Not Your Average Licorice, Not Your Average Label Printer

During a trip to Denmark,  AstroNova met with luxury licorice company Lakrids by Bülow to see how they use their QuickLabel QL-300 to print quality, high-end labels to complement their brand.  

Now a luxury licorice brand with global reach, Lakrids by Bülow got its start in 2007 when the first shop was opened in Svaneke, Denmark.  The shop was an instant hit with locals, and the product seemed to be so popular, keeping up the demand was a challenge.  But, just a year later, in 2008, they scaled production to meet the demand, opened their first factory, and installed a licorice machine. From there, the operation only grew bigger.  Especially once Lakrids did what was said couldn’t be done – coat the licorice with chocolate.

Over a decade later, with a vision to spread the love for licorice around the globe, Lakrids has built itself into a high-end, luxury brand with fans around the world. Making their products all on-site with raw materials, Lakrids prides itself on not being your average licorice. Now, with over 25 locations globally, operations have understandably expanded to meet demands, and Lakrids has added the QuickLabel QL-300 to its production line and uses it to print its high-end labels on the tops of their product jars.

The Power of CMYK + WHITE to Create High-End Labels

high-end labelsWhile QuickLabel was there, Lakrids expressed their appreciation and excitement about the quality of the white color, which influenced their decision to purchase the QL-300. With a desire to truly create something special, quality and branding are of utmost importance. 

So, when Lakrids was searching for a labeling solution, they were looking for a solution that would heighten their brand and, ultimately, add value to it. Lakrids wanted to print brilliantly beautiful labels to match the aesthetic of the brand, which is where QuickLabel came in. 

Tage Kusk, Technical Director at Lakrids by Bülow, said, “The QL-300 prints extra-wide like we needed to have the right background for our labels. The labels printed on the QL-300 look magnificent.”  

Kusk continued, “We get the labels on the same day, and we can change the design if we’re not satisfied since we have the flexibility to do so.” “Having the capability of printing with the white toner gave us a perfect look. The QL-300 can do so much more than you expect.”  

It’s All in the Packaging 

Lakrids by Büllow takes pride in not just selling a product but selling a design item.  They’ve found their customers enjoy the look of the product, and for this, Lakrids has become an icon.   

“The thing our customers should know about Lakrids by Büllow is that its quality and we care about every little part; not just the core part that you eat, but also about the packaging and labeling.”, said Kusk. 

high-end labels

  “We make the world love licorice!

Looking to Print Labels In-House?

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can print dynamic, luxury labels on-demand, feel free to contact us to schedule a virtual demonstration or speak with one of our specialists!

4 Reasons Why You Should Be Making Your Own Food & Beverage Labels

Many companies outsource their product labels to save financially and produce efficiently. But is outsourcing really the most efficient route? For small to medium-sized business owners, outsourcing is not always the best solution. Depending on your business size and needs, you may be better off making your own food & beverage labels in-house.

Impression Technology Europe explains, “Recently, another type of printing has become more attainable for smaller companies…digital ‘short run’ label printers. Not only is the initial investment much more affordable but the cost per print is extremely low. After doing the math, most clients will find it will be much more cost-effective than outsourcing, and based on the output.”

How do you know if this is right for you? Here are four reasons why you should be making your own food & beverage labels in-house:

1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price

We mean that both literally and figuratively. While using another facility to generate your food labels might seem like a weight off your shoulders, that may not be the case.

Passing the task to an outside source can end up severely delaying your labeling process. Why? Not only will you have your company’s shipping schedule to track, but the arrival of your outsourced shipment as well.

If an outsourced shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was originally scheduled to deliver. For small business owners, this can lead to a lot of unhappy customers or market vendors.

These delays will happen, and so do errors. Labeling errors can take more of a toll on your business production line than a delay in shipment.

The unexpected misprint forces your business to return and reorder labels. Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use by/sell by dates on your products. This is especially true for made to order businesses, which can lead to wasted products.

If your business has experienced these delays, you may want to consider an in-house or on-demand label printer. With the ability to print labels in your own facility, there will be no more error or shipment delays affecting your product line. What’s more, these printers give you the ability to create your own use by/sell by dates with complete label customization.

2. Not All Environments Are Created Equal

frozen food labelsMaking your own food & beverage labels is also a huge plus when selling products that must be stored in specific environmental requirements.

Frozen foods need to have unique and attractive labels, too. After all, it is your brand. But, it’s equally important that your frozen food labels don’t fail. Using the wrong label can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, falling off in low temperatures. One should not be sacrificed for the other.

