Been There, Labeled That -- Weber's Blog on Labels

How To Get The Right Food Labels On Your Products

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jun 6, 2019 10:25:00 AM

Manufacturers often find custom food labeling and packaging a challenging process, especially transitioning from the warehouse to the store door.  There are many questions for manufacturers to answer, including:

  • What do you need to include on your food labels?
  • What’s the best process to get the food labels on the packaging in a consistent, efficient manner?

Having the right labeling is critically important for both your sales team and overall revenue, as well as for consumer information. This article will walk through what needs to be included on food labels, what the best process is for labeling, and how print-and-apply print engines work to make the process efficient and productive.

What’s Required on your Labels? 

Complying with complex regulations, which can vary from state-to-state, can be difficult for many people who create food products. You need a reliable and secure food-labeling system that guarantees not only content accuracy but also performance for the application (for example, sticking to a container that will be kept in cold, warm or wet environments).

So, what does your business need?

The FDA requires a statement of identity, net contents, a nutrition facts panel, ingredient statement, warnings for allergens, and the name and place of your business. The FDA does not require “use by”, “best buy,” or similar information on food. However, there is a proposed federal law to standardize food date information to make it easier for consumers to understand.

When applying labels, there are things you want to avoid. Two of the most important are:

  • Obsolete labels with incorrect information
  • Not having enough of the correct labels for your labeling run

These concerns are why you want to think twice about having “Best by” and similar label dates in your preprinted label with original artwork. While it’s possible to add dates to custom labels, it’s not the most productive or efficient option for your business. And ensuring you have enough labels for your products requires extra pre-planning that doesn’t always work out.

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Topics: Food Labels, food safety, Zebra ZE500 print engine, food labeling systems


Our Top 11 Favorite Craft Beer Label Designs

Posted by Chris Erbach

May 29, 2019 9:41:00 AM

 

I was walking through our Digital Label Printing area the other day, and was struck by all the beautiful labels we have been printing lately. We keep a special rack of label sample rolls from jobs we've completed as examples of unique materials and fantastic designs.

And it should be no surprise that many of the awesome looking labels were from our craft beer customers. I thought I would share my top 11 picks along with some info about the breweries in case you happen to be in their neighborhood with a thirst.

1. Able Seedhouse and Brewery - Minneapolis, MN

One of our favorite breweries in the Minneapolis area, Able Seedhouse + Brewery is a well-known community-active brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. They have a habit of obscure yet creative names for their brews, like references to Seinfeld or song lyrics. And the beer we're showing here is awesome.

This is an amazing label with a fantastic design. Able Brewery created their Grim Arcana beer, a double brown ale (7.9% ABV), with Able rye malt smoked by their in-house BBQ food truck Animales and packaged it in 9 oz. cans.

The label design is highly detailed with layered colors including a gold metallic that creates the outlines on the geometric designs and the calavera skulls. A matte lamination seals the label giving it a soft non-sheen look except where the metallic colors show through. Great contrast.

And one of the unique features of this label is the addition of a Spotify code on the side of the label. This code links to a playlist developed by the brewers to enhance the drinking experience when listened to during consumption. A really cool extra touch, especially if you listen to this one!

Founded in 2015, Able Seedhouse + Brewery is a community of creative, hard-working and thoughtful people dedicated to building locally-inspired and ultra-fresh beer.

Every concept, piece of art, package, design, and beer poured at Able are the result of a very curious group of people and the community supporting them.

ABLE is located in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis at 1121 Quincy St NE. Check out their taproom, active event schedule and an evolving beer menu. ABLE is also home to Animales Barbeque Company

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Topics: craft beer can labels, craft beer label materials


High-Speed Print-Apply Just Got Easier With New Label/Ribbon Combo

Posted by Chris Erbach

May 16, 2019 7:01:35 AM

One of the biggest down-time issues facing large companies that use print-apply labeling systems is frequency of the label and ribbon changeovers. 

Label printer-applicators are the most efficient way to print variable data labels, like shipping labels, and apply them accurately on passing cartons and packages. But sooner or later you will have to shut down the line to change the empty label or ribbon rolls on each of your systems. A good operator can do that in a few minutes or even faster, but unless you have redundant systems that enable zero-down-time, you have to stop your production.

A typical label printer-applicator uses 12" diameter rolls of 4"x6" blank shipping labels and contains approximately 2500 labels per roll. If you are applying, say, 6 labels per minute (slow), that would be about 2880 labels per 8 hour shift. You would have to change a roll of labels every day. Faster line speeds would require multiple changes per day. And if you are running 10 or 20 labeling systems, that can be a time-consuming task.

And don't forget about the ribbons that go with the labels. You would probably be using a corresponding 4.02" x 1,476' wax ribbon to imprint your labels. Those are somewhat longer than your labels and would require a changeover shortly after you change your label roll. Minimum change would also be once a day on average. 

It adds up fast.

