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    It's Wedding Season! Personalize Wedding Favors with Custom Labels

    Add Flair to the Ceremony by Customizing Labels On Wedding Favors

    As spring gives way to summer, this year's wedding season is officially underway. Every ceremony is unique, representing the unique interests of the individuals tying the knot. On top of their importance to the couples getting married, weddings are also memorable events for everyone who attends. These events bring family and friends together to share the joy and celebration.

    If you're planning a wedding, you're likely looking for little elements that will help the day stand out. If so, graphic design innovations for personalized wedding favors such as custom bottle labels for water or champagne could be the right choice. These act as a way to tie the celebratory aesthetic together and create a visually memorable reception that establishes a specific tone.

    Water or Champagne

    Handing out water bottles is a common way to keep guests hydrated at a reception, and if you employ personalized water bottles at your wedding, you can turn this simple item into a part of the overall aesthetic. Whatever the theme is, there's a label style that ties in. Metallic materials can create a tasteful look, perhaps evoking old Hollywood. Rougher and more rustic finishes could show off a "real-ness" and down-to-earth spirit.

    Wedding favors customized for the event - with the name of the happy couple emblazoned on them - are great to hand out to guests. Bottled water labels turn an average item into such a memento. Water bottles are immediately useful at dinner or after dancing, and they can go home with the guests in case they want a little physical reminder of the wonderful evening.

    Champagne bottle labels are another example of a personalized wedding favor, perhaps a more elegant and sophisticated take on the custom party favor. At a big enough wedding, there could be enough champagne served at the reception to make custom labeling possible. You can also hand out custom bottles of champagne that are intended to go home with guests instead of being served on the spot.

    Giving a toast from a custom labeled bottle of champagne adds one more fancy touch to a wedding reception. As with custom water bottle labels, this ties the whole aesthetic together. If you go with both water bottles and champagne with custom labels, they will match one another and the rest of the decorations.

    Working with Lightning Labels

    At first, it may seem impossible to go with a high-quality, commercial-grade labeling partner for your wedding favors. Won't the minimum order sizes or prices be too high? With Lightning Labels, those concerns dissolve. Lightning Labels uses all-digital processes that enable affordable purchasing of smaller orders and keep costs low despite impressive resolution and a variety of possible material and finish choices.

    Getting exactly the look that suits the rest of your wedding decorations is a reasonable goal when you can pick from the many visual options on offer from Lightning Labels. The same company that has spent 15 years presenting companies' products in the best possible light can add a classy and sophisticated aesthetic cohesion to your wedding ceremony and reception, all for a cost that won't break your budget.

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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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  • Product Labels: Legal Action Remains Common

    Challenges Go to Court

    Choosing your words carefully is essential when designing product labels, as when customers feel deceived by a package, they don't just stop buying - they sue. There are reputation and financial effects to claims that don't match consumers' perceptions, and letting these matters go to court can prove time-consuming and costly.

    Complying with all relevant labeling laws and restrictions is a starting point for companies, rather than the maximum diligence brands should show. Using phrases that have not been legally ruled on in the past, but are taken as deceptive by customers, could lead to your organization becoming cited as a future precedent, spending a lot of money on settlements before the dust settles.

    Headline News

    The following are three recent examples of incidents when product labeling promises ended up leading to court cases. Each is at a different stage of litigation, but they all serve as illustrative examples of the kinds of things consumers take issue with. From the place an item is from to the nature of its ingredients or even whether it has health benefits or not, these issues run the gamut.

    Costco Pays Nearly a Million

    A recent judgment has cost supermarket chain Costco, to the tune of $775,000. The money may pale in comparison to the heavy lifting the brand now has to do to change its packaging, however. According to Law 360, the issue centered on the word "healthy" with regard to coconut oil. Buyers of the product took issue with the fact that the drink incorporated a heavy dose of saturated fat. Now, to settle the case, Costco has agreed to strike the word "health" and "health benefits."

    In fact, no matter how the suit was resolved, the words would have likely been gone for good. The labeling change was executed during the course of the case, the source noted. In a note that may be relevant to other companies facing legal product label challenges, Costco moved for dismissal in mid-2016 on the grounds that the plaintiffs didn't prove their health had actually been damaged by the saturated fat, but that wasn't enough to sway the judge.

    Ginger Ale Ingredient Listing Questioned

    A separate Law 360 report noted that Canada Dry will have to fight a court battle over its claim that real ginger is present in its soda. The brand asked the judge to call the case off on grounds that it is not precise enough. The judge, however, ruled that the suit will proceed, at least on the core issue of whether a "real ginger" label is deceptive.