If your business is using regular pre-printed labels, chances are, the labels won’t hold up in your storage environment.

The ability to maintain complete control over your label materials and printing process will allow your business to have a streamlined, efficient process with branded labels that look the part.

An easy in-house printing solution is the QuickLabel QL-120X or QL-850 inkjet label printers. Also, the QL-300 toner-based label printer is a durable option that prints white on a variety of label types such as colored, metallic, and kraft labels. These printers are known for printing frozen food labels that don’t peel off in high-quality 1200 dpi imagery.

With the right in-house printer, you’ll have professional frozen food or beverage labels printed instantly and can be applied to products that are already frozen, or before they go into the freezer.

3. Keep Up with FDA Regulations

Of course, keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels.

The intimidating process includes font restrictions, mandatory statements, allergen alerts, and difficult calculations for daily values.

As a food manufacturer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding, and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates or trying to explain the requirements to an outside vendor.

However, it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customers with the quality and transparency they deserve.

An in-house label printer is especially valuable in these situations. For every change, the label design and format can be immediately customized in your own facility.

What’s more, by owning an in-house label printer, you don’t have to worry about overstock or wasted labels due to changes in regulations. This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, introducing the option of seasonal or promotional runs.

Making your own food & beverage labels gives you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need for what’s in-stock, on-demand.

4. You Deserve to Be In Control of Your Business

QL-120X | Food LabelsYour labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to put your best foot forward.

With outsourced labels, you don’t get to have complete control over your labeling process. Edits take longer, shipments get delayed and labels are bound to be wasted.

In-house printing has evolved with small, tabletop label printers for businesses. These label printers serve as a central database, with the ability to store, revise, locate and print any design on-demand –ultimately opening new doors for small to medium-sized businesses.

If you want to be in control of your business or are experiencing any of the above labeling issues, it may be time to consider taking your production line in-house.

QuickLabel specializes in on-demand, tabletop label printers. For someone in the food and beverage industry interested in quality, short-run labels, they are worth looking in to.

Click here to view our full product lineup, or contact us for more information!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

Browndog Creamery Keeps it Cool with Freezer Safe Labels

With an ever-changing variety of ice cream flavors as evocative as Dragon Bite, Tuscan Sun, Buttered Berry Brioche, and French Press Mocha, the owners of Browndog Creamery needed freezer safe labels and a labeling solution that could adapt to label changes on-the-fly.

For example, they may need 20 freezer safe labels for Triple Vanilla this morning, and 15 for Mystery Cookie this afternoon.  Luckily for owners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel, they found the Kiaro! label printer (our updated printer is now the QL-120X) to print labels for their pints of ice cream on demand, in the exact quantity that they need.

Watch How Browndog Uses the Kiaro! for All Their Gourmet Creations:

Browndog Creamery, a “micro-creamery” located in the heart of downtown Northville Michigan, west of Detroit, brings customers delicious and unique handcrafted ice creams.

Being a micro-creamery, as explained by co-owner Paul Gabriel, “basically means that we make our ice cream in very small batches. We’re not a mass factory where we make thousands of gallons of ice cream. We make about four or five gallons at a time for each flavor.”

Browndog Creamery’s unique flavor combinations are all created in-house by Gabriel and Scherle. “I always tell people I refuse to make butter pecan, so instead we make a bourbon pecan,” said Gabriel. “For our Cinco de Mayo we made a Holy Guacamole ice cream, and that’s the type of stuff that we really like: the really unique, creative stuff that you’re not going to find anywhere else. “

The Perfect Freezer Safe Label For Every Single Batch

Browndog rotates flavors of ice creams so frequently because each batch made in their micro-creamery is only a few gallons. Even before they opened their business, they knew that using pre-printed labels wouldn’t make any sense, because buying minimum orders of labels would lead to excessive costs and way too much label inventory for their small backroom.

“I knew we would be running small batches of ice cream and I didn’t want to take an inventory of a hundred or a thousand labels of one flavor because I knew we might only need ten,” said Gabriel. “The Kiaro! has been a wonderful fit in our business to allow us to make these very small run labels and customize them to everything that we needed to do.”

“Being able to create products and without having to go to a mass printing,” has been a boon to business said, Scherle. “Using the Kiaro! printer to label our ice cream, and to create amazing and attractive packaging is just part and parcel of creating our products.”

Scherle described his first impressions of the Kiaro!, “When it was delivered I found that it’s bright purple. Upon seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised that the Kiaro! looks as fun as it is to use.  It’s a good addition to our shop.”

