Labeling Innovations from Weber

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

4 Reasons to Automate Your Labeling Process

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Jun 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Labeling products by hand can be a suitable process for small applications. However, as a business grows and the packaging demands increase, automation can make a big impact on your efficiency and become a valuable investment.

I recently met with Mike Soloway to discuss the benefits of automating the label application process. Check out this video we shot where Mike breaks down his top four benefits of labeling automation or read the list below.


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Topics: Labeling Systems, CIJ

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

Coding Craft Beer Cans with Continuous Ink Jet Systems

Posted by Margaret O'Leary

Apr 19, 2016 3:00:46 PM

Cans are quickly becoming a popular choice among craft brewers for distributing their beer. Whether your cans are pre-printed, labeled or covered in a shrink sleeve, you'll probably need to add a code to edge or bottom of the can. 

Today we're going to talk about the coding you'll need to add to the can whether they're pre-printed, sleeved or labeled. 


Coding Craft Beer Cans and Bottles

The code on your cans should track back to two pieces of key information:

  1. Date it was packaged
  2. Lot number that refers to the specific batch in the package

This information is important for traceability through the supply chain and will be key to following up if there is a problem with your beer. If there's an issue, you'll want to be able to track exactly where the problem occurred and how much was of your batch was affected. This helps brewers address the dilemma quickly. 

Having a "born on date" also gives the customer information on the beer's freshness. 

There is flexibility in how you code your product. For instance, you don't have to put a separate date and lot code. Instead you can use one code that cross references a lot code and package date. That code can be looked up to cross reference both pieces of information for recalls.

Coding can appear in several methods:

  • Standard or Gregorian Date package date coding
  • “Best by” date
  • Unique company specific date coding
  • Julian date coding

You can also have some fun with the coding. Some breweries leave messages on the cans!  

Today there isn't a legal requirement for brewers to add this coding - yet. However, in anticipation of this change, most brewers who are expanding their distribution will be smart to set up a  traceability method with ink jet coding.

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Topics: Beer Labeling, CIJ

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