Why Seasonal Packaging Can Help You Gain Customers

It’s that time of year again; time to decorate your store windows, run holiday sales, and most importantly, switch up your product labels. Why? Seasonal packaging can help gain customers.

If you print your labels in-house, this isn’t a hard task to complete. But if you don’t print in-house, that is something you may want to reconsider.

Holidays Can Equal More Sales

During the holidays, you could be missing out on major sales revenue without seasonal packaging. Why?

Products that are polished, seasonal, and unique have a better chance of being picked up and chosen over a similar product.

Recent studies show that product labels are much more critical in the buyer’s journey than anticipated.

Ben Schubert from Nielsen’s Innovation Practice in Europe was recently involved in a report analyzing the topic stating, “Package design is the dark horse of the marketing world. It receives little attention compared to other marketing disciplines, and its impact tends to be vastly underestimated.”

More often than not, what we think are the little things actually end up being much bigger.

Humans are highly visual beings

When we see something aesthetically pleasing, it catches our eye. The consumer is looking for your exact product, but if not presented the right way, it is easily passed over.

This is especially heightened during the holiday seasons, where our eyes are trained to pick up on certain color patterns and images. Not convinced?

Nielson continues, “Back-to-basics marketing such as how essential it is to stand out at the shelf has become slightly lost due to marketers’ increasing focus on where to advertise in a media-saturated world.

Nearly 60% of product decisions are made at the shelf, and 56% of European consumers say the in-store discovery is one of their top information sources for new products, compared to 45% for TV ads.”

Now those are staggering numbers. More than half of consumers’ decisions are made at the shelf? Presuming the setup is that of a regular market, that means more than half of the buyer’s decisions are based on the label alone.

That’s something to pay attention to.

It is more important than ever to remain ahead of the curve

And utilizing information like this will help push you to the forefront.

Think about it, which product would be more likely purchased on the spot: a branded box of truffles or a holiday packaging edition of similar truffles? The presentation matters. Most would go with the latter.

This year, while speaking on a similar topic, Gillian Christie, founder & CEO of adVentures Academy reveals that “Design message on packaging can be the make or break point with your target audience.”

And we couldn’t agree more.

Your seasonal packaging and even personalized packaging can help you gain customers, giving you an edge on your competition and a greater chance for consumers to try your products.

Christie continues, “Understanding consumer behavior and identifying the exact buying motivators, hot buttons and the specific ‘conversion factor’ for that target audience is the differentiating factor between a good design and a great design.”

Now that the labels and packaging have been identified as such a large conversion factor (60%), the opportunity to greatly increase your consumer base is within your grasp.

So how do you use this to your advantage?

Take control over your production line and print your labels in-house.

digital color label printersManaging your labeling process can reap a plethora of benefits in addition to catching the customers’ eye. With less room for errors, no wait time or shipping, and reduced waste, your in-house label printer or packaging system would be earning its keep by saving and earning you money.

What are you waiting for?

It’s the holiday season! Get inspired! Feel the magic! And make your packaging great.

Sources:
Packaging News
Food Dive
Business Dictionary
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Thermopylae Sciences & Technology

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying an In-House Label Printer

So you’re thinking of buying an in-house label printer. Great! You’re on the path to gain more independence and control within your business. That’s probably why you’ve come here, am I right? Before you make the call, you may want to take a look at these 5 questions to ask before buying an in-house label printer.

We know the issues that can arise when using an outside printing source. You are no longer going to have to deal with costly re-prints, overstock, delayed shipments, or wasted expenses.

digital color label printers

Now the question is what type of color label printer do you need?

Depending on the type of industry you’re in, your labeling needs are bound to vary. There are requirements and specifications that you need to look into before making your purchase.

But don’t worry; QuickLabel is here to help make your buyer’s journey much easier.

There are 5 questions to ask before buying an in-house label printer. These questions will help determine what type of inkjet label printer is the best fit for your business.

Let’s get started.

1. Buying an in-house label printer: What size labels are you printing?

in-house label printerEach printer has different characteristics, including the label width they are capable of printing on. You wouldn’t get the same label printer used for eJuice/eLiquid labels as for a cleaning solution jug.

You may know the type of label you want to create in-house, but before you go making any decisions, you really need to know the width you require.

