Is Your Labeling Process Inefficient & Costly?

The labeling process can be timely, expensive, and cumbersome – but it doesn’t have to be. Like with anything, the more you understand about the labeling process, the more you can work on integrating efficiencies.

When you step back and look at your current labeling process, have you considered hidden labeling costs? Do you actually know the total cost per label? Is your operation as efficient as it could be?

Stop Wasting Unnecessary Time and Money –
understand your print costs

While it’s true an estimated print job varies technology to technology, there are variables to keep in mind when it comes to the actual ink costs, regardless of the specific technology.

  1. Size of the image
  2. Ink/color coverage breakdown- what amount of coverage are you looking for?
  3. Price per ink/toner cartridge – and approximate number of labels printable with a full ink cartridge

It’s important to note the type(s) of material(s) are important too and will ultimately play into the total cost per label but to keep things simpler, let’s focus on ink costs specifically.

How Are Ink Costs Calculated?

When it comes to digital printing, the process of estimating ink costs is done differently depending on the technology used – inkjet vs. toner.

Inkjet: A manual process where the label image is rendered and offers a breakdown of the amount of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K) the image is comprised of. Based on this breakdown of colors, a cost per page (CPP) is provided along with an estimate of the expected ink costs over the lifetime of the printer.

Toner: A manual process where a PDF of the label image is loaded into a proprietary software tool which determines the percentage coverage of the area of a label for each toner cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), black (K) and white (W). A CPP is provided with a cost breakdown for each toner and other supplies such as the fuser unit and transfer belt.

It’s worth noting for either digital technology, the cost is calculated based on an average – not based on an individual label. This is because, over the lifetime of the printer, there’s bound to be extra ink consumption- from the automatic printhead cleanings and maintenance, ensuring optimal print quality to the toner particles that’ll inevitably stick to internal hardware to electrostatic charge. While these totals are typically insignificant, it’s essential to receive an average ink cost estimate to account for these things to ensure the best accuracy.

Want to get a better idea of your ink costs?
See how you could be saving money with a free ink cost calculation

For a free ink cost calculation, simply send us your label artwork and receive an accurate, complete cost per label – including ink and label materials. Stop wasting label materials, time, and money.
Learn more and find out how much you could be saving on ink costs and improve efficiencies and productivity today!

7 Tips for Evaluating a Color Label Printer

These 7 Tips Will Help you Evaluate Any Color Label Printing Solution

Whether you’re currently printing your own product labels, or you’re considering printing your labels in your facility, you want to ensure you’re making the right decision and best investment for your business. Many companies consider their first or additional systems for several reasons – keeping up with demand, looking to reduce total cost of ownership or cost per label, or improving operational efficiencies. But, currently, the biggest reason is that people want to control their labeling under their own roof.

While there is undoubtedly a breadth of benefits labeling in-house and on-demand provides, there are several factors to consider before making a decision. Considering label printing systems for your business is more complicated than evaluating a standard at-home desktop printer.

Here are some tips to make this process easier for you:

1. Observe as a full roll of labels is printed
Get an in-person demonstration 

This is vital.  It’s important not to rely on “canned” printed label samples or a video from the manufacturer.  Witnessing the labels print will expose any technical shortcomings in the printer.   Ultimately, you’re the expert on your labels and how they should look.  If print quality and color-matching is a priority, you’ll get the best demonstration of a printer’s capabilities by seeing your label artwork printed.  So, before committing to a purchase, it’s advised to schedule a demonstration and request to watch while your labels are printed in real-time.

2. Ask to see your label format printed
You can evaluate your own labels better than a sample or pre-printed label 

To ensure you see all the capabilities of the printer, provide digital label artwork to your printer salesman prior to the demonstration.  It’s important to note that if your artwork was designed for a different output device, whether it’s your office inkjet or a commercial flexographic press,  your salesperson may need to adjust the colors to match expectations.

Color Label Printer3. Compare “how long it takes to print”, not just “print speed”
Time the print job while you watch 

When evaluating “print speed,” it’s natural to assume that you are evaluating “how fast it takes to produce a print job.”  However, there are many technical reasons why this is not the case.  Factors such as pauses for maintenance procedures, processing time delays, and the time it takes to load a printer with blank labels and inks all have a significant impact on throughput.  These are all factors your production department needs to measure when evaluating.

4. Compare “print quality”, not just “print resolution”
Be the judge

All label printers list a specification for “resolution”, but this does not necessarily imply “print quality”.  “What resolution should I be looking for?” is a notoriously difficult question to answer, given there’s often some trade-off between print quality and print speed.  In addition to the physical dot size produced by the label printer, the halftone printing algorithm, substrate material, and ink set each has a tremendous bearing on the appearance and color gamut of the printed label.  So, when comparing 1200 dpi to 1600 dpi to 2400 dpi, your own perception of quality is much more accurate than the technical specification.

5. Ask how much it costs to print your roll of labels
Request a quote 

Importantly, after the full role of your label designs is printed, ask your salesperson to calculate the cost of the printed label roll, including the costs of the ink and the label material.  This will give you a realistic estimate of the finished cost per label, so ultimately, you can extrapolate how much you’d be paying each time you print your own labels.

6. Determine where you’ll purchase your labels
Select a substrate and a provider 

If you have a special performance or print quality requirement, the odds are that you will want to “spec in” a particular label material that works well with your printer.  So, determine who offers labels created from the material and whether the delivery timeframe and cost of the die-cut label is in line with your expectations.  Be advised, a good label solution provider should be able to offer a variety of compatible materials in a range of different price points.   AstroNova’s GetLabels division offers the widest variety of premium label materials for all of your labeling applications.

7. Ask who will maintain and repair your printer?
Who will service and fix any problems? 

Regular on-site maintenance of a printing system is necessary to prevent breakdowns due to wear.  So, don’t be afraid to ask who will be available to provide on-site maintenance service (or whether you are expected to do this yourself).  Because a label printer is a critical part of the packaging process,  it’s essential to find out whether on-site repair service and 24-hour telephone support are available.  These things may come at an extra cost or may be included as part of the warranty – find out!

Questions? Let us know, we’re here to help!

Interested in how bringing label printing in-house can provide you with significant cost and time savings?
Contact us to schedule a free, web-based demonstration and to speak with one of our specialists!

Stanley Black & Decker Prints Professional Hardware Labels In-House

Stanley Black & Decker’s East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility specializes in manufacturing the strongest, fastest, and most durable band saw, jigsaw, and hacksaw blades on the market. QuickLabel traveled to their facility to see how they use their Kiaro! K-100 label printers to ensure their labels reflect the quality of their product as well as advance their production line.

Watch our video to see how one of the country’s leading tool brands benefits from printing labels in-house and on-demand.

Kiaro! K-100: The Ideal Hardware Labeling Solution

“From what we were getting when we printed our previous labels to what we’re printing now – I was just blown away.”
– Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department

Stanley Black & Decker produces a wide variety of industrial tools, fasteners, and security products for well-known brands such as DeWalt, Craftsman, Lenox, and more.

Within their East Longmeadow, MA facility, Stanley Black & Decker creates professional hardware labels using their three Kiaro! K-100 label printers, which include specific text, barcodes, color codes, and photo images. These labels are applied directly onto saw blades and other product carton labels sold to businesses such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and ACE Hardware.

For these labels to be accepted and placed in-stores, they are required to meet stringent retail regulations. An easy, in-house labeling solution, QuickLabel allows Stanley Black & Decker to produce not only compliant but professional hardware labels that stand out on the shelves.

Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department, states, “I believe product packaging is very important here. We have blades that are for metal cutting, wood cutting, blades that cut different thicknesses of metal – all of that needs to be represented on our labels. Anything we put our product in, we want it to stand out.”

saw blade labelSAP Software Integration

Stanley Black & Decker uses a global SAP software system to manage data across multiple product lines and business departments.

The Kiaro! K-100 label printers were able to seamlessly integrate with their SAP system through a custom-developed manufacturing floor application, allowing product images, branding, and other product data to be accurately printed on all their product labels.

This allowed them to easily update labels as needed, in the quantity they needed, without hassle.

Working with the Kiaro! K-100’s as an IT developer for their SAP system, Anatoli Vishnyakov, states, “Now, we don’t have to keep a pre-printed stock of labels, so we print-on-demand as many labels as we need at that specific time.”

Wylie adds, “My favorite trait of the Kiaro! is the ease-of-use. It’s pretty simple – when I need it, I can print it.”

The Benefits of Printing Professional Hardware Labels In-House

“My favorite trait of the Kiaro! is the ease-of-use. It’s pretty simple – when I need it, I can print it.”
– Sean Wylie, Team Leader, Paint/Print/Pack Department

By integrating QuickLabel Kiaro! K-100 label printers into their business, Stanley Black & Decker saw an increase in time, flexibility, and speed of production, as well as higher durability and quality of their labels.

About Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker is a leading tool brand company, producing a wide variety of industrial tools, fasteners, and security products for well-known brands such as DeWalt, Stanley, Craftsman, Lenox, etc. Their East Longmeadow, Massachusetts facility specializes in manufacturing the strongest, fastest, and most durable band saw, jigsaw, and hacksaw blades on the market. More information about Stanley Black & Decker can be found at www.stanleyblackanddecker.com.Stanley Black & Decker logo

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Printing Prepared Food Labels In-House

Many companies outsource their product labels to save on costs and maintain production efficiency. But when you break it down, is outsourcing really the most efficient route? Depending on your business size and needs, it could be more beneficial printing prepared food labels in-house.

Here are the top four reasons why taking label production in-house can be the better option:

1. Outsourced Printing Comes at a Price

While using another facility to produce your prepared food labels might seem like a giant weight off your shoulders, it may not necessarily be the case.  Outsourcing can end up severely delaying your labeling process, costing your business valuable time and money.

For example, if an outsourced label shipment becomes delayed, so will the orders your company was scheduled to have in stock and on the shelves. These delays will happen, as do errors.

Misprints can cause setbacks and affect the use by/sell by dates on your products. This is especially true for made to order businesses and prepared foods.

prepared food labelsThe best way to avoid these dilemmas is by investing in a small, short-run digital label printer to easily bring production in-house.

On implementing short-run digital label printers in-house, Impression Technology Europe reveals, “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.”

Our main alternative to outsourcing, investing in an in-house digital label printer will not only save you time but also reduce cost-per-label.

2. NOT ALL ENVIRONMENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL

frozen food labelsPrinting prepared food labels in-house have its benefits when varying environmental requirements come into play.

Just because some prepared foods need to be frozen, doesn’t mean the quality and appearance of your packaging should suffer. Your store’s frozen foods need to remain cohesive with the rest of your prepared food line. After all, it is your brand. However, using the wrong label for the products environment can lead to wrinkles due to condensation, fading due to exposure or loss of adhesion, and labels falling off.

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

Ultimately, finding the correct label material is just as important to your printed results as your design. AstroNova has developed special materials that are capable of absorbing the inks so that printed labels do not smear and reproduce the most accurate colors possible.

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.

One example of an easy in-house printing solution is the QuickLabel QL-120X, or wide-format QL-850 inkjet label printers. These printers are known for printing frozen food labels that are extremely durable.  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. It’s Not Easy to Keep Up with FDA Regulations & Demands

label nutrition facts table

Keeping up with the FDA’s changing regulations and formats can greatly affect your product labels. If standards are not met, your entire product line could suffer from massive recalls.

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

As a food manufacturer or grocer, you want to spend your energy on your recipes, production, branding, and sales – not on interpreting FDA labeling mandates.

While it is absolutely necessary to adhere to FDA regulations to avoid recalls and present your customers with the quality and transparency they deserve, you can make it easier on your business.

This is where an in-house label printer truly shines. For every change in date, rule, format, etc., you can immediately customize your labels on the spot.

Printing prepared food labels in-house give you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need on-demand. Meaning no more wasted labels, no more overstock, and no more falling short.  This gives you more flexibility in your printing process, as well as introducing the option for seasonal or promotional packaging.

4. Things Are Better When You’re in Control

Your labels are the face of your brand, so you always want to maintain professionalism and put your best foot forward. If you want to be in control of your business and remove exterior dilemmas, it may be time to consider printing prepared food labels in-house.

Looking to Print Food Labels In-House? 

If you’re interested in high-quality, short-run label printing in-house, feel free to compare our line of complete labeling solutions, including software, media, and a wide range of digital label printers from monochrome barcode printers to photographic inkjet color labeling systems and presses.

Or, if you’d like to speak with one of our field sales engineers or media specialists, feel free to contact us for more information! They would be happy to work with you to find the right solution for your application.

3 Easy Steps to Make Your Wine and Beer Labels Stand Out

If you brew beer or bottle wine, you already know the challenges that occur once your products are sent to the market. You need to make your wine and beer labels stand out in order to get on the consumer’s radar.

The shadows of big brands make it extremely difficult for new, local breweries and wineries to thrive. Here are a few tips to help make your products stand out.

