Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Be Printing Prepared Food Labels In-House

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

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 our 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.

print grocery store 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 and prepared foods.

The best way to avoid these dilemmas is 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

Printing prepared food labels in-house has its benefits when varying environmental requirements come into play.

printing prepared food labels in-house

Just because some prepared foods need to be frozen, doesn’t mean the quality and appearance of your packaging should suffer. It’s important for your store’s frozen foods 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. QuickLabel 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.frozen food label printer

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 easy in-house printing solution is QuickLabel’s flagship Kiaro!Kiaro! D or wide format QL-800 inkjet label printers. These printers are known for printing frozen food labels that are extremely durable and still generate high-quality 1200 – 1600 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. It’s Not Easy to Keep Up with FDA Regulations & Demands

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.

label nutrition facts tableThis 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 customer with the quality and transparency they deserve, you can make it easier on your business.

printing prepared food labels in-houseThis is where an in-house label printer truly shines. For every change in date, rule, format, etc., you have the ability to immediately customize your labels on the spot.

Printing prepared food labels in-house gives you the ability to print the exact number of labels you need for what’s in-stock, 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.

printing prepared food labels in-house

If you’re interested in high-quality, short-run label printing in-house, feel free to view 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.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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QuickLabel & TrojanLabel: The Complete Packaging and Labeling Solution

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Complete packaging and labeling solutionQuickLabel & TrojanLabel: The Complete Packaging and Labeling Solution

Since introducing the first color label printer in 1994, our goal has been to provide industry best on-demand label printers as a complete packaging and labeling solution.

First color label printerFrom the Sundance in 1994, a four color thermal color digital transfer printer to the original Kiaro! in 2010 to the new QL-240 in 2017, we have always striven to provide innovative, high-quality printing technologies that make the lives of customers easier.

QuickLabel label printers

Continuing to push the progressive envelope, QuickLabel’s parent company, AstroNova®, recently acquired a new division that specializes in larger, more versatile printing systems.

In February 2017, our business unit expanded to include TrojanLabel™, a growing force in the digital label press, overprinting and specialty printers industry.

Who is TrojanLabel?

Beginning in Denmark in 2012, TrojanLabel has globally revolutionized color printing technology with the production of their digital color label presses and specialty printer systems for a broad range of end markets.

Trojan2 label printing pressDesigned with higher volume and professional applications in mind, TrojanLabel is an obvious choice for anyone considering larger-scale, specialty printing systems.

A fantastic complement to our tabletop label printers, TrojanLabel products include the T3-OP (Trojan3), a digital professional packaging and converting overprinting system and the T2 (Trojan2), a sophisticated digital label mini press.

To learn more about TrojanLabel, feel free to visit the TrojanLabel website.

What Does This Acquisition Mean for QuickLabel?

To put it simply, the Product Identification unit of AstroNova will include QuickLabel and TrojanLabel. This means, in addition to specializing in tabletop labeling systems, AstroNova Product Identification will also support TrojanLabel’s specialty overprinting and digital press systems.

While QuickLabel and TrojanLabel remain separate divisions, both will fall under the same business unit of the AstroNova parent company.

How Does This Benefit You?

Ultimately, the acquisition of TrojanLabel amplifies the strength and capabilities of both brands, known leaders in their industry.

Gregory A. Woods, AstroNova’s President and Chief Executive Officer, shares, “QuickLabel and TrojanLabel provide customers with a broad portfolio of products spanning tabletop printers and light-production label printers as well as advanced specialty printing systems.”label printers and overprinting printing presses

As a whole, we are now able to provide products, services and supplies that improve the consumers’ ability to track and market their products in small to large scale businesses, spanning all industries.

With additional options to match your specific needs, we can now deliver a wider range of application specific packaging and labeling solutions — furthering our goal to provide the complete packaging and labeling solution.

Where Can You See the New TrojanLabel Products?

We are pleased to announce for the first time ever, QuickLabel and TrojanLabel will be showing together at PACK EXPO 2017 in Booth #C-2731.

pack expo las vegas 2017

Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this will be an exclusive event for all PACK EXPO attendees.

While we expect to host many trade shows together down the line, this is your chance to get ahead of your competition.

We are pleased to officially be able to provide the best solutions from tabletop label printers to specialty and digital printing presses for consumers worldwide.

We’re looking forward to seeing all those who plan on attending #PACKEXPO2017 for our exclusive first show together!

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Kiaro! Couples: Get to Know Our Sweethearts

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to get you to know more about the beautiful relationships we’ve brought to life. Especially the lives of our Kiaro! couples.

As you’ve probably seen in our latest Facebook post, we recently named the Kiaro! and Rewinder our couple of the year. After all, they’ve created some wonderful labels together.

But they aren’t the only relationship we’ve taken notice of. Looking back, we realize we’ve become quite the matchmaking system.

While we love all of the customer relationships we’ve created, there are several sweethearts that stand out. Coincidentally, they make some pretty sweet products.

O&H Danish Bakery

The family-owned Danish bakery located in Racine, Wisconsin enhanced the appearance of their bakery labels by printing with the Kiaro! inkjet label printer.

O&H Bakery is known for their traditional Danish Kringle, a flaky oval pastry that takes 3 days to bake, with a variety of seasonal toppings, fillings and icings. They come in flavors such as the Wisconsin, Cream Cheese and one of their most popular, Almond Kringle.

Their Kringle’s are so popular that they are not only enjoyed by President Obama, but by thousands of buyers around the world with varying tastes.

With their online and mail order business, they have order requests for any mix of products come in at any time, giving them no way to predict the exact quantity of labels they need for each type of Kringle.