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Topics: ECO thermal-transfer ribbons, Transthin 400 labels


ProMat 2019 Preview: A Better Print-and-Apply Labeling System 2

Posted by Chris Erbach

Apr 5, 2019 2:33:52 PM

 ProMat 2019 is coming soon, April 8-11 at Chicago’s McCormick place, and our team at Weber Packaging will be on hand at booth #S5227 to demonstrate a better way to automatically print and apply packaging and shipping labels. 

Unfortunately, a lot of shippers have been struggling with underperforming print-and-apply labeling systems, breakdowns, and repeated headaches with having to set up, adjust and maintain their systems.
Fortunately, our partners at Zebra Technologies provide a great way to eliminate these issues and upgrade your print-and-apply solution with the ZE500 Series print engine.

Here are the 5 key ways that Zebra’s ZE500 Series print engines get rid of the headaches and keep your labeling operations running smoothly:

 1. Easy Set Up and Use

The first problem with many print-and-apply systems is that they’re a pain to set up. Zebra completely simplifies the process by giving you a large, graphical display with a simple five-button menu that makes setup a cinch.

You can rotate the display or even locate it up to two meters away from the rest of your system with an optional kit, so it’s still easily accessible, even if you’re have unusual mounting needs.

The applicator I/O is the same for 5V or 24V too, so you can simply switch jumpers and convert.

 2. Durable, Uninterrupted Performance

Print-and-apply is all about high-volume printing and labeling, usually in tough environments where debris, dust and water might be present. Many other systems fail or require repeated servicing and maintenance under demanding conditions, but Zebra sets the bar for durability with the ZE500.

It’s an ultra-rugged print engine with no need for cooling fans, and its external cabinet is non-perforated and resistant to debris, dust and even water splashes. With industrial, all-metal construction, it’s simply the toughest print-and-apply engine on the market.

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Topics: Label printer applicator, Zebra ZE500 print engine, ZE-500, print engines


A Passion for the Outdoors and Outstanding Coffee

Posted by Chris Erbach

Mar 25, 2019 3:47:17 PM

 Backwoods Grind Coffee Company Enhances Their Brand With Labels

About a year ago, Zack Kile and Jonathan Wilson were sitting in a coffee shop sharing some time drinking their favorite brew and talking about the future. Both have a common love of living the outdoor lifestyle and a good cup of coffee. That day they came up with the idea to merge both, along with a good old hard-work ethic, and it became the Backwoods Grind Coffee Company (www.backwoodsgrind.com).

Located in the rolling hills in the heart of Mississippi, BGCC is just at the beginning stages of their growth. Co-founders Zack and Jonathan, along with a few other friends, have launched a coffee company that is dedicated to doing it right. Their main goals in founding BGCC was to create the best coffee company possible by combining the values of sustainability, the values of their Christian lifestyle, and the outdoors. They celebrate all those who work hard day in and day out so they can spend quality time in the outdoors. Zack and Jonathan are both avid hunters and outdoorsmen.

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Topics: coffee company, coffee labels, coffee bag labels


Corner-Wrap Automation Helps Mrs. Gerry's Meet Labeling Requirements

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jan 8, 2019 11:05:00 AM

 

 One of the biggest challenges for companies that manufacture and sell products to large supermarket and retail chains is meeting the mandated labeling requirements. If you are shipping your products to their giant distribution centers, you need to have all your product labeling in step or they might not accept your shipment.

This was the case for one of Minnesota’s largest salad and side dish purveyors, Mrs. Gerry’s. They were requested to start applying adjacent corner labels to their cartons of prepared salads, side dishes, desserts, and coleslaws. These labels had to contain the GS1 information for the product including use by date, product information, and bar codes for tracking. 

Steady growth has been the trademark for Mrs. Gerry’s which had a humble start back in 1973 when Gerry and Jerry Vogt founded the company in support of Jerry’s sales position selling meats to grocery stores. Jerry wanted to offer more food-related products so he could provide a full menu to his clients. They bought a small building of just 1,100 square feet in Albert Lea, Minnesota, adding two stoves, a sink, and a cooler, and they were in business.

Gerry’s family became the first employees and they used Mrs. Gerry’s family recipe for potato salad as the first product. The company began to grow and, using fresh local ingredients, turned out 70,000 pounds of salad by hand in 1974. New recipes were added and building additions were added to accommodate the expanding product lines.

Fast forward to 2018 and Mrs. Gerry’s now sells over 35 millions pounds of product a year in their 215,000 square-foot facility. The company sells over 120 different products including pasta salads, cole slaws, salad kits, desserts, Premium Mashed Potatoes and much more. Sourcing their ingredients locally as much as possible, about 90% of their potatoes are grown within 15 miles of the Albert Lea plant. They buy massive truckloads of potatoes which are off-loaded in seconds using a whole truck tilt unloading system. 

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Topics: Food Labels, CIJ, Bestcode, Go-Mark 100 Wax Ribbons, Label printer applicator, GS1 labeling, food safety, corner-wrap label printer applicator


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