Kiaro! Labels Handle Freezing Temps  

One of Browndog’s chief concerns was whether or not their Kiaro! labels would stand up to the freezing temperatures necessary for storing ice cream.

“The synthetic material that we use for the pint labels is pretty resistant to water and we actually label the pints after they’ve gone through the freezing process,” said Gabriel.  “We were a little skeptical about how they would adhere to a frozen pint, but the Kiaro! labels do quite well.”

“It’s surprising how fast the printer is,” said Gabriel.  “We have taught some of our employees how to use the Kiaro! and besides its flexibility and other benefits, it’s also very easy to use. The first time one of our managers used it she thought, ‘oh goodness I have to print out 150 labels that are going to take all day’ and they started to come out and she was trying hard to keep up with the printer, and roll labels up so they weren’t all over the floor, it was actually quite humorous,” added Scherle. “The print speed is amazing.”

More Questions About Label Printing?

The Kiaro! digital label printer lets you print gorgeous labels while reducing excess label inventory, saving you time, and allowing you to make more money. The Kiaro! gives you control over your entire labeling process, and allows you to more affordably label your products.

Contact us today to schedule your virtual demonstration.

About Browndog Creamery…

frozen food labelsBrowndog Creamery is a gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on East Main St. in Northville, MI. “Browndog started off as an ice cream line,  but we also now have a retail space where we sell t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, and gift cards; along with our own unique blend of coffee,” said co-owner Brian Scherle. “Plus, we now have a pastry chef who is making anything from a simple ice cream cakes all the way up to wedding cakes and specialized cookies, so we’re becoming a full-fledged creamery and dessert bar.”

Stop by their gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on 118 East Main St. in Northville, MI, visit them on Facebook, follow them on twitter @browndogcreamery, and stop by their website Browndogcreamery.com

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

Amoretti Prints Beautiful Gourmet Food Labels

In Oxnard, California, just a short drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway from Los Angeles, is Amoretti, one of the country’s premier makers of gourmet ingredients and high-end flavors.

How Amoretti perfects their high-end flavors so perfectly is a secret, known to only a select few who work in their kitchens. How they package those products at a professional level is a different story: they use the QuickLabel printer.

For chefs interested in using the most premium quality ingredients, Amoretti products are a must-have. The dedicated staff at Amoretti has found that in order to present their products on the top shelf, a QuickLabel color label printer is equally essential.

Amoretti’s Use of the QuickLabel Color Label Printer Leads to Success

1000’s of Ingredients, 1000’s of Gourmet Food Labels

Because Amoretti makes hundreds of different products, and constantly innovates new flavors to fulfill customer demands, they invested in three QuickLabel color label printers to print their gourmet food labels.

Some Amoretti flavorings sell faster than others, and predicting demand for every single flavor is impossible – so Amoretti prints their own professional labels, and never wastes time, money, or valuable inventory space.

“I first looked at purchasing the Kiaro! because we developed so many new products every day,” said Roland Cooper, CIO of Amoretti, “and it just doesn’t make sense for me to develop a product, create a label, and have it printed [elsewhere].” Because of the versatility and immediacy of printing with the Kiaro!, you’ll never worry about wasted extra labels that you’ll never use, and never waste labels that grow obsolete on your own warehouse shelves.

Fast, Beautiful Labels

“Our products are high-end pastry ingredients. We’re on the top shelf,” says Nick Squires, IT and Social Media coordinator. “Our Kiaro! printers allow us to look that way.”

Standing out on the shelf is imperative for anyone in the food business; whether in grocery stores or at farmer’s markets, the labels need to grab the shopper’s eye.

“A business owner should really look at the Kiaro! as a way to make their products look better, and to draw attention to their products. They look very professional,” says Cooper.

The Kiaro! label printer makes labels in stunning quality, at extremely fast speeds (8 inches per second) to keep up with even the fastest production schedule, and to get foods out at their freshest. “The labels come out so fast that we’re able to get them to the warehouse within minutes of their request,” says Victoria Casey, a graphic designer at Amoretti.  “When printing from the Kiaro!, the colors are true to what we’re seeing on the monitor, true to what our designers are seeing, and true to what our labels have always been.”

Because of the Kiaro! prints in astonishing 1200 dpi, you can print the most intricate, readable barcodes for any P.O.S. The fine detail is perfect for nutrition labels which contain a lot of information in a small amount of space.

“And you don’t need to have a highly trained staff to run these printers,” adds Cooper.