If you know what size labels you need, you should be able to have them printed out just as you want them on the first run. After all, this is supposed to make things easier for you.

For example, if you’re printing e-liquid bottles you don’t want a system that prints up to 9.07 inches in width. You’d go for the smaller, narrower print of 0.5″ (12.7 mm) in width. The same applies if you want to produce wide, durable labels. The printer has to be able to give you exactly what you and your product requirements, which bring us to the next question…

2. Do your labels have regulations? (FDA)

food_and_drug_administration_logo-svg

Are there certain requirements your labels are supposed to follow? For example, FDA regulations for medical labels or nutrition facts. If you want to distribute your products, these must be met. They also have to be accurate.

Meeting FDA regulations for nutrition panels can be an intimidating task. There are font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts, and difficult calculations for daily values. As a food manufacturer, you need to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding, and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates.

However, it’s absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and to present your customers with the quality and transparency in the packaging they’ve come to expect.

There is a great risk of mislabeling when you rely on pre-printed labels. Human beings are responsible for selecting the correct label, and they can make mistakes. Whether it is a food, medical, or other health-related labels, both create a serious health risk if not labeled properly.

With QuickLabel printers, you gain the flexibility and accuracy you need to meet the required standards.

For example, the QL-120X label printer has the capability to print your food labels in an astounding 1200 dpi resolution to ensure that the intricate details (and small text sizes) on your nutrition labels are perfectly printed every single time.

Printing compliant food labels in-house with a QL-120X label printer also gives you the capability to control your compliance in-house, by overseeing each part of the labeling process: design and printing.

You’ll have fewer labeling mistakes because you’ll be able to control the entire labeling process.

3. Do you need to print barcodes? If so, do you need 200dpi or 600dpi?

If you are printing for food, beverage, clothing, or any item that requires purchasing, you need a barcode label.

So what next? Many people debate the pros and cons of whether to select a 200 dpi barcode label printer or a 600 dpi barcode label printer.

High-resolution barcode label printers can economize limited label space and improve barcode scanability but are higher-priced than traditional 200 dpi barcode printers.

Barcode printing in 200 dpi is great for text, numbers, and codes, but may appear a bit grainy or pixelated. You can improve the print quality of a barcode printed in 200 dpi by making the barcode physically larger on your label, but you may not have enough space to do this on your label.

If you decide to do this, please note that each barcode must be scaled proportionately, since the aspect ratio of each barcode is strictly defined by each barcode symbology.

Using a 600 dpi barcode printer is best if you wish to minimize the size of the barcode you print on your label, or when you need to print a lot of text and want to minimize the space it occupies on your label. A high-resolution label printer is also useful when you have a small size label, a small size product, or when you are labeling a small area on your container or package. It’s also the best way to reproduce a 2D barcode.

All in all, buying an in-house label printer is really based on your product needs. Take a look below to see the difference:

barcode barcode2

 

 

 

 

 

4. Do your labels contain heavy or intricate imagery?

Not all labels are used commercially, meaning not all labels require photographic imagery. If you’re using your labels for strictly barcodes or low-resolution imagery, you don’t need to waste your expenses on a higher resolution printer when buying an in-house label printer.

For example, you can use a 600 dpi barcode printer to make barcode labels with very small text, at sizes as small as 4 pt., and makes barcode label graphics in near-lithographic print quality with consistent, solid fills and clean lines and curves. This can be used for small-size identification labels, rating plate labels, and PC board labels.

300dpi barcode printers are also an option, creating low-cost custom labels for primary display labeling in the color of your choice, including variable information such as product description, flavor, weight, size, nutrition facts, ingredients, and barcode onto the open space of the pre-printed label.

Or, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if you need a superior-high-quality resolution for commercial labels, that’s an option as well. It may cost more, but for the product type and quality, it’s definitely worth it.

So, you have options. The only speed bump is determining what level of imagery your product needs when buying an in-house label printer.

5. Where do you store your products?

frozen food labelsThis question is sometimes overlooked, which can result in unattractive products and wasted label stock.

Did you know that if you label frozen food products, you have to use a durable, freeze-resistant labeling system? That’s right. Your printer must be able to print that specific label material and adhesive to remain on your product.

What your products are exposed to and the environment in which they are normally stored can completely ruin a label.

