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
Making 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
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!
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.
The hallmarks of Eastern Shore Tea are their quality and packaging, and when we traveled to Baltimore, MD, that’s exactly what we came to find.
But first: a little about the owner.
Stanley Constantine, owner of Eastern Shore Tea Company and its parent company Baltimore Coffee & Tea, drinks 10 cups of tea every day.
He’s deliberate and engaged and speaks with a low-end sort of rumble that peaks half an octave higher when he reaches points of interest.
At the mention of his new labels, and the boon in sales since acquiring his new Kiaro! label printer, that octave jumps.
“It’s interesting,” Constantine says, “since we installed the Kiaro! our tea sales have increased an average of about 40%.”
Then he takes a shallow breath, prepping for the big reveal, “Actually, one of our largest grocery chain customers told me that Eastern Shore Tea sales have increased 40% since we installed the Kiaro!.”
Eastern Shore Tea Company’s quality is unmatched, its process of making tea painstaking, and its customer service superior.
“We haven’t changed anything – except the label quality,” says Constantine, when talking about the enormous and sustained 40% jump in tea sales, “I’m pretty convinced that the Kiaro! is responsible.”
How the Kiaro! Did it
“As I said before we’ve changed nothing else. We’ve changed none of our recipes, none of the other elements of our packaging, save for the increased quality of the Kiaro!,” says Constantine.
“It has improved our packaging ten-fold, and that’s really supported by the increase in sales that we’ve experienced.”
So the labels look good?
Linda Lang, manager of Eastern Shore Tea Company, and 11-year-employee thinks so.
“It’s just amazing how good the Kiaro! can make the labels look,” she says, “the colors are rich and bright – it’s just completely changed the way the artwork on the labels looks.”
A Different Approach to Tea
“Eastern Shore teas differ from most national brands in a couple of different areas,” says Constantine. All of their teas are flavored naturally: they use real spices in their teas, not liquid flavorings, so in their teas, you’ll find real clove, real cinnamon, real ginger, real lemongrass.
Eastern Shore Tea starts with full leaf tea, and then to increase surface exposure they use a hammer-mill to cut the leaves down to tea-bag size.
The Kiaro! Joins the Eastern Shore
“We brought a Kiaro! in, set it up, and we printed some logos and some of our graphics. I was astounded with the quality. With the Kiaro! printing at 1200dpi,” says Constantine, “we were blown away by the quality.”
“I was thrilled when I saw the Kiaro! labels for the first time,” says Linda Lang, “ it was pretty exciting. It even will reproduce photographs which are really amazing!”
Private Labeling with the Kiaro!
Eastern Shore Tea has seen a large growth in customers requesting private label services, which they are uniquely set up to do because they’re totally vertically integrated.
“The Kiaro! has helped us with that goal,” explains Constantine, “because it’s so easy and effortless for us to create private labels for all of our customers.”
Eastern Shore Tea creates private label teas for major museums, grocers, and gourmet food stores around the country, but also for private functions and smaller parties.
“It’s effortless,” says Constantine, “one of our strong points is that our private label minimum is only 24 pieces. The reason it’s so low is that the Kiaro! is just effortless. We can easily print and go to production and it’s out the door the same day. It’s made our life a lot easier.”
Printing Tea Labels on Demand
Eastern Shore Tea went with the Kiaro! because they needed to print labels on-demand, and as needed. “In the past, we would have to order 10,000 of every single label. Now,” says Constantine, “we print over 300 SKUs on the Kiaro!. The ability to print on demand has saved us an incredible amount of money because we’re stocking only blank labels and we print as we need.”
Linda Lang loves how the Kiaro! has eliminated their inventory of pre-printed labels, “The labels aren’t sitting on the shelf for long periods of time. It’s just so easy to go and print a few labels with the Kiaro!.” With the Kiaro! Eastern Shore Tea Company prints large or small runs, at 8inches per second, for immediate, on-demand label printing.
“As much as I like the Kiaro!, I like the people at QuickLabel Systems even more. Of all the vendors we deal with, and we deal with vendors all over the world, the people at QuickLabel comprise the best vendor that we have,” says Constantine.
See How They Do It!
We even traveled down to Baltimore and shot some video in the Eastern Shore Tea facility! We watched them print labels, cut tea, package their products, and even visited their beautiful store-front. Check it out!