Beautiful Labels for  Top-Shelf Products

Nick Squires also said, “Having the Kiaro! printer has allowed us to expand the quality of our nice-looking labels onto more products.  They’re more attention-grabbing, they look better. We used to have a lot of products that just had simple black and white labels,” but with having three Kiaro! label printers in-house, it “allows us to print very nice full-color labels for all of our products.”

“The Kiaro! has allowed us to sort of put a visual statement on our products,” said Squires, “Our products are the high-end pastry ingredients in the pastry ingredient world. Our Kiaro! printers allow us to print full color, very professional-looking labels, allow us to put our products on the top of the shelf, and have them look like they belong there.”

See For Yourself

Amoretti, and countless others, have found that printing labels on-demand and in-house just makes sense. Schedule a demonstration of a QuickLabel or TrojanLabel printer.

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

"<yoastmark

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.

Proposed FDA Labeling Requirements Aim to Make Shoppers Smarter

When compared to the labeling of organic foods, the labeling of conventional foods has been lightly regulated by the FDA. But that may all change soon. As of September 2013, proposed legislation plans to allow the FDA to more tightly control how manufacturers to label foods both to communicate and visually present information to consumers.

For years on end, shopping for healthy foods has been a struggle for some consumers due to the confusing labeling on shopping items. New legislation titled, The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013 was announced in September 2013 and aims to give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more authority when it comes to monitoring food and beverage labeling for conventional foods.

To be clear, “conventional food” items are on the opposite end of the spectrum from organic food items. They are foods that are produced with pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, or hormones. Conventional foods are the subject of the proposed new labeling requirements.

Under this Act, the FDA would be directed to establish a standard symbol system for front-of-packaging (FOP) labeling on conventional foods. Essentially, the Act aims at giving the consumer more knowledge about the food they’re consuming.

How your labels might change under the Food Labeling Modernization Act:

Front of Package Standards:

  • If the principal display panel (PDP) does not include summary nutrition information that mirrors the nutritional value of the food, the food will be deemed as misbranded
  • Labeling must use a simple, clear labeling design including calorie and nutrient information

Ingredient Disclosures:

  • The PDP must disclose information regarding the use of added color, non-caloric sweeteners, added flavoring, and sugar alcohols on all products. Added color disclosure applies to all products excluding, ice creams, butter, and cheeses.
  • Declaration of added sugars per serving statement on the label.
  • The percent of daily calories recommended for consumption statements will be added.
  • Declaration of caffeine added if the amount is 10mg or over from all sources.
  • Ingredient listing formats will be changed for easier reading. Changes include upper and lower case characters, a non-condensed font type, separation of ingredients with bullet points, and higher color contrast between the text and the background.
  • More regulations would be put in place on the use of nutrient content claims for cholesterol, saturated, and trans fats.

“Natural” Foods:

  • Natural foods are misbranded if they contain any artificial ingredient or coloring, or if they include ingredients that are chemically altered. Examples of such ingredients include high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, chemically modified starch, cocoa processed with alkali, or any other artificial ingredient specified by the FDA.

Whole Grain Foods:

  • If a product claims that it is “whole grain” or “whole wheat”, the percentage of whole grains or whole wheat must be clearly identified next to the label.
  • In order for a product to be deemed as “healthy”, at least half of the grains in the food have to be whole grain.

Single Serving:

  • A product that can be consumed on a single occasion will be deemed as “single serving”.

The big picture: what these labeling changes mean

Nutrition Label

Both the FDA and its Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) have identified these new regulations as top priority and have goals at changing the way that conventional food items are labeled to create smarter and easier shopping experiences for consumers. In their push to create smarter shoppers, the FDA aims to create food labels that are easier to read and understand. Although there is skepticism over whether the bill will actually pass, it will play an important role in proposed FDA regulations that are expected for the coming year.

What these changes mean for YOU, and how QuickLabel can help

According to the bill, big changes for food labels are in store. Not only will there be added ingredient information, but the formatting for labels will be changed as well. Under the bill, the FDA would be required to offer guidance on requirements to food manufacturers and likewise, manufacturers would be required to provide documentation to the FDA that validates their claims within 90 days of the request.

QuickLabel printers are here to help. With the Kiaro! inkjet label printer, labels are printed instantly and label changes can be made easily through our easy-to-use Custom QuickLabel labeling software, allowing you to conveniently change your label designs without having to pre-order entirely new labels for your products. The Kiaro! inkjet label printer will not only save you time and energy ordering new labels, but it’s also going to be less expensive than other label printing options.

More Resources About the Food Labeling Modernization Act: