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

Keeping Food Safety and Quality as the Number One Ingredient

Posted by Chris Erbach

Nov 19, 2018 11:48:47 AM

 


The rural town of Stewartville, Minnesota, holds one of the best kept secrets when it comes to salad dressings. But that secret is getting out through sales at Walmart and other major area retailers. 

The small but mighty Jimmy’s Salad Dressing & Dips (www.jimmysdressing.com) has built up a strong following and continues to grow their distribution each year. We recently visited Operations Manager, Sam Slightam, and SQF Practitioner & Office Coordinator, Abby Rager, to get the full story on the production and packaging of these tasty treats.

Jimmy’s is best known for their salad dressings which include Thousand Island, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Sweet & Sour, Coleslaw and more. They also make Ranch Vegetable, Dill Vegetable, Spinach, Taco and HolySmoke! dips along with Tartar Sauce and Caramel Dips. These products can be found in the refrigerated sections of the produce aisle at Walmarts and other grocery stores throughout the Midwest primarily in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Their story all began back in 1958 when Sam’s grandfather, Jimmy, and his wife, Ella, opened a restaurant called the Fish House in Stewartville, MN. Over time, Jimmy grew tired of the available salad dressing on the market and decided to make his own. He came up with a fresh, flavorful, creamy dressing that was a hit. The local patrons loved the handmade dressings and wanted to buy some to take home with them. Jimmy started hand-packing his “Fish House” salad dressing for home use and the legend grew. Soon local grocers wanted to carry the Fish House salad dressing in their stores.

Then, in 1990, Jimmy’s son Tom purchased the salad dressing business, officially naming it “Jimmy’s Salad Dressing & Dips” as a tribute to his father.  Watch a video about Jimmy’s.

With the tag line, “Homemade Taste. Hometown Goodness.”, Jimmy’s has always been dedicated to producing the highest quality dressings and dips. And it’s very apparent when you see their production facility in Stewartville, MN. The best fresh ingredients are used to create original recipes. Products are sourced locally to support the community and to maintain consistent quality. The products are made in small batches, one flavor per day, to maximize freshness and stringent food quality guidelines.

One of the most important steps taken on the road to their success has been getting SQF certified. The SQF (Safe Quality Food) Program is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and links primary production certification to food manufacturing, distribution and agent/broker management certification. Administered by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), SQF benefits from continual retailer feedback about consumer concerns. This allows your customers to have confidence in your food safety program and know that you have a rigorous food safety system in place.

Jimmy’s continued success had created a need to automate their production and packaging line to keep up with demand. In the past, up to 1000 cartons a day had to be hand-labeled before production could begin. For a small company, this is a very labor-intensive and time consuming job. 


Their production line recently added automated labeling equipment to help speed things up and adhere to the requirements of Walmart’s PTI (Product Traceability Initiative) GS1 regulations. Jimmy’s needed to add a GS1-128 bar code label to adjacent sides of every carton of salad dressing. Walmart needs this for tracking store inventory, food safety and recall, effective quality control, faster receiving , and to measure supplier performance. 

Working through Viking Plastic Packaging, they chose a Weber Model 5300 Twin-Tamp label printer-applicator that prints and applies labels to the front and side panels of each cartons passing on the conveyor. 

The label formats for each product were created by Abby Rager using Weber’s Legitronic Labeling Software and are stored in a database where they can be easily retrieved and sent to the label printer-applicator for each run. It was important to make sure the label formats conformed to the FDA requirements. These 4” x 4” labels also include the lot code, expiration date, product information, and Jimmy’s logo. The use of GTIN-128 barcode labels allow the end user to track shipments and usage with easily-read bar code labels. 

“Our SQF certification has allowed our customers to have confidence in Jimmy’s knowing we will provide them with a safe, quality products that have been produced in a facility that meets the SQF standards,” said Abby. 

“The Weber labeler has created an additional tool to utilize within our day-to-day operation of our SQF Program which has led to increased productivity,” she added.

Jimmy’s will be using Weber’s 4” x 4” Transprint 425 All Temperature labels to ensure adherence in cold, damp refrigerated conditions in their warehouse and in reefer trucks during shipment. The combination of Weber’s labels, ribbons and 5300 twin-tamp conform 100% to the ISO 15416 quality regulations.

During production, the jars are topped-off at the filler and sealed securely. Shrink-sleeve labels are put in place and the jars go through a heat tunnel to fit the sleeves tightly. The jars are then hand-loaded into cartons that are fed into a taper to close them. The cartons proceed down the line to the label print-apply system that labels the carton on two sides with the current batch information. 

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Topics: Food Labels, GS1 labeling, food safety


Peel & Redeem Coupon Labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 18, 2018 2:36:05 PM

 

You see them everywhere. Small labels attached to your products at the grocery store, Walmart or big box store that allow you to peel them off and save money at check out.

Weber prints many of these type of labels and in this blog we will feature two examples of "Point of Purchase Coupon" labels.

These labels are perfect for adding to packages like boxes, clamshells, bottles, and bags to give your customer a discount or rebate buying incentive. It's a good way to get your product noticed or to entice a potential buyer into trying your brand for the first time.

Two of the most common types of coupon labels are the  extended-content, multi-panel construction label that works best for mail in rebates that requires more space for text and the  simple peel off coupon with deadened adhesive on the back. The peel-off coupons are usually collected at check out and the savings are immediate. 

How to Apply Coupon Labels

There are two basic ways to apply your new coupon labels. The method you use is dependent on whether your products are on the manufacturing line or already offline or in-store. 

• Towa Hand-Held Labeler

When your products are already at the store or at the warehouse, you can apply the labels by hand (labor-intensive!) using an affordable hand-held labeling tool. We would recommend something like the Towa hand-held labeler. Available in six different sizes, the Towa is perfect for small labeling jobs and on-demand labeling.

If you plan to use a hand-held labeler to apply your coupon labels, remember that your labels need to be wound on a 1" core and the roll has to be no more than about 5" in diameter.

This method is labor intensive because you have to swipe the labeler on each product, one at a time. If you have a lot of items to label, this could take a while!

 

•  Automated Label Applicators

If you plan ahead and can label your products while still being manufactured on a conveyor line, you can use one of the many labeling systems on the market.

We would recommend either a PackLeader labeling system or a Weber Alpha Compact label applicator. Automated labeling methods like this are meant for high-volume labeling that also requires close accuracy (like your coupon label).

Depending on the shape of your product and the speed of the line, you can choose from a range of systems including the PackLeader 501 for round containers like beverages or the Weber Alpha Compact which is perfect for applying labels to the top or sides of a product.

Both systems are economical yet full of advanced features like rugged die-cast aluminum construction, single-key calibration, automatic recognition of missing labels, in-production speed adjustment, and more.

An example of a tricky application is this coupon label applied to a clamshell plastic container filled with trail mix. The clamshell lid is recessed so the label needs to be blow onto the top of the clamshell using a Alpha Tamp-Blow labeling system. The label is brought to within a 1/4" of the product (clearing the lip) and is then blown onto the lid. 

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Topics: Label Applicators, Labels, Digital Labels, Food Labels, coupon labels


Asset tracking RPCs with RFID labels

Posted by Chris Erbach

Mar 2, 2017 2:45:47 PM

Mission Impossible to Mission Accomplished!

We have all seen RFID labels and tags on products in stores. Usually they are on more expensive items that are small and are often targets of shoplifting. `

When you check out, the cashier rubs the RFID tag on a deactivation device that kills or zeroes the encoding. This allows the customer to walk out the door without alarms going off at the door.

How many times has a cashier missed a tag of yours and you set off the alarm on your way out of a store? Awkward to say the least!

But there are other ways that RFID labels are being used in manufacturing and distribution these days.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an automatic identification method that stores and remotely retrieves data via an RFID inlay embedded in a label or tag. The components of an RFID label include:

  • a  protective/printable face stock
  • a layer of adhesive
  • the RFID inlay
  • another layer of adhesive
  • a removable release liner

Here is an industrial application that came up recently. Weber had a customer that was having trouble with missing shipping containers and asked us to help with the project.

Texas-based Mission Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of corn flour & tortilla products, was losing thousands of returnable plastic trays annually. This resulted in millions of dollars lost in revenue each year.

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Topics: Label Printers, RFID, Food Labels


Changes coming for food date coding and labeling

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jun 6, 2016 12:12:26 PM

Confusion over "Best By", “Use By” and "Sell By" dates has contributed to massive amounts of food waste in the US. This confusion stems from conflicting understanding of dates safety and quality meaning. Consumers are likely to throw away food that is passed the date that's labeled on the package even if it's just a sell by date and/or is perfectly safe to eat.

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Topics: Food Labels, CIJ


Choosing the right label material for High Pressure Processing (HPP)

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Nov 11, 2015 3:03:51 PM

When you work on a new label project it's important to let your label printing vendor and designer know the environment the label will have to withstand. Will it need to perform well outdoors? Will the label be stored in a freezer or damp environment? This will help them determine the best material for your application. It's especially important if your label is regulated or if your label is part of the primary packaging. A label should look great for the entire life cycle of your product. 

Today we're going to talk about selecting the right labels for High Pressure Processing or HPP. 

 

What is High Pressure Processing?

HPP is a process of pasteurization typically used in the food, beverage and pet food markets to keep the food fresh longer. Because there is a breakdown in nutrients during heat pasteurization, it's believed that HPP maintains the integrity of the nutrients because there is no heat used in this process.

To illustrate this process, let's use our friends at  PureSpoon. PureSpoon creates organic pureed food that is sold at Whole Foods. On their label they say, "We use pressure instead of heat to pasteurize which doesn't destroy the flavor or nutrition naturally found in our nutrient-packed, steamed, organic ingredients." It's very important to this brand that they use HPP and have a quality label to help market their products.

Food and beverages that go through this process are packed and sealed before they go through the HPP system. This greatly reduces contamination. In the HPP system, the packaging and its contents are subjected to hydorstactic pressure up to 600 MPa / 87,000 pis. 

Because the food goes through this process when it's sealed, it's important to select a label material that can withstand this pressure and perform in a wet environment. This is even more important for primary package labels that need to act as branding material on the shelf. 

 

Correct barrier properties such as OTR, MVTR and UV of the package are critical. And the design of the package is also important to prevent damage and optimize throughput through the HPP process. Also, all HPP products are in the refrigerated world so the label must stick in a cold damp place.

The three key advantages that hold true for all HPP-treated products are: food safety to inactivate pathogens such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella; added shelf life to increase distribution possibilities and decreases costs; and the ability to introduce new products, for example, clean-label foods.

What is the ideal label material for HPP?

Weber has a large catalog of vinyl/film label materials that will hold up during this process. We also recommend a laminate to ensure that your beautiful label design stays completely intact through this process and during the entire life of the product. 

These materials can be printed on one of our HP Indigo digital label presses with minimums as low as 1,000 and our high volume Mark Andy flexo presses for when you need 100,000+ labels. 

If this is a process your products go through now, or will in the future, request high pressure processing labels for testing.

Get Label Samples  

 

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Topics: Food Labels


The Top Label and Packaging Solutions for Dairy Deli Bake 2015

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

May 21, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The International Dairy Deli Bake expo is just around the corner. Weber will be showcasing three unique labeling product areas that can help you with your food packaging. Stop by our booth, #5071, to see what's new with:

  1. High-quality custom food labels
  2. Labeling systems for high-speed food labeling
  3. On-demand color inkjet label printers

Food Labels

It's important that your packaging matches, or exceeds, the quality of the food product you're selling. Weber has worked with both small bakeries and national food distributors to help them redesign their labels to elevate their brands. If you're considering updating your labels, take a look at what our many successful customers have done with our print technology.

Featured in our booth will be examples of "grab-and-go" sandwich packaging, deli meat labels, and other high-end artisan food brand labels that use unique, eye-catching materials and designs.

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Topics: Food Labels, Trade Show


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