience

    Sauces and other BBQ essentials aren't the kind of products that receive media-blitz ad campaigns. The in-store experience, when someone is browsing an aisle, is your chance to make the case for your brand. Your labels are the part of the package that sets your items apart from the rest of the field. Custom hot sauce labels, BBQ sauce labels, spice rub packages and more act as your company's calling card. It's up to you to take the design challenge seriously.

    Once you have a good idea of how you want your labels to look, it's time to find a third party that can turn that vision into reality. Lightning Labels can fulfill that function, with its all-digital processes enabling affordable, short print runs as well as remarkably quick turnaround times. Any new ideas you put onto your BBQ sauce labels in celebration of National Barbecue Month can become physical items in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

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  • Natural Claims on Food Labels: Sometimes Confusing, Always Important

    Food Labels: What Do Consumers Want to Know?

    Any food product could be described, accurately, in dozens of different ways. Knowing which types of claims are most interesting to your consumers, and allowed by government regulations, could transform your labeling strategy for the better. A preoccupation with healthy eating and nutrition is one of the major shopping trends animating present-day consumers, and when it's time for a label refresh, you can implement these elements to improve your offerings.

    Stating the Obvious?

    The power of perception and phrasing when it comes to food product labeling became clear in University of Illinois research, according to Agri News. In the study, consumers were asked which promises meant the most to them. The responses were surprising in that "organic" ranked at the bottom of the priority list, while claims such as "no growth hormones" dominated. There is a special kind of significance to this being the top choice, as growth hormones are actually banned in farm-grown products.

    The researchers noted that the study results show the potential value of making claims on food package labels. Brands that note they have no growth hormones in their food products may have more appeal than those that don't, despite the fact that neither company uses any of those substances, as they are both in compliance with the law. According to Agri Business, there is actually a stipulation that companies claiming "no growth hormones" have to note in small print that of course there aren't growth hormones, as the government prohibits them.

    Customer education on what different terms mean may change the landscape of favored packaging labels. Agri Business reported that Breanna Ellison, the study's lead researcher, pointed to the "organic" distinction as a case in point. When a meat product receives such a label, it means the animals in question were not subjected to many of the processes consumers were asked about - yet they still ranked those individual assurances as more important than "organic." More knowledge about what organic means when not applied to fruit or vegetables, but to meat or poultry.

    Preferences and Requirements for Food Labels

    Sometimes, terms consumers want to see and legal requirements become intertwined. Genetically modified organism labeling is an example of this phenomenon. Agri Business noted that "non-GMO" is the No. 2 concern about food contents, just following growth hormones. Of course, the presence or absence of GMOs has also been a legislative priority over the past few years. The Fence Post recently reported that the Department of Agriculture is currently working on a compliance schedule and rules for disclosure.

    The Fence Post explained that the new administration's chief agriculture aide, Ray Starling has restated the USDA's intention to follow the schedule for labeling rules laid out by congress. That means that by July 2018, there will be clarity about how companies have to state the presence of genetically modified ingredients. The actual roll-out for related labels, however, will be later to allow manufacturers to comply. Starling clarified that the USDA following the law and finalizing the standard won't result in unfeasible compliance deadlines.

    Mandated and Intentional Changes

    Whether your brand changes its food labels to comply with new disclosure rules or as a direct attempt to appeal to a new audience, there's a need to partner with reliable third parties on such projects. This is where Lightning Labels comes in, providing high-quality labels and not requiring large minimum order sizes. That latter fact means that even when changes are mandated, you won't be left with unusable rolls of outdated labels. Transforming your products' look to foreground their natural bona fides can become a powerful differentiator for your brand, promising your audience that their nutritional needs are being met.

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