Finding pre-printed labels costly and wasteful, O&H knew they needed a printer that could accommodate for the unpredictability of demand.

With the Kiaro!, O&H not only avoids having to purchase large quantities of pre-printed labels, but is now able to print labels in short-run batches for its growing mail order business and custom corporate gift program, whenever they’re needed.

After bringing this Kiaro! couple together, they not only earned new customers, but earned more business from their existing customers.

“I’m a firm believer that people eat with their eyes…We really want good detail to well represent the image that we are trying to portray on the label, and I think that the Kiaro! printer does just that for us.”– Eric Olesen, Owner, O&H Bakery

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shoppe™

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe knows all things key lime.

Despite what you may have thought, their signature item is not just their delectable key lime pies. They are known for their wide variety of sauce and dressing concoctions and especially their dark chocolate pie bars, which are shipped throughout the country.

kermitsEven though they produce thousands of orders, they still have the need to make a lot of their products in small, artisan batches, on-demand.

Instead of continuing to grasp at predictions for label demand based on what products they might create or ship, resulting in excessive inventory of labels, Kermit’s realized they needed something that would give them labels in a moment’s notice – and they found that in the Kiaro!.

When Kermit’s met the Kiaro!, you could say it was love at first print…err, bite…I mean, sight! They were able to print whatever they needed, fast.

Lucky for them, the Kiaro! is a good investment for anyone who prints in small batches, or needs control over quantity. What’s more, the Kiaro! never diminishes their company color or label quality. It supports their branding fully.

Printing in 1200 dpi, Kermit’s now has the ability to print consistent and intricate color labels that are nothing less than eye-catching. Look at this Kiaro! couple, what a pair!

“It’s rare that I will print 2,000 of a particular label. I’m much more likely to print 75 of something and 200 of another, and [it’s a good investment] to have the flexibility to be able to do that on the fly.”— Karen Puglisi, Sales and Marketing Director, Kermit’s

Amoretti®

Hailing from Oxnard, CA, Amoretti does things a little differently.

Instead of making the sweets and treats, they supply the ingredients for executive chefs, gourmet pastry makers and food and beverage brands to make products taste just right. This includes high quality ingredients and flavorings such as first-class syrups, coffee flavorings, pastry ingredients and especially their premium martini mixes.

amorettiWhat else was different about Amoretti? Well, they weren’t exactly monogamous in their needs. In other words, they loved the Kiaro! so much, they wanted more.

Two more to be exact.

Why? Because their trio of Kiaro!’s was exactly what they were looking for.

You see, Amoretti wanted to be able to properly showcase the quality of their products, while still being able to maintain the rate at which they produced new and existing products.

Some Amoretti flavorings sell faster than others, so they needed a match that was versatile but still able to produce high quality labels to match their high quality products.

It’s not that one Kiaro! didn’t do the job for them, not at all. Printing consistently at 8 ips (40 feet per min) and in 1200dpi on demand, they just wanted more of what they had found to support their growing business.

And who could blame them?

With their Kiaro!’s, Amoretti is not only able to keep up with their extremely fast and fresh production schedule, but they can now create custom labels with the most intricate detail, readable barcodes and accurate nutrition labels.

“Our products are high-end pastry ingredients. We’re on the top shelf. Our Kiaro! printers allow us to look that way.” – Nick Squires, IT and Social Media Coordinator, Amoretti

Browndog Creamery

Last but certainly not least, we made quite the match with Browndog Creamery.

Located in the heart of downtown Northville, Michigan, they’re a “micro-creamery” that brings customers delicious and unique handcrafted ice creams. Some of their seasonal flavors include Gingerbread, Old Man Winter, Boozy Eggnog and the ever popular French Press Mocha.

browndogThey had a lot of needs, but it certainly wasn’t their fault. As a micro-creamery, they make small batches, rare flavors and unique products all with very limited supplies.

Not only did they need a fast, reliable but quality printer, they had very specific requirements our Kiaro! had to meet.

Requirements like producing labels that withstand the freezing temperatures necessary for storing ice cream or delivering flexibility to meet continuous product rotation.

You see, instead of mass producing the same flavors of ice cream, Browndog only makes small batches that rotate and change frequently.

When they found out their ‘cool personality’ didn’t faze the Kiaro! labels (which can withstand temperatures from -65°F to 147°F), they knew they were meant to be together. After all, everyone has baggage. While living with the proverbial cold shoulder can be difficult, it wasn’t a problem for either of them.

Now, Browndog Creamery and the Kiaro! work together to create their own vibrantly cool custom labels printed in-house –labels that love pairing with Browndog’s ice cream cartons!

“The Kiaro! has been a wonderful fit in our business, it allows us to make these very small run labels and customize them to everything that we needed to do.” – Paul Gabriel, Co-Owner, Browndog Creamery

Why Our Kiaro! Couples Are A Success

A lot of our customers had relationship issues with their previous printing choices – relationships that didn’t give them the flexibility they needed or satisfy their businesses’ profound label desires.

But they found that printing flexibility and satisfaction with the Kiaro!. They realized that they had found a reliable partner for the short runs and the long runs; the unexpected and the little things.

You see, the Kiaro! supports you and your business to the fullest, making it the perfect sweetheart. It gets you through thick and thin, always delivering the best print quality for your labels regardless of its pace.

That’s the kind of love and security our customers, and everyone else, deserves. And we are beyond happy to have been involved in creating such fruitful relationships.

Questions About Your Own Label Printing?

Read how the Kiaro! digital label printer lets you print gorgeous labels, reduces excess label inventory, saves you time and allows your business to become more profitable.