    The attorney for Canada Dry suggested that since the brand doesn't make claims about pharmaceutical health benefits, it's not the kind of matter that should be litigated in a fraud proceeding. The judge threw out the allegation that there is fraud occurring but allowed the plaintiffs to rephrase and submit it again. The plaintiffs claim that they would have paid less - or not bought the soda at all - if they knew there was just "natural flavoring" from ginger roots, rather than ginger being directly involved in the creation of the drink.

    Where Is This Beer From?

    The issue of regional origin is a major packaging element. According to a Washington Legal Foundation post for Forbes, it has become the latest battleground for attorneys who want to "earn an easy buck" off of brands. The case promoting this assessment involves Kona, a beer brand associated with Hawaii. The current suit alleges that since the brand's products sold in the U.S. mainland are not brewed on the islands of Hawaii, the packaging is deceptive, even though the company is based in Hawaii and does have a brewery there.

    The same kind of theory is behind a suit that alleges Japanese brand Sapporo is being deceptive with the Japan-centric promotional copy on its products sold and brewed elsewhere. The news provider noted that there has been pushback against this kind of suit - but not enough to stop it yet.

    Are Your Product Labels Ready?

    Once your brand has decided on product label copy that won't end up challenged in court, it's time to print those labels and make them look as visually impressive as possible. This is where Lightning Labels can help. With all-digital processes in place, you'll get your new-look labels in a hurry.

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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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  • Front-of-Package Food Label Calorie Counts Get a Surprising Ally

    Should You List More Information on Food Labels?

    Some food labeling priorities aren't optional - they're required by law. The new look of the Nutrition Facts label falls into this category. On the other hand, there are elements of food product labels that you can either include or leave out based on what you think will resonate most with your customer base. Putting a large amount of nutritional information on the front of a food label is one of these choices. Will consumers appreciate your honesty? This approach has recently receive a boost from an unlikely source.

    Hershey's = Healthy?

    Candy giant Hershey Co. has committed to a wide variety of health initiatives over the next few years, extending from the ingredients it chooses for its confections to the labeling strategies it employs. This includes front-of-pack calorie labels across its individually wrapped candies, in both regular portions and "king sizes." This is a bold approach for a manufacturer of sweets, but it's all part of a plan: Making calorie information easily visible coincides with an effort to ensure each of those candies contains 200 calories or fewer.

    The effort to become a more health-conscious Hershey's will also encompass new king-size packaging details designed to encourage buyers to either share the bigger candy bars with other people or to eat them a little at a time. The dual commitment to reducing calorie counts and displaying them shows the critical elements of a such initiatives: Once you've made products that fit into healthy consumers' diets, it's time to use that content as a selling point.

    Looking at Chile's Example

    Front-of-pack food labeling can serve as an overall indicator of an item's nutritional content, and an especially compelling one, given its prominent visual place. In 2015, the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued praise for Chile's redesign of its labeling laws to ensure that the fronts of items containing high amounts of risky elements receive warning labels.

    The warnings, octagonally shaped to resemble stop signs, advise consumers about to buy products that have large amounts of refined sugars, saturated fat, calories or sodium. The CSPI noted that there was a recommendation that the FDA adopt a system of mandatory front-of-pack labeling, spearheaded by the Institute of Medicine in 2011. The FDA did not react at the time.

    It's All Situational

    As to the effect front-of-pack food labels might have on consumer preferences, Science Daily reported that University of Arkansas and University of Mississippi researchers teamed up to measure these panels' influence. They found that when consumers are evaluating single items, specific labels containing quantifiable information helped them make decisions. In cases when they are comparing multiple items, evaluative labels are more useful.

    Something to Think About

    While your brand presses ahead in dealing with the new Nutrition Facts panel, other labeling options are worth considering. If your products are healthy enough to be selected on the basis of their nutritional content, being more explicit about that information could be a selling point, especially with consumers who value honesty and are impressed with brands that provide facts. If even a giant of the candy world considers itself healthy enough to embrace front-of-pack calorie counts, there is likely a wide-open market for this kind of disclosure.

    Nutritional information, required and optional alike, is one category of element you can include in any labeling redesign. If it's been a while since you updated your food labels, you can contact a provider such as Lightning Labels to see the possibilities for your brand. When you're making a change for one reason - such as getting in compliance with the latest Nutrition Facts revisions - you can embrace other revisions at the same time, adding compelling elements shoppers will appreciate.

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  • Keep Your Custom Labels Relevant

    Learn How Other Brands Have Changed their Custom Labels to Suit Their Environments

    Changing the look and feel of your brand's custom labels is one important way to spark interest among your potential audience. If it's been a while since you redesigned your items' packaging, it's worth considering possible moves that will appeal to consumers and give a clear indication of what your products stand for. Having such an inspired direction is important when working on new branded labels and it can help get the wheels turning to see what other companies have done when it came time to redesign their products.

