Can New Labels Help With Those New Year’s Resolutions?

Progressive Labs prints easy to read nutrition labels with the Kiaro!
Progressive Labs prints easy to read nutrition labels with the Kiaro!

Nutrition Labels Turn 20, FDA Decides It May Be Time for them to Have a Face Lift

Just as I started to write this, I decided to make a trip to the vending machine for pretzels. As I devoured the whole bag, I glanced at the tiny nutrition label on the back of the package. Much to my surprise, the little bag has two servings! I definitely did not mean to eat that many calories in pretzel sticks today!

We all know that many containers that seem like single servings actually have the nutrition facts labeled as more than one. This can be tricky, and easily lead to overconsumption. Despite the plethora of nutrition facts on a label (is it too much?), consumers are often missing or misinterpreting the important stuff!

 

Nutrition Label for Broth
Nutrition Label for Broth

The US Food and Drug Administration is hoping to amend current regulations to “modernize it” ..The proposed rule is intended to build a food safety system for the future that makes modern, science-, and risk-based preventive controls the norm across all sectors of the food system.”

An article from The Washington Post points out that one of the important issues that should be addressed is “that the standard label offers two dozen numbers. But who, other than a nutritionist, might know whether to put back a food that is high in vitamin C and fiber — but also high in sodium and saturated fat?”

Some of the things that are being reviewed are whether consumers are more likely to make healthy choices if the label is formatted differently, such as in a different font, type size, and other changes.

If you would like to, or need to update your nutrition labels, we have a printer that is ideal for printing small text very clearly. The Kiaro! inkjet label printer allows you to fit all of the necessary information on your label in a clear and attractive way.

Kiaro! inkjet label printer
Kiaro! inkjet label printer

The importance of meeting label regulations for food and beverage companies is obvious. Being slowed down or facing fines because of incorrect or inadequate labeling can be financially detrimental.

Luckily, with the Kiaro! label printer it is so fast and easy to print labels of any batch size, so you can make changes to your labels at a moment’s notice.

 If you would like to learn more about how the Kiaro! can help your business meet label requirements while still looking great, please schedule an in-person demonstration at your office.

 

Introducing Ruddy Bolanos, Your Local QuickLabel Salesperson in Toronto, Canada

QuickLabel Sales Representative Ruddy Bolanos

Please Welcome Our Newest Sales Representative and Kiaro! Printer Fan, Ruddy Bolanos!

Happy new year to you, and “Welcome” to our new Ontario-area sales representative, Ruddy Bolanos. I think you will enjoy getting to know him as much as I have.

After all, he is a professional bass player and a table tennis champ!

That’s cool enough that I will overlook the fact that he is a self-proclaimed bad cook (so his children say). However, he has excellent taste, opting for children’s movies, and loving the Kiaro! color label printer.

QuickLabel: Are you excited to join the QuickLabel team? Why?
Ruddy Bolanos: I am very excited to have  joined the QuickLabel team. It is a great pleasure to part of such a large company that is well established and a leader of the industry worldwide.

QL: What jobs have you previously had?
RB: I have had several types of jobs in my career, including: Electrical panel wiring (right after college) for a few years for a local company. I worked as a Service Technician for Domino Printing servicing inkjet printers for two years.

I continued service and started working for Loma Inspection Systems also as a Service Technician repairing metal detectors and X-rays. I was a Service Tech for Loma for 4 years. It was within Loma Inspection Systems, that an opportunity opened up as Regional Sales Representative and I jumped into sales! The position involved in selling X-rays, metal detectors and Checkweighers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry. I worked for Loma as Sales Representative for 4.5 years. I must admit, it was an easy transition since I already knew the technical aspect of the job.

After Loma Systems, I  joined Abbey Packaging Ltd as Technical Sales Representative. Abbey Packaging are distributors of Inspection Systems and Packaging equipment e.g. stand pouch machines, flow-wrappers, etc.

QL: What do you think it will be like to serve QuickLabel printer customers in the Toronto area?

The Toronto area is saturated with many types of businesses, and is home to many top  international and national companies. That means that everyone is in Toronto, from banks to food manufacturers and medical institutions.

Also Toronto is one of, if not the most, multicultural city in the world, making it unique when working with customers with different backgrounds and cultures.

Mixing all these factors together, you get a very competitive and demanding area to work with. Customers have all possible solutions available to them, so to be able to maintain customers, you need to be very flexible and accommodating. Understanding the customers’ needs is crucial so we can offer the best solution possible and gain their trust.

QL: Where did you go to school and what did you study?
RB: I went to George Brown College in Toronto and I have a diploma as an Electrical Engineering Technician.

