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!

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.

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.

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.