Without the right printer, your frozen food labels can wrinkle due to condensation, fade away due to UV store lights, or lose their adhesion and fall off due to low temperature.

For example, a QL-120X inkjet label printer can print frozen food labels that don’t peel off at the astounding quality of 1200 dpi. That means you’ll have professional frozen food labels printed instantly right in your facility. Then you can apply them after your foods are already frozen or before they go into the freezer.

This applies to chemical resistance, UV resistance, abrasion, and water-resistance as well.

So make sure that when buying an in-house label printer, it has every single one of the traits you require.

You deserve nothing less.

Hopefully, this article helped you get a clearer idea of what you need, or at least the types of questions you should be asking to get you there!

Good luck on your journey to owning your own color label printer. Happy printing!

Simplify Your Manufacturing Process with Kanban Cards

Have you heard you can simplify your manufacturing process with Kanban cards? If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you should.

Kanban cards originated from the Japanese term “Kanban” meaning “visual sign” or “signal.” The physical cards became widely used during the 1940s in Toyota’s manufacturing process to improve workflow and efficiency. kanban_card

The simplicity of the cards allows for quick comprehension, ease of use, and accurate control of inventory in the workplace.

Working in the manufacturing industry, you know how beneficial the Kanban cards are.

They help your company keep track of the parts you have, the parts (and therefore orders) you need, the deliveries you have scheduled or should schedule, and the demand of your products internally and externally.

But what makes a QL-120X an ideal color label printer for Kanban cards? A lot of things.

The QL-120X appreciates the need for high quality.

With a QuickLabel printer, you are not limited to having only a barcode or color code — you have the ability to include photo-quality pictures of the product or part along with full product description on the card as well.

This makes it easier to verify a complete visual of what it is you need.

What’s more, you can print your cards in full color and 1200 dpi resolution. With that said, you’ll be sure to print with the finest detail and color accuracy.

This is especially useful for not only images but the color-coded cards distributed amongst different product lines.

The QL-120X understands the value of time.

And what’s more valuable than yours?

The QL-120X has the ability to print up to 12 inches per second. The edges are even perforated, so you can produce your prints as needed and separate them just as easily.

It certainly knows how to maintain productivity. With the built-in automatic cutter, no scissors, no cutting, and no measuring is needed.

It’s even easier than you thought. Just grab it and go.

The QL-120X is never wasteful.

A forecast is usually one of two things: lucky or wrong.

Instead of having to predict how many cards to order, the QL-120X gives you the ability to print your Kanban cards on demand.

Now, you’ll always meet your company’s needs. No more wasted supplies and no more storage rooms full of extras. You can print in batches of one and cut to custom lengths immediately with the built-in automatic cutter with user-specified intervals to synchronize print jobs with production needs.

And, if you need to change something, you can reconfigure a process instantly without being burdened by the cost of scrapping pre-printed cards. You have the ability to respond to what’s actually being done and fulfill your precise needs with the highest accuracy.

All in all, these little cards make a big impact – but they can also become a significant pain to stay on top of.

With the QL-120X, the process of producing Kanban cards remains effortless — and the possibilities endless.

It’s your visual indicator, it’s your reminder and it’s your record keeper.

Make your Kanban cards with a QL-120X label printer and you’ll have everything your team needs to know on that little card.

The QL-120X delivers Kanban cards efficiently, precisely, and in a manner that’s most beneficial to you and your company’s continuous improvement initiatives.

Any Questions on How We Can Help Simplify Your Manufacturing Process with Kanban Cards?

To learn more about how the QL-120X color label printer can save you time, money, and provide you with highly accurate color labels, click here.

Or contact us today to schedule a virtual demonstration.

Important Changes for EU Food Labeling Requirements

Important Information: EU Food Labeling Regulations

There are several new changes to EU Food Labeling Requirements in the European Union, and we’ve compiled information to make you aware of them, and more importantly, to help you comply with them – whether you are based in Europe, or exporting to a European country.

There are three things customers generally look for when they’re purchasing food: quality, safety, and security. You have the quality aspect down pat, but the safety and security part is receiving some changes that are crucial to be aware of.

Quick Overview of New EU Food Label Regulation

The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 is making some important changes in legislation for requirements about the information on food labels such as origin information/provenance of animals for meats, allergen information, and more specific fat to collagen ratios for minced meats to consumers.