Or contact us today by giving us a call, sending us an email or deciding to schedule your own Kiaro! demonstration!

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Jody’s Popcorn Labels POP! with the Kiaro! Label Printer!

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

In Virginia Beach, Jody’s Popcorn sells freshly made, caramel coated, chocolate drizzled and savory popcorn snacks. With their unique line of product flavors, they rely on their Kiaro! label printer to produce the famous popcorn labels that pop!

What Makes It Gourmet?

jodys_bagsMichael Katz, Vice President of Jody’s Popcorn, explains, “People often ask what gourmet popcorn is. What gourmet means to us is that we use the highest quality ingredients that we can find because we are very concerned about our flavor profile and the quality of our product.”

We traveled to Virginia Beach to get a taste of what Jody’s Popcorn is made of, and see how they use their QuickLabel printer to make their popcorn labels look as good as their freshly popped batches taste.

It’s About Quality AND Quantity

“Our quality is not just about the product, but the overall experience at Jody’s,” stresses Katz, “At our oceanfront store, we make freshly popped popcorn right there.”

While the quality of their popcorn is priority, their quantity demands (no matter how big or small) are important to them as well.

popcornMichael Katz explains, “The oceanfront store grew in popularity. We had lots of demand for our products, so Jody’s leased facilities that were able to produce much larger quantities of popcorn. We were then able to label that product and offer a much wider variety at our oceanfront store, also satisfying the needs of whole sale customers.”

But with that expansion, Jody’s needed a reliable printer that could take on their growth, as well as take care of quick in-store demands. As the business grew, so did Jody’s product line. It became less affordable to order thousands of popcorn labels for all of their many flavors, changing order sizes, and special requests for custom labeling.

“What we had before was outsource printing,” explains Katz, “We were making a lot of products and sending a lot of products to be outsourced. But the cost of having all that inventory sitting on our shelves didn’t seem to make much sense.”

QuickLabel Meets Jody…

Looking for a short-run labeling solution, Jody’s found QuickLabel Systems and the Kiaro! label printer.

michael_katz_kiaroKatz quickly discovered how easy it was to operate a Kiaro!, stating, “My concern then came, how difficult is that to operate? And it was really very simple. Anybody that could operate a printer can operate this printer.”

“When I first saw the Kiaro!, my initial impression was, ‘Wow! It’s not drab, and I’m not interested in printing anything that’s drab.’ So I really connected with that,” reveals Katz, “Once I looked at it operate, I was impressed with the quality of what was being ‘spit out,’ if you will, as finished product. These labels were just coming off and they were beautiful.”

QuickLabel’s Kiaro! Saved Them Time & Money

“Our ability to flourish in both the promotional products industry and the whole sale business has been greatly enhanced by our ability to create custom labels. That gives us the ability to very quickly customize a package for customers. If a particular customer wants to have their farm store on it or their gift store, we’re able to produce that here, quickly, in our facility and put that on the bag and get it out the door,” Katz states.

“There are times when we find that we forgot to order a pre-printed label and we need it right now, or we’ve ordered it, but there’s a problem at the printing company and they can’t deliver the label at the time we expect,” Katz explains.jodys_labels

He expands,“With the Kiaro!, we not only use it to print our custom labels and small quantity product labels, but we also use it as a back-up printer. We can print exactly the same label we send out for our large-runs of pre-printed labels, and the Kiaro! labels look indistinguishable from an outsourced label. It is really a wonderful situation.”

“The Kiaro! printer has saved Jody’s time and production. The amount of time it takes for us to produce a custom job has decreased greatly. We can literally have somebody walk into the printing area and say ‘I need this’ and turn it around in 10-15 minutes,” concludes Katz.

Want More?

To learn more about how the Kiaro! color label printer can save you time, money, and provide you with gorgeous customized color labels, click here.

Or contact us today by giving us a call, sending us an email or deciding to schedule your own Kiaro! demonstration!

About Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn

Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn of Virginia Beach, VA makes fresh, delectable kettle corn, caramel corn, and flavored seasonal popcorn for all the world to love. Shop in-person at their beautiful ocean front store at 31 Ocean Shops, or online at www.JodysPopcorn.com.

If you’d like to sell Jody’s Popcorn in your own retail store, wholesale pricing and quantities are available. Jody’s makes a great fundraiser for your school or organization with custom packaging for special events and other special orders.

To contact Jody’s, please call 866.797.JODY or visit their Facebook page.

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Browndog Creamery Keeps it Cool with the Kiaro!

Posted on by Kelsey Sullivan

Browndog Creamery’s Micro Batch Gourmet Ice Cream Meets Micro Batch Label Printing

With an ever-changing variety of ice cream flavors as evocative as Dragon Bite, Tuscan Sun, Buttered Berry Brioche, and French Press Mocha, the owners of Browndog Creamery needed a labeling solution that could adapt to label changes on-the-fly.

For example, they may need 20  labels for Triple Vanilla this morning, and 15 for Mystery Cookie this afternoon.  Luckily for owners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel, they found the Kiaro! label printer to print labels for their pints of ice cream on demand, in the exact quantity that they need.

Watch How Browndog Uses the Kiaro! for All Their Gourmet Creations:

Browndog Creamery, a “micro-creamery” located in the heart of downtown Northville Michigan, west of Detroit, brings customers delicious and unique handcrafted ice creams.

Being a micro-creamery, as explained by co-owner Paul Gabriel, “basically means that we make our ice cream in very small batches. We’re not a mass factory where we make thousands of gallons of ice cream. We make about four or five gallons at a time for each flavor.”

Browndog Creamery’s unique flavor combinations are all created in-house by Gabriel and Scherle. “I always tell people I refuse to make butter pecan, so instead we make a bourbon pecan,” said Gabriel. “For our Cinco de Mayo we made a Holy Guacamole ice cream, and that’s the type of stuff that we really like: the really unique, creative stuff that you’re not going to find anywhere else. “

The Perfect Label For Every Single Batch

Browndog rotates flavors of ice creams so frequently because each batch made in their micro-creamery is only a few gallons. Even before they opened their business, they knew that using pre-printed labels wouldn’t make any sense, because buying minimum orders of labels would lead to excessive costs and way too much label inventory for their small backroom.

gourmet ice cream labels“I knew we would be running small batches of ice cream and I didn’t want to take an inventory of a hundred or a thousand labels of one flavor because I knew we might only need ten,” said Gabriel. “The Kiaro! has been a wonderful fit in our business to allow us to make these very small run labels and customize them to everything that we needed to do.”

“Being able to create products and without having to go to a mass printing,” has been a boon to business said Scherle. “Using the Kiaro! printer to label our ice cream, and to create amazing and attractive packaging is just part and parcel of creating our products.”

Scherle described his first impressions of the Kiaro!, “When it was delivered I found that it’s bright purple. Upon seeing it, I was pleasantly surprised that the Kiaro! looks as fun as it is to use.  It’s a good addition to our shop.”

Kiaro! Labels Handle Freezing Temps  

One of Browndog’s chief concerns was whether or not their Kiaro! labels would stand up to the freezing temperatures necessary for storing ice cream.

“The synthetic material that we use for the pint labels is pretty resistant to water best label printerand we actually label the pints after they’ve gone through the freezing process,” said Gabriel.  “We were a little skeptical about how they would adhere to a frozen pint, but the Kiaro! labels do quite well.”

“It’s surprising how fast the printer is,” said Gabriel.  “We have taught some of our employees how to use the Kiaro! and besides its flexibility and other benefits, it’s also very easy to use. The first time one of our managers used it she thought, ‘oh goodness I have to print out 150 labels that’s going to take all day’ and they started to come out and she was trying hard to keep up with the printer, and roll labels up so they weren’t all over the floor, it was actually quite humorous,” added Scherle. “The print speed is amazing.”

More Questions About Label Printing?

Read here how the Kiaro! digital label printer lets you print gorgeous labels, while reducing excess label inventory, saving you time, and allowing you to make more money. The Kiaro! gives you control over your entire labeling process, and allows you to more affordably label your products.

Or, give us a call, send us an email, or schedule your own Kiaro! demonstration today!

About Browndog Creamery…

frozen food label printerBrowndog Creamery is a gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on East Main St. in Northville, MI. “Browndog started off as an ice cream line,  but we also now have a retail space where we sell t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and gift cards; along with our own unique blend of coffee,” said co-owner Brian Scherle. “Plus, we now have a pastry chef who is making anything from a simple ice cream cakes all the way up to wedding cakes and specialized cookies, so we’re becoming a full-fledged creamery and dessert bar.”

Stop by their gourmet ice cream shop and dessert bar on 118 East Main St. in Northville, MI, visit them on Facebook, follow them on twitter @browndogcreamery, and stop by their website Browndogcreamery.com

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Making Nutrition Labels in Canada? ReciPal Software Can Help

Posted on by Savannah Brodeur

Did you know that ReciPal is Canada’s easiest, most inexpensive way to get nutrition facts panels that automatically comply with Health Canada regulations?

Lev Berlin, the founder, has decided to feature a new software installment for the making of nutrition labels in Canada.

But, what does ReciPal do? recipalbig

Most food entrepreneurs want to focus on producing and selling their foods, not labeling them. Who wants to do the math when it comes to nutrition labels, when they could be focusing on crafting their foods, and perfecting their recipes?

That’s where ReciPal comes in. When you don’t want to sacrifice time and money using a laboratory to determine the nutrition values, caloric content, and daily percentages in your food, the ReciPal website’s instant, web-based software configures your nutrition facts panel for you.

But what does this have to do with printing your own labels?

The nutrition facts panel that ReciPal automatically creates for you can be printed in-house, and on-demand with your QuickLabel printer. If you want a more in-depth look on how it’s done check out this video:

 

ReciPal for Canadian Nutrition Labeling

Our friends at ReciPal are currently undergoing a software update that features Canadian nutrition label formats that comply with the Health Canada regulations.

But, without knowing the Health Canada regulations, you won’t know what new features this new ReciPal update will contain. So let’s take a look.

All food labels in Canada have to have be in both the French and English.  To comply with the Health Canada regulations, manufacturers usually use linear labels, which allow for two of these labels to rest on top of each other – one in Canadian English, and the other in Canadian French.

If you’re wondering what that looks like, don’t fret. Just take a look below:

From top to bottom: The Canadian English label, and the Canadian French label.
From top to bottom: The Canadian English label, and the Canadian French label.

With a simple click of a box, in ReciPal’s nutrition panel editor, you can translate your labels into Canadian French, or have them in Canadian English. It’s that easy.

ReciPal also ensures that the correct Canadian formatting is in place for all of your ingredients lists and nutrition panels – so you never have to worry about font size,  special characters, line thickness, layout, or color contrast. Plus, ReciPal knows which facts must be included on a compliant nutrition panel,  so when you input your recipe, the mandatory information is automatically generated!

The Kiaro! and Recipal

How can you get the most out of using ReciPal? By printing your labels, nutrition panels and ingredients lists with the Kiaro! label printer. With the capability to print your food labels in astounding 1200 DPI resolution, you’ll ensure that the intricate details (and small text sizes) on your nutrition labels are perfectly printed every single time.

Printing compliant food labels in-house with a Kiaro! label printer also gives you the capability to control your compliance in-house, by overseeing each part of the labeling process: design and printing.  You’ll have fewer labeling mistakes because you’ll be able to control the entire labeling process.

The Kiaro! is capable of printing labels in batches of any size, big or small. With the Kiaro! label printer and ReciPal food labeling software you’ll always have completely compliant nutrition labels regardless of your recipe or production demand.

We know you’re in the food business, not the labeling business. So check ReciPal out, whether you’re in the USA or in Canada, because it will surely shave off the cost of time and money involved with creating your nutrition facts panels.

Get Your First Label Free at ReciPal!

Find out more about using ReciPal with the Kiaro! Label Printer

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Important Changes for Food Labeling Requirements in European Union

Posted on by David Golding

800px-Flag_of_Europe.svg[1]Important Information: EU Food Labeling Regulations

There are several new changes to food labeling requirements in the European Union, and we’ve compiled information to make you aware of them, and more importantly, to help you comply with them – whether you are based in Europe, or exporting to a European country.

There are three things customers generally look for when they’re purchasing food: quality, safety, and security. You have the quality aspect down pat, but the safety and security part is receiving some changes that are crucial to be aware of.

Quick Overview of New EU Food Label Regulation

The new EU Regulation 1169/2011 is making some important changes on legislation for requirements about information on food labels such as origin information/provenance of animals for meats, allergen information, and more specific fat to collagen ratios for minced meats to consumers.

Allergy Amendments

Legislation ensuring that allergy information is overtly displayed on all food labels will come into effect on December 13, 2014. This upcoming legislative change states that separate allergy boxes are no longer allowed.

Example of what is now NOT allowed
Example of what is now NOT allowed

That is, a separate area for only allergy contents will be prohibited, and in its stead, those contents will be contained in the ingredients list either in bold, highlighted, or printed in a contrasting color.

Country of Origin Meat Labeling/Provenance Labeling Amendments

One extremely important amendment that was implemented recently (on December 13, 2013) regards the “mandatory origin labeling of unprocessed meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry,” according to official European Commission (EC) website. Another small, yet important amendment, implemented on January 1, 2014, outlines requirements concerning the designation of “minced meat.”

The minced meat requirements dictate that both the percentage of fat must appear on the label, as well as the collagen to meat ratio. Exact numbers can be found on Annex VI, Part B of the full regulation description.

How to Make EU Allergy Labels

The part of these new EU food labeling regulations that applies to the majority of food producers is the fact that you will have to clearly present allergen information on your label if your product has any of the 14 recognized allergens.

You must highlight each allergen so that it catches the eye of a consumer.

It is up to the food producer to determine how to highlight the presence of an allergen on the food label ingredients list, but options are likely to include the use of text in a contrasting color and boldface type.

There are also minimum font sizes and phrases that should be used. The 14 food allergens recognized by the EU are as follows:

  • Cereals containing gluten
  • Celery
  • Crustaceans
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Lupin (plant in the legume family)
  • Milk
  • Mollusks
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sulphur dioxide and sulphites

Some common phrases used to denote that there may be allergens in the food through cross-contamination include but are not limited to “may contain x” or “made on equipment that also processes x.”

"New" box as example of what is REQUIRED
“New” box as example of what is REQUIRED

All of these regulations call for changes in labels that could be expensive if your business does not make use of in-house label printing that can be easily tailored to specific needs.

More about Country of Origin Meat Labeling in the EU

Prior to the implementation of these regulations, country of origin labeling was only required for certain food types. It needed to be present on food types such as honey, fruit and vegetables, fish, beef and beef products, olive oil, wine, eggs, imported poultry, and spirits.

However, the official document COM(2013) 755, section 4, references the Food Chain Evaluation Consortium (FCEC) study, which found that 48% of meat consumers in the EU say that meat origin is of fifth most importance when deciding what to purchase.

This prompted the European Parliament and Council to extend the mandate to all unprocessed pig, poultry, sheep, and goat meat. Also, it is now required that minced meat display on its packaging the percentage of fat content and the collagen/meat ratio.

What the European Commission (EC) calls “cumulative traceability” is a new requirement as of December 13, 2013. It states that food manufacturers must list on their label the country of birth of their meat, the country in which it was raised, the country of slaughter, and country in which it was processed.

The EC had to revamp the regulations about the way animal information was passed along from various suppliers so that there could be an established database containing the detailed history of each animal, therefore making it easier for you all to comply with these new country of origin labeling laws.

EU Food Labeling Compliance Made Easy with the Kiaro! label printer

A significant change that you may have to make to your existing label format is the removal of an “allergy box.”

This means that content of allergens in your food product cannot be isolated in its own area on the label; rather it must be listed in bold, highlighted, underlined, or in colored text as part of the normal ingredient list.

The Kiaro! color label printer allows you to easily add color to specific text so that you are able to comply with the new regulations, satisfy your customers with easily seen allergen information, and even boost sales by enhancing your product aesthetically.

The Kiaro! label printer is the most efficient way to make changes to your labels.

Printing in-house provides many benefits such as the ability to manage every aspect of the printing process and make changes as needed without waste or downtime. You are able to print labels in any batch size, small to large, or for any product type; seasonal to flagship!

Take O&H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin for example. They utilize the Kiaro! digital label printer for all of their seasonally available baked goods, and they save money because they can print labels, any time. It’s all tailored directly to the supply and demand of a product, thereby ensuring no money is wasted on big-batch label productions.

Kiaro! in action
Kiaro! digital color label printer for O&H Bakery

You can even print your labels in captivating 1200 dpi, making for crisp, clear color on your labels that adds appeal to your packaging, and catch the eyes of new customers!
This color option is perfect for complying with the new requirement to add allergy information, which can require contrasting colors, because label edits can be easily made through labeling software, such as NiceLabel, that works seamlessly with the Kiaro!.

Easy software compatibility allows for templates to be created so you can automatically add information to labels, without having to constantly recreate fields for entering origin and allergen information.

Where Can I Learn More about EU Food Labeling Requirements?

If you are so inclined, you are able to access more information about these new regulations on the official EC page. Also, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of the UK has a page with useful information about the allergen labeling aspect in the EU.

 

 

 

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How Do You Get a Nutrition Facts Label for Your Food Product?

Posted on by kginter

Have you ever wondered just how food companies are supposed to come up with their nutrition facts labels? How they can turn their product recipes into nutrition facts statistics, calorie counts, vitamin content, etc.? If you’re curious like me, you might be interested to read what I found out about how to create a nutrition facts panel.

The Science Behind the Stats

In order to come up with nutritional facts, food manufacturers have to analyze the ingredients in their products. They can do so by giving a list of ingredients and measurements to a food scientist or by inputting data about ingredients and measurements into a nutritional database. Both of these options ultimately work to produce information for Nutrition Facts Panels.

  • Using a Nutritional Database – This option calculates the nutritional content of a food item by entering data into a database that already contains an analysis of ingredients. This is a much easier process because the data is readily available. It is also less expensive option of the two. However, some foods cannot be analyzed this way.
  • Getting a Lab Analysis– There are certain food items that can only be determined by lab analysis, including fried, salted, and coated foods. This is because ingredients in these foods are difficult to determine and a more thorough analysis must be conducted. Lab analysis must follow strict FDA protocol for each ingredient and can become very time consuming, ultimately leading it to be very costly.

What Are Some Resources to Get Nutrition Facts for Your Food Products?

ReciPal will take all of the recipe information you input and will automatically calculate daily values, serving sizes, ingredient lists – all in complete compliance with FDA labeling format mandates.

ReciPal then exports your completed info panels into highly-compatible .pdf files that you can import into your design software, such as Adobe Photoshop®, and then quickly print with a Kiaro! inkjet label printer.

ReciPal is affordable, and jam-packed with features making it the best solution for nutrition panel creations. It’s features include:

  • Unlimited Recipes
  • All available FDA Label Formats
  • Unlimited Product Costing
  • One or Multiple Users
  • Easy Cloud-Based Label Creation

Does the FDA Approve Nutrition Facts Panels?

The FDA does not proactively certify your company’s nutrition facts panels. Instead, the FDA simply establishes a standard set of information that must be provided on the nutrition facts panels. If the FDA finds that a company is inaccurately or improperly reporting its nutrition facts (usually discovered as a result of a “spot check” by the FDA or a report of an inaccuracy), the FDA will require a product recall.

Having correct and accurate nutritional analyses is important in order to avoid recalling your products from store shelves, which can become very expensive.

To reassure yourself that you are putting the correct information on your food products labels you may want to consider the services of a label consultant. In a previous blog, “How To Find an FDA Labeling Consultant”, we gave some tips on where to look and how a consultant can help you. This may not be a perfect fit for everyone, but it can be a good option to learn firsthand how to set up your products label to know it is FDA compliant – especially if you’re just starting your business.

How Do I Create and Print a Nutrition Facts Panel For My Label?

Creating your own nutrition panels is effortless, if you print with Kiaro! label printer. With the capability to print your food labels in astounding 1200 DPI resolution, you’ll ensure that the intricate details (and small text sizes) on your nutrition labels are perfectly printed every single time.

Printing compliant food labels in-house with a Kiaro! label printer also gives you the capability to control your compliance in-house, by overseeing each part of the labeling process: design and printing.  You’ll have fewer labeling mistakes because you’ll be able to control the entire labeling process.

The Kiaro! is capable of printing labels in batches of any size, big or small. With the Kiaro! label printer and ReciPal food labeling software you’ll always have completely compliant nutrition labels regardless of your recipe or production demand.

 

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Are Nutrition Labels Going to Change?

Posted on by kginter

There has been a lot of recent debate about nutrition facts labels. The question is: are they really useful and effective for consumers who are trying to make healthy eating choices? Or should they be changed?

This issue is that many of us don’t really read or understand the nutritional information that is presented to us. (Yes, it’s ok to admit it, because I’ll admit that even working for a label company, I still get confused by nutrition facts panels). Right now one of the biggest concerns with Nutrition Facts Panels is that they are outdated – the Nutrition Labeling Education Act (NLEA) which created nutrition facts labels as we know them today was passed in 1990.

To help me – and you – get a better understanding of the nutrition facts label changes that could be coming our way, I participated in a webinar put on by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an association of 300 leading food, beverage, and consumer product companies. Here are some highlights:

Label Reform Options Being Evaluated:

  • Nutrition Label Format Changes
  • Serving Size Changes
  • Calorie Declaration Changes
  • Required and Permitted Nutrients Statement Changes
  • Daily Values Changes
  • Dietary Context for Trans Fat Declarations
  • Impact of Changes on Nutrition Claims

Label Reform Options in Detail:

Nutrition Label Format: The FDA conducted an experimental study on nutrition label formats this past summer (2011). According to the GMA, there were 3 specific focuses to the study:

  • Consumers’ ability to use the modified Nutrition Facts Panel to calculate calories and estimate serving sizes for their needs
  • Consumers’ judgments about the overall healthfulness of the food product
  • Consumers’ preferences for the updated Nutrition Facts Panel

This study was web-based and had 10,000 participants. The breakdown of the survey was under 40 conditions.