QL: Where did you grow up?
RB: I was born in El Salvador and moved to Toronto, Canada with my whole family when I was 15 years old, somewhere around 1984. I attended high school in Canada and finished post secondary education here as well. So I am fully fluent in Spanish/English as well.

QL: What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any hobbies or fun interests?
RB: I am a professional bass  player, and currently active in Toronto with a few bands. You will find me performing on Friday or Saturday nights at some clubs in Toronto playing Jazz or Latin music (salsa). I play upright and electric bass as well as classical guitar. I have recorded a few albums here in Canada.

Basketball is also a big part our family. I played through elementary, high school and college. Most of my brothers also played basketball back home, and in Canada as well. I also attend a Table Tennis club regularly when time allows. I  played table tennis for the high school team and has kept me active for many years. Also, I’m definitely not a good cook, confirmed by my kids.

Ruddy and his family

QL: Tell us a little about your family.
RB: We have a great little family. Teresa is my wife, she was born in Nicaragua but grew up in Montreal, (English, Spanish and French fluent) I need to take French lessons from her! Our oldest son Rudy is almost 8 and our daughter Raquel is 7 years old.

QL: Do you have pets?
RB: No pets yet. Kids want a puppy but not ready to clean up after him yet.

QL: Do you have a favorite place that you have traveled?
RB: We love Cuba and Dominican Republic for family getaways, but our home countries are our favorite places to travel.

QL: What are some of your favorite things?
RB: Greek , Seafood, Italian and Mexican are probably our favorite foods. As far as movies, we have been out of touch for the past 8 years. Mainly kids movies, but we enjoy medieval time movies and comedy.

Ruddy Bolanos

QL; What are you looking forward to most in your new position here?
RB: I am really looking forward to grow and be successful with QuickLabel Systems. It is a great opportunity to have a direct presence in Ontario and expand to other parts of Canada as needed in future.

QL: Has anything been surprising so far to you in your new job?
RB: If there is one aspect that surprises me is the marketing team. I have never worked for a company that utilizes marketing as well as QuickLabel Systems. It truly makes a sales guy’s life a lot easier :-). (Aw, thanks Ruddy!- QL)

I also loved the fact that we offer 24/7 technical support. This is very powerful for customers in North America.

QL: What is your favorite QuickLabel product and why?
RB: My favorite label printer is the Kiaro inkjet label printer! I think it offers the best quality, flexibility, and cost-ratio in the industry.

“Thanks for the opportunity to tell you a little bit of my life story. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions and have yourself a Happy New Year!!” –Ruddy Bolanos

You heard him! Make sure you send Ruddy an e-mail to introduce yourself and welcome him to the QuickLabel team. If you have any more questions for Ruddy, please leave a comment!

The Label Year in Review: 2012

Coke Olympics Packaging

A Look Back at Newsworthy Label Happenings of 2012

By this point we all know the world didn’t end, so I can officially wish you all a Happy New Year!

I’ve really loved getting to know members of the packaging community over the past year, and learning more from them about labeling. So, I’ve decided to share with you a few of the noteworthy labels and packaging events that stood out to me during 2012.

Haribo Gold Medals

1. Olympic Labels and Packaging

It only comes once every four years, and this year there seemed to be more Olympics-inspired labels and packaging than ever. Take a look at Olympics Labels and Packaging on Pinterest. There were hundreds of package and label designs surrounding the event, making it hard to choose which one takes the Gold. I think one of the most noticed redesigns were that of the Classic Coca-Cola cans.

From food and beverage to cosmetics, and everywhere in between, companies took advantage of the event to make limited time packaging and print Olympic labels. For a sweets fan like me, I enjoyed (just visually, unfortunately) the Olympic candies and desserts. Although they didn’t exactly say they were for the Olympics, Haribo did release “Gold Medals,” very cute idea, and I love the cute little athlete bear on the packaging.

Another sweet I really wish I had gotten to have were Fauchon gourmet macarons with the Union Jack. Although, I wouldn’t complain about having some of the official Olympic Games wine from Bibendum, I love the modern “London 2012” labels.

Which Olympic product would you have liked to try?

2. Graphic Tobacco Warning Labels

I must tell you, just researching this topic, I kept covering my eyes trying not to see the ghoulish images that were proposed to be printed on packs of cigarettes this year.

That being said, I do see the importance of warning people about the effects of smoking, but the proposed photos for the label are just so graphic. On the other hand of course, if they deter people from smoking, it can save lives, and wouldn’t that be worth graphic pictures?