    Changes Across Categories

    There is no secret formula that points to perfect custom brand labels. Each company is different and you'll have to find an appearance that specifically suits your offerings. That said, there are lessons to be learned from other businesses. You can watch how these companies studied their potential customers, reconsidered their graphic designs, then took actions to improve their items. The following are three separate redesign campaigns undertaken by brands, as reported by Packaging World.

    Reaching the big time: When it's time for a product to potentially reach a large, new audience, it has to look its best. The recent Mike's Hot Honey hot sauce design change was based on creating a more unique and professional-looking appearance when the items went from local to national distribution. The brand opted for a bold new color palate that would reflect the product's hot flavor and hand-crafted creation. Even the finish of the labels changed, with the existing glossy design seen as a poor match for an artisanal item.

    Putting a mascot front and center: When a mascot character becomes synonymous label, custom logo labels can foreground that image to impressive effect. Rogue Ales & Spirits recently revised the bottle design for its Dead Guy Ale, putting the eponymous skeleton on the front of the container all alone. The uncluttered label, with a die-cut look that means the character isn't presented on any background, lets the mascot do the selling.

    Unifying categories: When a brand expands beyond its origins, the moment of growth is a great time for a redesign. That's why Lemi Shine, a household cleaner brand, decided on a full label revamp to coincide with its move out of exclusive association with dishes. The company now offers a wide variety of household cleaners, and the bright new look is meant to make sure the products look distinct from one another and competing items - while still hanging together as a cohesive brand.

    Have the Right Support

    No matter how ambitious or minor your custom label design objectives are, your choice of third party may be the decision that ensures the project's success or sinks its chances. Working with a flexible and fast custom label provider such as Lightning Labels - with quick turnaround times and a variety of available materials and finishes - gives you more opportunities to make your branding efforts successful. No matter what kind of effect you're going for, Lightning Labels can support you on the way to your goal.

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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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  • Lightning Labels Marks 15 Years of High-Quality Custom Labels

    There's Never Been a Better Time to Revise Your Labeling Strategy

    Whether people interact with your products on store shelves or browse through pictures of them online, the custom labels you employ will set those consumers' expectations. Packaging gives your brand a face and enables you to set your items apart from competitors' offerings. If you're looking for a third party to help your products look their best, Lightning Labels is on your side. This month is the company's 15th anniversary, and it's made it this far by embracing technology and customer service. When you design new labels for printing, Lightning Labels should be the first name you think of.

    The Secret to Lasting 15 Years

    In the competitive labeling space, companies don't stay relevant for 15 years by accident. Lightning Labels has made it to this milestone year and beyond by delivering a careful mixture of advanced technology and spot-on customer service. Being an expert labeling partner means tending to the needs of customers' campaigns, whatever unique circumstances those firms are dealing with. You'll find Lightning Labels can deliver this kind of flexibility, embodied in the following characteristics:

    • Wide Variety of Materials and Finishes: How your labels look comes down to a number of factors, not just the imagery you print on them. Lightning Labels' all-digital process works with a variety of materials and finishes, each of which adds character to the finished product. If you're interested in recycled labels that give a rustic look while reaffirming your environmental bona fides, you can have that. If your items are better suited to shimmering metallic labels that proclaim their classiness, that's an option too.
    • Low Minimum Orders and Fast Turnaround Times: Whether you're responding to industry regulations or simply switching one promotion for another, changing up labels often is a common decision. This becomes easier when you work with an all-digital printer such as Lightning Labels - no expensive plate-creation process means affordable prices and low minimum order sizes. Your labels are then dispatched from a domestic facility instead of an outsourced location, getting them in your hands quickly.
    • Hands-on Customer Service: Striking up a long-term relationship between a label provider and a client creates peace of mind for everyone. If you know where your next batch of labels is coming from, you can set the wheels in motion quickly and efficiently. Lightning Labels makes it easy and pleasant for customers to stick around with attentive service and care. Good bonds with clients have kept Lightning Labels strong for 15 years and counting.

    Branding Is Not Optional

    When your products face the world, it helps to have prime labels that reflect the quality of the items themselves. For 15 years, Lightning Labels has provided visual excitement for companies of all kinds. There's never been a better time to join this group of satisfied customers and revolutionize the look of your product line. Having a trusted custom label printer in your corner means being able to set your image with precision, presenting your items to consumers in an ideal setting that maximizes their appeal.

  • Increase Mother's Day Sales with Custom Prime Labels

    Custom Prime Labels Make Your Products Stand Out

    It's almost time for dutiful daughters and sons to find nice gifts and celebrate all their mothers have done for them over the years: Mother's Day is almost here. If you think your brand's products would fit that niche and serve as great Mother's Day presents, it's time to say so through prime labels that catch buyers' eyes.