How Do They Do It?

With well-known brands, it’s easy for consumers to walk into a store and pluck a product off the shelves.

It’s all in the packaging and product branding.

The familiarity, years of experience, and trustworthiness of a brand make these decisions a no-brainer. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?

What Can You do to Make Your Brews Stand Out?

After determining the basics, there are a few extra things you need to make your wine and beer labels stand out and give your brand that extra push.

1. It’s All in the Packaging

Humans are visual beings, so first impressions matter. Especially when targeting first-time buyers browsing through the aisles of their local liquor store.

In fact, the human brain processes image 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Since consumers can only view your products as they browse, what they find aesthetically pleasing makes all the difference.

According to Barrett Brynestad, Associate Creative Director/Designer for TDA Boulder, the package should tell consumers as much as possible about the beer, from the occasion to taste profile and overall brand ethos.

Our advice: Design your product label well and design it to be easily recognized. It can be as simple as your color scheme and font, qualifying image or logo, etc. Whatever it is, it has to be unique to you. Investing in a talented artist or graphic designer always helps.

After all, your brand logo is arguably the most important part of your product.

Check out some examples of branded beer labels that understand the importance of story-telling branding.

2. Save Face on the Shelves…and Money in Your Pocket

Once you have successfully created your brand label, it’s time to start labeling your cans and bottles.

Outsourced printing can get expensive. For local wineries or breweries, it may be wiser to print your product labels in-house. In addition to avoiding fees and delays, you’ll be able to control the entire process within your own facility.

If you choose to print in-house, you must make sure the label printer meets all the requirements your products need.

For example, wine and beer displayed in store freezers or chilling in coolers need labels that withstand frozen temperatures.

After all, it wouldn’t look very professional to have your labels wrinkling from condensation or losing adhesion and peeling off.

In combination, your printing system needs to produce clear, vivid, photo-quality labels to attract the consumers’ eye – and make your wine and beer labels stand out!

QuickLabel’s line of in-house label printers allows your business to meet all the requirements (aesthetic and physical) for printing labels on-demand and in-house.

These printing systems are perfect for the craft beer tradition of experimentation, adaptability and small batch production.

Our advice: Learn more about QuickLabel’s capabilities and benefits with printing frozen labels, wine, and beer labels to see if they’re right for your business. You can also browse the full line of in-house color label printers here.

3. Get Your Name Out There!

It’s time. You’ve made a solid brand name for yourself with the packaging (and product) to prove it.

Investing in trade shows, tastings at local liquor stores and advertising (print or video), is the next step in getting your brand recognized. The more people see your product, the more natural it becomes to pick it up.

Our advice: By promoting your brand, you are showing consumers that you are real; you have a story and a taste unique to your product. By investing in these promotions, you are building the trust of your brand.

These three steps will change the way your wine and beer products are perceived – now a known brand rising above the sea of shelves. Good luck!

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

Jody’s Popcorn Labels POP!

In Virginia Beach, Jody’s Popcorn sells freshly made, caramel-coated, chocolate drizzled and savory popcorn snacks. With their unique line of product flavors, they rely on their Kiaro! label printer (our updated printer is the QL-120X) to produce the famous popcorn labels that pop!

What Makes It Gourmet?

Michael Katz, Vice President of Jody’s Popcorn, explains, “People often ask what gourmet popcorn is. What gourmet means to us is that we use the highest quality ingredients that we can find because we are very concerned about our flavor profile and the quality of our product.”

We traveled to Virginia Beach to get a taste of what Jody’s Popcorn is made of and see how they use their QuickLabel printer to make their popcorn labels look as good as their freshly popped batches taste.

It’s About Quality AND Quantity

popcorn“Our quality is not just about the product, but the overall experience at Jody’s,” stresses Katz, “At our oceanfront store, we make freshly popped popcorn right there.”

While the quality of their popcorn is a priority, their quantity demands (no matter how big or small) are important to them as well.

Michael Katz explains, “The oceanfront store grew in popularity. We had lots of demand for our products, so Jody’s leased facilities that we’re able to produce much larger quantities of popcorn. We were then able to label that product and offer a much wider variety at our oceanfront store, also satisfying the needs of wholesale customers.”

But with that expansion, Jody’s needed a reliable printer that could take on their growth, as well as take care of quick in-store demands. As the business grew, so did Jody’s product line. It became less affordable to order thousands of popcorn labels for all of their many flavors, changing order sizes, and special requests for custom labeling.