Findings of the Nutrition Facts Panel Design Study:

Potential changes to nutrition labels were suggested by the FDA’s study of nutrition labels this past summer. The changes are broken down as follows:

Serving Size: Law requires the FDA to define serving sizes on Nutrition Facts Panels. Serving sizes must be presented in realistic amounts that are typically eaten by the normal person and in a common household measure. Serving sizes are determined by RACCs (Referenced Amounts Customarily Consumed).

It is likely that serving sizes will end up being increased because Food Consumption surveys show that larger amounts are eaten today than were eaten the last time serving sizes were evaluated.

Foods for Which Serving Sizes are Likely to be Increased:

  • Baked Goods
  • Bottled Water/Water Beverages
  • Desserts
  • Energy Drinks
  • Ready to Drink Teas
  • Snacks
  • Soft Drinks and Diet Soft Drinks
  • Sports Drinks

It is not unusual these days for products to contain two servings instead of just one (often found in the products above.) If you do not carefully read the labels on these larger volume foods, you may not realize that your “personal-size” bottle of soda is actually 2 servings. Some questions about serving size include: Should there be certain criteria for serving sizes? Should it differ for each type of food? How about container size?

Trans Fat: The addition of Trans Fat to the Nutrition Facts Panel became a final rule in 2003 and went into effect in 2006. Trans fat labeling is now required on all FDA-regulated foods.  Although the USDA/FSIS works in conjunction with the FDA to create nutrition facts panels for the meats, poultry, and eggs that come under USDA/FSIS regulation, they do not require that these products list Trans Fat information on their product labels.

Calorie Count made more prominent with bold print, larger text.

Calorie Prominence: Should Nutrition Facts Panels be updated to give more prominence to the calorie declaration? The visibility of calorie counts seems to be one of the biggest issues when it comes to revising nutrition labels.  The FDA’s Obesity Working Group (OWG) is charged with developing a new approach to better to improve the Nutrition Facts Panel in the case of calorie declaration. The goal in improving calorie prominence is to help consumers make better choices to avoid weight gain and reduce obesity. Right now, calories from fat and all calories are both listed on Nutrition Facts Panels.

One new change to the calorie statement may be the declaration of calories from Saturated Fat. The statement of calories from Saturated Fat is currently permitted on Nutrition Facts Panels but is seldom included. One of the biggest considerations is the current letter type size used to print calorie declarations. Right now calories are listed in the same type size as everything else, but making a change that so that the count is more prominent (bold face, bigger type size) is under consideration.

One thing that has become clear during research by the FDA Consumer Facts Group is that consumers don’t observe changes in calories until the change is pointed out to them. So, to improve the visibility of calories, the following ideas are being considered:

  • Increase the font size for calorie statements
  • Provide daily value percentages for calories
  • Eliminate calories from the fat declaration

There are many questions about what should be done to better emphasize the amount of calories in food and beverage items:

  • Would consumers’ awareness of calorie counts increase if the declaration was more prominent?
  • How should it be made more prominent? Bold type? Different placement? etc.
  • Would a percent daily value for calories be helpful or confusing?
  • Do consumers actually use the “calories from fat” declaration? What do they think it means?
  • Would putting more emphasis on the calories declaration cause the food and beverage industry to reformulate or repackage their food items?
  • Should foods be reformed to reduce calories?
  • Should packaging be “calorie controlled” (i.e. 100 calorie packs)
  • Should “front of pack labeling” be mandated?

    Dual column nutritional panel. Highlights single serving and serving per package plus %DV.

% Daily Values: Some of the details being looked at for Daily Values (% DV) are:

  • What kind of metrics should be used to measure %DV?
  • Can any items currently required on nutrition labels be made voluntary or removed completely?
  • What sort of effect would removing or making certain facts voluntary have on consumer understanding of %DV?
  • How will changes to %DV apply to nutrition and health claims?

Nutrition Claims: Right now there are 4 required micronutrients on Nutrition Facts Panels. Should there be additional nutrients on the label?

Required:

  1. 1.       Vitamin A
  2. 2.       Vitamin C
  3. 3.       Calcium
  4. 4.       Iron

Now Under Consideration to be Added:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3
  • Omega-6

6-Months Away from Proposed Changes to Nutrition Labels?

There is no “set-in-stone” timeline for these changes to go into effect, and no firm proposal for change yet. But it is expected that the FDA will make its proposal within the next 6 months.

When the FDA publishes their proposed rules, they will open up a 60-90 day period for public comment. Since this is such a complex subject and since there are a lot of areas under consideration, the GMA estimates that the FDA would most likely take a minimum of one year to review the public comments and determine final rules.

When final rules are decided upon it is predicted that there will most likely be a 2 year period before compliance is required. Two years may seem like a long time but the FDA would likely be considerate considering there would be a complete overhaul of food and beverage packaging. A longer compliance period would also reduce the cost of label changes for manufacturers.

Anticipated Time Line:

Proposed Rules:  Mid 2012

Possible Label Changes & Final Rule: 2014

Estimated Effective Date: January 1, 2016

As you can see we still have a ways to go before food companies need to change their labels and before consumers see different information on the shelf. I’m glad there’s plenty of time to comment on the changes!

Some Questions for you:

  • Do You Look at Nutrition Facts Labels?
  • Would Changes to Nutrition Labels Change the Way We Eat?

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Create Nutrition Facts Panels with Nutrition Labeling Software

Posted on by kginter

Are you responsible for creating nutrition facts panels for your food labels? Are you looking for an easy way to generate your nutrition facts?

I’ve done some research on software programs to help incorporate nutrition facts panels on your labels. QuickLabel Systems offers a great general labeling package called Custom QuickLabel (CQL) that comes with our Kiaro! label printers, but if you’re looking for software that actually develops your nutrition facts information, one of these specialty nutrition labeling software packages might be the way to go.

Which Software Packages Can Make Nutrition Facts Labels for Me?

First and foremost is ReciPal, a convenient, compliant and affordable cloud-based software, which will take all of your recipe information and will automatically calculate daily values, serving sizes, ingredient lists – all in complete compliance with FDA labeling format mandates.

ReciPal then exports your completed info panels into highly-compatible .pdf files that you can import into your design software, such as Adobe Photoshop®, and then quickly print with a Kiaro! inkjet label printer.

ReciPal is affordable, and jam-packed with features making it the best solution for nutrition panel creations. It’s features include:

  • Unlimited Recipes
  • All available FDA Label Formats
  • Unlimited Product Costing
  • One or Multiple Users
  • Easy Cloud-Based Label Creation

Next we have Axxya Systems, which provides both food analysis and nutrition labeling, and its Nutritionist Pro™ software family line. This software includes an ingredients  knowledge base that is frequently updated to meet the growing demands of the public’s need and desire to know what is in the food they are eating.

Axxya Nutritionist Pro software offers:

  • Data on over 35,000 food and ingredients
  • 17 label formats that all meet FDA requirements
  • Options for Spanish and French language labels
  • Formula and recipe analysis
  • Automatically calculates FDA defined nutrient content claims
  • Incorporates “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points”
  • Can generate weight-ordered ingredient lists
  • Allows you to export labels in a variety of file formats (.bmp, .eps, .gif, .tif, .jpg, and .pdf)

 

Next we have Prime Label Consultants (PLC) , a label consulting and software development company which comprised of a group of former USDA label expediters. PLC has been working with USDA officials for over 30 years and with that knowledge has developed a software program called EZ Form.

EZ Form has the ability to create your Nutrition Facts panel for you. It will start by asking you basic questions about your product and can then determine data such as serving size, servings in a container, and will assess the correct panel format and order of items that will be compliant with federal regulations.

Prime Label Consultants EZ Form software will support the following panel formats:

  • Columnar panel
  • Tubular panel
  • Linear panel
  • Dual declaration label panel
  • Aggregate panels
  • Alternative nutrient wordings
  • Voluntary declaration of nutrients
  • Also supports English, French, Spanish, English/Spanish, and English/French languages

Also making our list is SweetWARE nutraCoster program. This program allows you to enter your recipes/formulas to analyze recipes and formulas. The software comes with the following features:

  • Product Costing – calculate complete product cost including, labor, packaging and overhead.
  • Nutrition Analysis – calculate nutrition content of your recipes/formulas including trans fats and allergens.
  • Nutrition Labels – Print US and Canadian Nutrition facts labels.
  • Product Pricing – are you charging enough for your products?

 

Lastly, we have ProductVision, whose Nutrition Label (NL) software program can automatically create food nutrition labels and ingredient statements that comply with the current U.S. NLEA regulations (Nutrition Labeling and Education Act)  as well as current and pending regulations for Canadian and European Union nutrition labels.

NL offers automatic ingredient calculations from ingredient and recipe information in the software database, or the user can enter their own information. NL also lets you identify ingredients such as allergens and GMO ingredients.

You can also enter special label descriptions and groupings if you don’t want to use the standard description. For example, instead of printing “refined white sugar,” which you may have entered internally as a product description, you can print the term “sugar” on the label.  You also have the option to show mixtures or recipes. For ingredients like Milk Chocolate you can have a statement such as (milk, sugar, cocoa butter, eggs, etc.) on your label.

ProductVision’s NL Module offers the following label formats along with a few other label panel options:

  • Canadian multi-language vertical label panel
  • Canadian multi-language horizontal label panel
  • EU Group 1 label panel
  • EU Group 2 label panel
  • Multi-language vertical label panel
  • Multi-language horizontal label panel
  • Simplified panel
  • Supplement Facts panel (nutraceuticals)
  • Dual declaration

 

How Much Does Nutrition Labeling Software Cost?

Each software package varies in cost and offers something unique. Depending on what you are looking for, one may be more suitable for you than another.

  • ReciPal Includes several subscription plans, plus a free trial period. It’s standard subscription is $49 per month.
  • The Axxya Systems price for the Nutritionist Pro is $595.
  • Prima Label Consultants’ EZ Form offers two price ranges for new software buyers. The first price range is for the EZ Form US (FDA and USDA foods) or EZ Form Canada (Health Canada) Program License which is $899, if you’d like to include a 1 year subscription it is an additional $539 or $1019 for a 2 year subscription. The final price range is for EZ Form Deluxe (FDA, USDA, and Canada) the license is $1469 a 1 year subscription can be added for $879 or $1659 for a 2 year subscription.
  • ProductVision does not list prices on its website but you can inquire for more information and someone will contact you with details and pricing.

Can Nutrition Labeling Software be Used with QuickLabel Printers?

Yes, each of the packages described here are compatible with QuickLabel printers. In fact, we’re able to print labels from any software package that comes with a Windows compatible printer driver. After you develop your nutrition facts panel, you’ll have the option to export it and print it as part of a complete label that includes logos, photos, and other text.

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