Now, this past month, the U.S. Appeals Court has decided to stand by its decision to allow the FDA’s mandate to print these graphics on cigarette packages, blocking a request by the tobacco companies to have this decision reconsidered.

What do you think, should these images be mandated on labels of tobacco products? P.S. I purposely am not including an image of these, because I do not want to subject you to that if you are reading this around lunch time!

3. GMO Food Labeling (Genetically Modified Organisms)

In 2012, one of the most controversial political issues revolved around labels. In California, Proposition 37 was written in an attempt to mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods. Despite the fact that it did not pass, this topic gained a lot of attention from the government and the public alike.

After the election in November, there were many complaints calling for a recount in this close race. Kristin Lynch of the nonprofit Food & Water watch stated that, “Pesticide companies led by Monsanto and DuPont, and processed food corporations led by Pepsi and Kraft, spent an unprecedented amount of money to confuse and deceive Californians into voting against their right to know what’s in their food.”

In the midst of all the controversy surrounding California’s vote on Proposition 37, it will be interesting to keep an eye out on whether other states will be following in their steps to try to pass similar legislation. If you would like to know more, please take a look at our blog about the just label it campaign for GMO food labeling.

More than ever, people are aware of the need to pay attention to the labels on the food they eat. I have a feeling that this is a topic that we will be seeing much more of in 2013.

4. New Stoplight Nutrition Labels in the UK

This year in the UK, the government introduced the concept of traffic light labels for packaged foods. As many food items in the UK already have front-of-package nutrition labels, the intent of this newly designed label is to inform consumers without confusing them.

The so-called Traffic Light system is color coded, with Green meaning “Good,” Yellow meaning “OK,” and Red meaning “STOP eating this!” (Or, to me it probably means “yum, cookies …”)

The colors will indicate the amount of sugar, salt, fat, and calories in the product. Although this system is not mandatory, it seems that most big manufacturers will voluntarily follow this design.

Since most food brands have their own individual label schemes already, the new guidelines are intended to increase consistency among food products, making it much easier for shoppers to compare products.

As many people will be making a resolution for better health and eating, keeping an eye out for these new labels that will be hitting the British shelves in 2013 is a great start!

Kiaro! inkjet label printer

5. Kiaro! Inkjet Label Printer Born  in 2012

Last, but certainly not least, I of course, must include the newest addition to our lineup of color label printers. The Kiaro! color label printer has been a huge step for us this year, and has provided our many of our customers with unrivaled speed and efficiency.

In case you were paying more attention to the Olympics or GMO labeling this year, here is an introduction to the Kiaro! high-speed digital color label printer. The Kiaro! has the amazing ability to print at a speed of 8 inches per second, and can seamlessly print different labels without wasting any labels between batches.

We want to see your business succeed in 2013, and would love to help you do so by helping you invest in such a great tool. You can see for yourself in your factory or office, just how easy to use this label printer is, just schedule an in-person demonstration!

As I like to reflect on my year thinking of all of the big things that have happened for me, a big move from Florida to Rhode Island, a new job that I love, graduating college, first home (other than living with my parents or in apartments), and we started an employee volunteer project… I feel pretty lucky this year, it was definitely one of the best ever!

I truly hope this coming year is the best ever for you, and I know we will have some exciting label news to look forward to in 2013.

From our QuickLabel family to you and yours, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe new year! Happy 2013!

QuickLabel Re-Visits Dave’s Marketplace to See How Much They Love The Kiaro! Inkjet Label Printer

We Asked Dave’s Marketplace How They Are Using Their New Inkjet Label Printer Now That They Have Owned the Kiaro! for 6 Months!

Back in July we visited Dave’s Marketplace in East Greenwich, Rhode Island to see how they felt about the Kiaro! color label printer after participating in our beta site testing program. At the time they were very impressed by our prototype printer’s speed and the ease of use.

When we re-visited the headquarters of this Rhode Island-based IGA grocery chain again last week, I was especially interested to see if their perception of the Kiaro! had changed at all now that they have bought a standard production model. I wanted to see if they had any more feedback for us!

You can watch the video to see what they have to say.

 

We were thrilled to hear that they are so happy with their new label printer!

Dave’s Graphic Designer Steve Alfaia is the one who designs and prints the labels for all of the Dave’s Marketplace retail locations. He graciously invited us in to see the Kiaro! in action and talk with us about just how much value the inkjet label printer brings to them.

One feature that Steve LOVES is that there are no wasted labels with the Kiaro!. He runs labels in batches ranging from 100-1,000 labels at a time. Often he needs to print a variety of different labels for the store’s diverse menu of house brand prepared foods. The Kiaro! prints one batch after another without wasting any labels between batches, as demonstrated in this video:

Now that Steve utilizes the Kiaro! to print house brand labels for foods sold at each of the nine Dave’s Marketplace stores, he said he’s not actually sure how he used to manage without it!