Allergy Amendments

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Legislation ensuring that allergy information is overtly displayed on all food labels will come into effect on December 13, 2014. This upcoming legislative change states that separate allergy boxes are no longer allowed.

That is, a separate area for only allergy contents will be prohibited, and in its stead, those contents will be contained in the ingredients list either in bold, highlighted, or printed in a contrasting color.

Country of Origin Meat Labeling/Provenance Labeling Amendments

One extremely important amendment that was implemented recently (on December 13, 2013) regards the “mandatory origin labeling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats, and poultry,” according to the official European Commission (EC) website. Another small, yet important amendment, implemented on January 1, 2014, outlines requirements concerning the designation of “minced meat.”

The minced meat requirements dictate that both the percentage of fat must appear on the label, as well as the collagen to meat ratio. Exact numbers can be found on Annex VI, Part B of the full regulation description.

How to Make EU Allergy Labels

eu labeling requirements

The part of these new EU food labeling regulations that applies to the majority of food producers is the fact that you will have to clearly present allergen information on your label if your product has any of the 14 recognized allergens.

You must highlight each allergen so that it catches the eye of a consumer.

It is up to the food producer to determine how to highlight the presence of an allergen on the food label ingredients list, but options are likely to include the use of text in a contrasting color and boldface type.

There are also minimum font sizes and phrases that should be used. The 14 food allergens recognized by the EU are as follows:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Lupin (plant in the legume family)
  • Milk
  • Mollusks
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites

Some common phrases used to denote that there may be allergens in the food through cross-contamination include but are not limited to “may contain x” or “made on equipment that also processes x.”

All of these regulations call for changes in labels that could be expensive if your business does not make use of in-house label printing that can be easily tailored to specific needs.

More about Country of Origin Meat Labeling in the EU

Prior to the implementation of these regulations, country of origin labeling was only required for certain food types. It needed to be present on food types such as honey, fruit and vegetables, fish, beef and beef products, olive oil, wine, eggs, imported poultry, and spirits.

However, the official document COM(2013) 755, section 4, references the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) study, which found that 48% of meat consumers in the EU say that meat origin is of fifth most important when deciding what to purchase.

This prompted the European Parliament and Council to extend the mandate to all unprocessed pig, poultry, sheep, and goat meat. Also, it is now required that minced meat display on its packaging the percentage of fat content, and the collagen/meat ratio.

What the European Commission (EC) calls “cumulative traceability” is a new requirement as of December 13, 2013. It states that food manufacturers must list on their label the country of birth of their meat, the country in which it was raised, the country of slaughter, and the country in which it was processed.

The EC had to revamp the regulations about the way animal information was passed along from various suppliers so that there could be an established database containing the detailed history of each animal, therefore making it easier for you all to comply with these new countries of origin labeling laws.

EU Food Labeling Compliance Made Easy

A significant change that you may have to make to your existing label format is the removal of an “allergy box.”

This means that the content of allergens in your food product cannot be isolated in its own area on the label; rather it must be listed in bold, highlighted, underlined, or in the colored text as part of the normal ingredient list.

The QL-120X color label printer allows you to easily add color to specific text so that you are able to comply with the new regulations, satisfy your customers with easily seen allergen information, and even boost sales by enhancing your product aesthetically. QL-120X color label printer is the most efficient way to make changes to your labels.

Printing in-house provides many benefits such as the ability to manage every aspect of the printing process and make changes as needed without waste or downtime. You are able to print labels in any batch size, small to large, or for any product type; seasonal to the flagship.

You can even print your labels in captivating 1200 dpi, making for crisp, clear color on your labels that adds appeal to your packaging, and catch the eyes of new customers!
This color option is perfect for complying with the new requirement to add allergy information, which can require contrasting colors because label edits can be easily made through labeling software such as NiceLabel, which works seamlessly with our QuickLabel color label printers.

Easy software compatibility allows for templates to be created so you can automatically add information to labels, without having to constantly recreate fields for entering origin and allergen information.

Where Can I Learn More about EU Food Labeling Requirements?

If you are so inclined, you are able to access more information about these new regulations on the official EC page. Also, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the UK has a page with useful information about the allergen labeling aspect in the EU.