    Label redesigns don't have to directly center around Mother's Day or mention the holiday. It could just be a good time to revamp the labels on items people may be picking up for their moms, ensuring that when they walk the aisles, your brand's options will stand out from the pack and become clear choices. Everything from candles to perfume and a whole host of bath and body products can receive a new look, and just in time: This year, Mother's Day is May 14.

    Beauty Products

    No matter what kind of beauty products your brand offers - from soap to makeup or anything in between - you can go for an exciting new look with prime labels. Custom lotion labels, perhaps using an enticing spring color palate, can promote the benefits of your brand and add a classy look to the products. If your bath and body product labels look sophisticated and elegant, they'll make better gifts than equivalent products with more straightforward or medical tone to their packaging.

    Candles

    A house gains a touch of comfort when it's illuminated with candles. Candles carrying unique scents can become great accents for a room - and good gift items if you present them in the right labels. Labels for candles have to be up to industry standards, carrying required warnings and standing up to heat. As long as you carefully meet all the criteria, however, updating to aesthetically pleasing new prime labels can be a difference-maker for candle sales.

    Perfume

    A classic gift item, perfume makes its name on elegance and class. Your choice of labels can ensure your brand stands out, even among tough competition. Choice of material and finish could play a major role in the design process for perfume. Metallic hues are especially compelling here, playing up the exclusivity of the product. Of course, these labels should be water- and oil-resistant so they won't fade, even if the perfume bottle they're covering is stored in a bathroom cabinet.

    Time for Labeling

    If you want to get your new labels on shelves in a hurry, in time to catch the eye of Mother's Day shoppers this year instead of next, you need a partner quick enough to make this happen. That's where Lightning Labels, using all-digital printing processes and operating from domestic facilities, has a major advantage against slower competitors. When you need labels for beauty products and don't want to wait months, calling Lightning Labels is a critical choice.

    With a host of materials and finishes available and a long history of helping brands make their items look great on shelves, Lightning Labels is the third party to call to prepare for Mother's Day. Before you know it, the May 14 will be here. Then, it will be time to think about items for other holidays. Lightning Labels can help there, too.

  • Product Label Claims: Another Busy Year Ahead

    Keep Watching for New Product Label Rules

    Even if product labeling was just a struggle between brands trying to win customers' eyes with their compelling designs, it would be a challenging and complicated field. It's so much more than that, however. No matter what type of products your company manufactures or sells, you've likely felt the impact of rules and regulations about what you can and should print on your labels.

    Obliging and complying with relevant product labeling rules doesn't just mean memorizing policies and relaxing, either. There are real, meaningful changes to those laws every year and a failure to keep up with these updates can lead to regulatory trouble. This is yet another reason to work with a product labeling partner capable of quick turnaround times and short print runs - the resulting agility will help you change strategy if a new rule comes into effect.

    A Year of Product Labeling Changes in Food and Beverage

    A legal alert from law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck recently pointed out that the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture both have relevant rules coming into effect during the year ahead. These include the new uniform genetically modified organism labeling law, as well as the final ruling on what "healthy" can mean following a period of comment and revision. Adding further uncertainty to the situation is the fact that there is always the potential that rules will change or be blocked.

    The law firm indicated that there is "significant potential" for the GMO rules to not make their anticipated July 2018 roll-out date. This is due to the fact that affected producers may challenge the rules. In addition, there is a general antipathy to adding new regulations to the books among members of the current Republican administration.

    Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck added that organizations may find themselves changing their labeling strategies multiple times over a few short months, especially if the GMO ruling does come into effect but is delayed. Complying with the FDA's new rules governing nutrition facts will force one change, then the GMO law another. This warning is a clear indication that labeling systems should be ready for shake-ups and quick changes.

    Made in the USA Disputes

    Where a product is made could also become a subject of debate and enforcement, according to a separate legal alert, this one by Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. The law firm pointed out that the Federal Trade Commission has stepped up its inspection and enforcement efforts concerning products that claim to be made in the U.S.A.

    Drinker Biddle & Reath explained that the new administration may have an effect on this labeling issue as well. Due to the current focus on using goods and materials manufactured domestically, there is every chance for more stringent enforcement of items that claim to be U.S.-made. The law firm added that state rules differ and companies should inspect these regulations to be absolutely sure they qualify before making such a claim.

    When it comes to working with suppliers, manufacturers should ensure they have documentation of the supply chain. Finding out that a domestic materials claim isn't verifiable could be a costly mistake for a company to make. The legal alert noted that claims with qualifiers, perhaps specifying that materials are not domestic but the product was assembled in the U.S., tend to pass FTC muster - as long as they're true and can be supported.

    Product Labeling on High Alert

    When there are potential labeling rule changes in the pipeline - and these days there seemingly always are - it pays to have a responsive and agile product labeling partner. Lightning Labels, with its all-digital processes and domestic facilities, is able to turn orders around in days, not weeks or months. This is the kind of company you need in your corner.

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