He also highlighted the consistency, efficiency of this QuickLabel printerand the fact that he can print labels with accurate colors. “From a design stand point right down to final production, the Kiaro! will produce anything you want. And it will reproduce pretty much any color,”  he said.

One thing I love about visiting Dave’s Marketplace is its atmosphere. If you aren’t from Rhode Island and haven’t visited one of their markets, I have to tell you that I love finding all kinds of specialty local items and delicious prepared foods that I don’t find at big chain grocery stores.

Their prepared foods are made even more alluring with their bold labels. Steve told us that Dave’s Marketplace now has the ability to print the very detailed labels they need, and that “there has been a sales increase in many of the items we label with the Kiaro!.”

We are thrilled to have such a wonderful customer, and hope you enjoy seeing how they utilize the Kiaro! to print their own custom labels.

Please contact us to find out more about the Kiaro! inkjet label printer or schedule a demonstration to see a QuickLabel printer at your facility.

New QuickLabel College Room, Same Commitment to Customer Success

Purple Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Our New QuickLabel College!

Mark Paul cuts the ribbon on the new QuickLabel College Lab

Today we had the purple ribbon cutting ceremony for our newly revamped QuickLabel College. If you don’t already know, QuickLabel College is where we train label printer operators. Although our printers are easy to use, they also possess many features. QuickLabel College is our way of helping you benefit as much as possible from your label printer.

Mark Paul, Technical Support Manager plays a big role in organizing QuickLabel College. Before inaugurating the new Lab with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, he said, “This is an investment in our customers.  We’ve hosted 319 classes, over 1,000 students coming through these doors and learned the ins and outs of our products, and we look forward to training thousands more.”

Eric Pizzuti describes features of the new QuickLabel College

Introducing the NEW and Improved QuickLabel College Lab!

Our new QuickLabel College Lab is ready for you! Be one of the first sessions to experience all that the lab has to offer. You will still get the knowledgeable and experienced teacher, just in an updated easy to use environment. This hands-on label printer training will have you printing fantastic labels in no time.

Before the ribbon cutting ceremony, Eric Pizzuti, QuickLabel’s Vice President, explained that “This is dedicated as a new training facility for our customers. When you see the room you will really get a sense of why we call it the QuickLabel College “Lab” – it really is a lab environment for our customers to learn.”

“We held the first QuickLabel College in 1994. Since that time a lot has changed within the product line and our company, but one thing has not changed. Something has remained constant. That is the company’s dedication to our customers, and to customer service. This QL College Lab is a direct example of that, a manifestation of the company’s dedication to our customers and intent to make customers as productive as they can possibly be.”

International Wines has utilized the skills they learned at QuickLabel College in printing their wine labels!

What are QuickLabel College graduates are saying?

I was lucky enough to go meet one of our recent QuickLabel College classes, and they were wonderful! They told me about their experience.

Terry Jinks of Corta-flx Equine and Canine Joint Health Supplements was very enthusiastic about the program and explained that, “Our company has 4 different models of QuickLabel printers & I’ve been up to QuickLabel for the College on all of them. QuickLabel provides an excellent value-added service through the College, and I’ve always found it to be extremely helpful.”

International Wines was another fantastic company that visited Rhode Island to attend QuickLabel College. Caroline Haugh took the course and followed up after her trip asking me to, “Please thank everyone again for the great learning experience we had at QuickLabel College.  We had been using our Vivo! Touch for a while before we came up to the course, and while we knew we still had a lot to learn, we were amazed at how many tips and tricks we picked up on in areas that we thought we already had down pat.  Our wine labels have never looked better!  It’s also nice to have two people here that know how to do everything now – just in case one of us is out and something comes up we are totally self-sufficient!  Anyone with a Vivo! Touch MUST attend QuickLabel College or they are missing out!”

QuickLabel employees enjoyed touring the new lab.

Why Come to QuickLabel College?

There are many reasons to take advantage of all of the benefits QuickLabel College has to offer. One of the main ones is that you are investing in the printer, and we want you to get the most out of it. We want to make you as happy as possible with your label printer, and QuickLabel College the way to do so. If you attend QuickLabel College you will gain skills by learning how to utilize your digital color label printer, how to benefit from Custom QuickLabel software, label printer maintenance and upkeep, and much more. You will graduate knowing how to make the best looking labels in the most efficient way possible. Oh ya, and it’s FREE. I think you should really be asking yourself, “Why not?”