“What we had before was outsource printing,” explains Katz, “We were making a lot of products and sending a lot of products to be outsourced. But the cost of having all that inventory sitting on our shelves didn’t seem to make much sense.”

QuickLabel Meets Jody…

Looking for a short-run labeling solution, Jody’s found QuickLabel Systems and the Kiaro! label printer.

michael_katz_kiaroKatz quickly discovered how easy it was to operate a Kiaro!, stating, “My concern then came, how difficult is that to operate? And it was really very simple. Anybody that could operate a printer can operate this printer.”

“When I first saw the Kiaro!, my initial impression was, ‘Wow! It’s not drab, and I’m not interested in printing anything that’s drab.’ So I really connected with that,” reveals Katz, “Once I looked at it operate, I was impressed with the quality of what was being ‘spit out,’ if you will, as the finished product. These labels were just coming off and they were beautiful.”

QuickLabel’s Kiaro! Saved Them Time & Money

“Our ability to flourish in both the promotional products industry and the wholesale business has been greatly enhanced by our ability to create custom labels. That gives us the ability to very quickly customize a package for customers. If a particular customer wants to have their farm store on it or their gift store, we’re able to produce that here, quickly, in our facility and put that on the bag and get it out the door,” Katz states.

“There are times when we find that we forgot to order a pre-printed label and we need it right now, or we’ve ordered it, but there’s a problem at the printing company and they can’t deliver the label at the time we expect,” Katz explains.

He expands,“With the Kiaro!, we not only use it to print our custom labels and small quantity product labels, but we also use it as a back-up printer. We can print exactly the same label we send out for our large-runs of pre-printed labels and the Kiaro! labels look indistinguishable from an outsourced label. It is really a wonderful situation.”

“The Kiaro! printer has saved Jody’s time and production. The amount of time it takes for us to produce a custom job has decreased greatly. We can literally have somebody walk into the printing area and say ‘I need this’ and turn it around in 10-15 minutes,” concludes Katz.

Want More?

To learn more about how the Kiaro! the color label printer can save you time, money, and provide you with gorgeous customized color labels, click here.

Or contact us today by giving us a call, sending us an email, or deciding to schedule your own Kiaro! demonstration!

About Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn

Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn of Virginia Beach, VA makes fresh, delectable kettle corn, caramel corn, and flavored seasonal popcorn for all the world to love. Shop in-person at their beautiful oceanfront store at 31 Ocean Shops, or online at www.JodysPopcorn.com.

If you’d like to sell Jody’s Popcorn in your own retail store, wholesale pricing and quantities are available. Jody’s makes a great fundraiser for your school or organization with custom packaging for special events and other special orders.

To contact Jody’s, please call 866.797.JODY or visit their Facebook page.

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.

Doc’s Tea Prints Bottled Tea Labels On-Demand

Doc’s Tea is a handcrafted, small-batch beverage brewed by a family of dental health professionals dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. Recently, Dr. Ken Banks, owner of Doc’s Teas, began printing his own bottled tea labels with the Kiaro! inkjet label printer (our updated printer is the QL-120X) in order to increase productivity, reduce cost, and dramatically improve label quality on all of their products.

“When I first saw the Kiaro! print I was amazed,” said Dr. Ken Banks, “I was impressed with the application process of the labels with our bottles and the look of the labels.”

We traveled to the home of Doc’s Tea, Inwood, West Virginia, to document how the maker of healthy, low-sugar, bottled sweet teas has increased their production speed, reduced their costs, and enhanced the look of their labels by using a Kiaro! label printer to print their own labels.

“We make our product on demand so that we can deliver a fresh product, not one that’s brewed, bottled, and then stored,” said Dr. Ken Banks. Because Doc’s Tea doesn’t allow their teas to sit on shelves, they needed a solution that allowed them to print labels instantly, which eliminated the waiting time and inventory difficulties that come with ordering outside labels.

“The Kiaro! label printer fits in so well for us because it is allowing us to do small batches, to have high-quality labels, not to have a large inventory,” says Dr. Ken Banks, “it allows us to brew on demand and to print on demand.”

See for yourself! 

Doc’s Tea, and countless others, have found that printing labels on-demand and in-house just makes sense. Schedule a virtual demonstration a label printer with one of our regional sales managers, who will take a Kiaro! to your facility, and show you what an in-house label printer can bring to your business.

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: