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Design and Print Perfect Food Bag Labels

Design and Print Perfect Food Bag Labels

Creating great labels for packaged food products may be the factor that generates sales for you and pushes your brand ahead of competitors. This is because shoppers see product labels at the pivotal moment when they're about to make a purchase. A good custom printed label clarifies why your brand is the right choice.

Since different foods come in such a wide variety of containers, your labeling efforts must adjust to suit the size and shape of your chosen packaging. For food sold in a bag or pouch — nuts, loose vegetables, seasonings and more — the ideal solution may be specially shaped labels or custom stickers for food bags.

With printed labels the exact right shape and size for your brand's bags, carrying your unique brand imagery and logos can make sure your items stand out on store shelves. The labels' messages will reach potential customers just as they're checking out.

Food Bag Labels: When To Use Them

There are numerous items that are better suited for a bag than a box, can, jar or another type of package. A food bag can even be a form of minimal packaging. After all, many items in boxes have a bag inside to help keep the packaged food fresh. When you sell your products in bags with printed labels applied to the outside, you eliminate the box from the equation.

Some bags are designed to stand up on their own, while others hang from racks on store shelves. One of the most common bagged items straddles the line between the food and beverage categories: whole-bean coffee.

You can also use bags if your brand is a grocery store operator. When you bag items on-site, such as prepared foods or fresh produce, you can apply food bag labels right before placing the items on the shelves. This allows you to show off a professional level of branding on these quickly prepared products.

In all cases, applying a well-designed food bag label combines the necessary information for food products, such as net weight and nutrition facts, with compelling visuals. In this way, bag labels are the same as any food label. The added twist with food bag labels is that the customer can also see the bag underneath, whether it's colorful to add extra branding or transparent to show the contents.

Designing Ideal Food Bag Labels

Buying bags, materials and colors that suit your brand's overall image is step one in effective bag labeling, while step two is designing the labels themselves. These two steps should go together so that the bag and label perfectly complement each other.

This may mean going with smaller die-cut bag labels for foods stored in transparent bags, to better show off the colors and textures of the items within. Imagine fresh green lettuce or bright candies. When dealing with such items, the label's most important purpose may be to let the food advertise itself.

In other cases, it's better to use a colorful, opaque bag and design labels that support this aesthetic. Designers could create labels that use the same colors as the underlying bag for a cohesive look. It's also possible to go for contrast, and make the label stand out. For instance, a black bag with a shining gold or silver label on top could readily catch shoppers' eyes.

Whichever approach a brand takes on its food bag labels, the end result should be in line with the company's overall personality and advertising approach. The huge range of aesthetic options runs from minimal text art to colorful photographs and beyond. With high-quality printed bag labels, any type of imagery can look sharp and distinctive.

Food Labeling Musts and Trends

Custom product labeling for bags breaks down into two categories. First, there are the necessary elements to make sure the food packaging meets its legal requirements. Second, there are the aesthetic choices that ensure labels stand out against the competition. Design decisions tend to run in cycles, as brands step up their efforts to appeal to shoppers’ visual senses.

The following are a few considerations from each side of the functionality/aesthetics divide.

FDA Requirements for Food Bag Labels

The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of ensuring food labels contain comprehensive and detailed information to let consumers make informed decisions about what they eat. The current FDA guidance for brands dates from 2013, though it should be noted that there have been more recent changes to the format of the Nutrition Facts label.

In addition to the updated list of nutrition information, reflecting new dietary priorities, food labels should state clearly what kind of food is in the package, the name of the food manufacturer, packer or importer, the net contents of the container, a full ingredient list and any potential allergens within. In addition to naming the company that made, packaged or distributed the food, labels should state the business's address.

The FDA oversees numerous aspects of food labeling, such as the size of font used to tell customers what type of food they're buying. The agency also oversees the use of statements such as "low in fat" or whether an item is a "good source of'' a nutrient. Using those terms in a way that conflicts with their official definitions may result in an item being pulled from store shelves.

The Latest Food Label Design Trends

While keeping up with legal labeling requirements is all about doing things in a prescribed, uniform way, graphic design is where companies can be creative. Peruse Pinterest's list of best bag label designs, and many interesting trends emerge, from tiny label sizing to the use of pleasing pastel hues for inspiration.

Some companies have recently opted to compromise between clear and opaque bags, using bags with transparent windows to show off a limited amount of the contents. Designers can top these bags off with small labels that sit above the window, on the non-transparent part of the package.

If a bag is completely clear, it may be worthwhile to go for an extremely small and minimal custom label, with just enough room for a brand logo and required disclosures. This can show off the food to its fullest extent, whether the item in question is dried fruit, granola or anything else the producer has decided to sell in bags.

Team Up with the Ideal Label Printing Partner

Bringing great food bag product labels to life is easier when a company teams up with an experienced and skilled custom label printing partner. Lightning Labels has spent over 20 years delivering value for brands of all kinds, using all-digital printing methods to produce full-color food labels on a variety of label materials.

With quick turnaround times and flexible order sizes, Lightning Labels can adapt to serve food producers of any scale or specialty. Lightning Labels consultants can even step in during the graphic design process to ensure labels meet their creators' aesthetic objectives to guarantee shoppers’ future interest.

From local dried fruit producers selling at farmer's markets, to coffee bean packagers aiming to reach national supermarket chains, Lightning Labels has an ideal food bag labeling solution for any business. Request a free quote today!