Who can attend QuickLabel College?

As I mentioned, everyone who attends QuickLabel College has a full scholarship. If your company purchases any QuickLabel production-capacity color label printer, you get to send two people to college on free tuition. The included printers are the Kiaro!, Vivo! Touch, QLS-4100 Xe, and QLS-3000 Xe. QuickLabel does not cover your travel expenses; however you will be served a complimentary lunch each day. And all the coffee you can drink.

Earn Your QuickLabel College Certificate!

Where is QuickLabel College Held?

You might be wondering where the prestigious QuickLabel College is. It’s here at QuickLabel world headquarters in West Warwick, Rhode Island. (So make sure you say hi to me while you are here!)

Joe Amalfitano is the esteemed professor and facilitator of QuickLabel College. He knows his stuff, and will painlessly guide you through the ins and outs of your new printer and software. Don’t worry though, he’s not TOO strict. Joe is actually a pretty fun guy, and even travels all over to compete in bowling championships. Joe is the perfect person to help you earn your QuickLabel Digital Label Printing certificate as he is the QuickLabel Training Manager and also a Technical Support Technician.

Fill out this short form to attend QuickLabel College!

QuickLabel College Before and After

 

 

 

How to Choose an Inkjet Label Printer

We understand the thoKiaro!ught that goes into purchasing a color label printer. You really want to make sure that you are purchasing the printer that is right for you and your application. We manufacture two different inkjet label printers: the Kiaro! and the Zeo! and we’ve heard many of the questions you have running through your mind from customers of our own and want to help. When you’re comparing and contrasting different inkjet label printers here are some things to consider before you purchase.

Print Speed and Print Quality

If you’re looking for an inkjet label printer two things that you are probably going to look at are print speed and print quality. You may think that print speed means the amount of time it physically takes to print labels but print speed also includes: pauses for maintence procedures, loading the labels into the printer, processing time delays, etc. All of these impact the throughput of the printer. Your production department needs to measure in order to evaluate what they are looking for in terms of print speed with a label printer.

When you’re looking at the print quality of the labels be sure to ask questions about what speed they were printed at, for example “were they printed at top speed?” Some label printers reduce effective print resolution when printing at higher speeds. Be sure to ask for different label samples to compare and contrast.

The Kiaro! inkjet label printer has print speeds up to 8 ips, fitting in nicely in fast paced production environments. But the print speed can be slowed to as low as 2 ips allowing it to accommodate to other various packaging environments. The Zeo! inkjet label printer on the other hand ha sprint speeds of 0.02 – 0.25 ips making it more suitable for slower production areas.

This beautiful label, for example, was printed on the Kiaro! inkjet color label printer. The detail is crisp and clean even at 8 ips!

Cleaning Process

Regular maintence on a label printer is a given but all inkjet label printers must periodically clean their print heads. If print heads are not cleaned blotches, banding, or voiding artifacts will occur. An important label spec to look for is whether the inkjet label printer you choose allows you to clean labels “in job” instead of cutting the web and requiring you to splice together a finished roll. It is little things like these that go unnoticed until it comes time to have to deal with it.

Usability Features

Another important feature to take into consideration with inkjet label printers is its build. If a printer is finicky or fragile, it will produce a print error if the system is just slightly tilted. Think of a table with uneven legs or floors that are slightly uneven. A robust label printer should be able to be used at more than just a perfectly flat angle.

A good example for comparing and contrasting different label printers can be done with the Kiaro! and the Zeo! The Kiaro! is a compact table top printer built to fit into almost any atmosphere, it is small enough to fit on an office desk but robust enough to find a home on the manufacturing floor. The Zeo! resembles your typical desktop printer (but more stylish in purple of course!) but its better fit for an office rather than a production floor.

Software

Label printers can’t work unless they have software! It isn’t uncommon that software isn’t included in the price when you purchase your label printer. Be sure to check into whether software is included or if it will be another expense to endure. Software leads into another valuable perk that is fantastic to be included in the purchase…

Installation and Training

I don’t know about you but I know trying to learn how to use a label printer from scratch can be hard and overwhelming. How can you really know you’re using the printer correctly? In some cases installation and training are provided for the label printer, this is an extremely beneficial perk to take advantage of if it is available. The Kiaro! inkjet label printer comes with a Quick Set-Up package where a QuickLabel specialist will come to your location, install the Kiaro!, and train your users to start printing labels.

We understand that’s a lot to take in but if you have any questions about inkjet label printers we’re here to help! For more information on QuickLabe’s inkjet printers you can schedule a demonstration or request more information.