By Margaret O’Leary
Our team appreciated the unique opportunity to not only share our produce packaging labels and printer solutions, but also attend Learning Center panel events to learn about the produce industry.
Weber’s Vertical Markets manager, Paul Johnson, attended several Learning Centers and sent me the highlights live from the show.
The Exploding Organic Category
Samantha Cabuluna of Earthbound Farm spoke of the rapid growth in acceptance of organic foods. She mentioned an Organic Trade Association study that found that over 50% of Americans bought more organic food last year than the year prior. As Jason Hollinger of Four Seasons and Mark Carroll of Gelson’s Market put it, this has had a major impact on growers, wholesalers and retailers.
Growers are increasing in size with the swelling popularity of these foods, and have been able to find new markets with traditional retailers. In turn, retailers are becoming more successful as they begin to move organic foods from their own separate displays, to treating them as additional varieties in traditional displays.
How Consumer Packaging Can Invigorate Your Brand
Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel Group spoke about the many important factors that determine why people buy certain products. Those include: Health (personal and environmental), accessibility, and authenticity of claims.
Additionally, she told the group many ways successful brands are renewing interest in their brand and creating consumer awareness by making changes to their packaging
Produce Traceability Initiative
Dan Vache of the United Fresh Produce Association, Mike Augustini, Senior Produce Director at Walmart, and Doug Grant, Senior VP at Oppenheimer Group spoke of the challenges of getting the produce industry to comply with the voluntary Produce Traceability Initiative.
Even though the initiative was started in 2008, it is estimated that there is only 30-40% adoption by grower/shippers. That number is even smaller for retailers, who must find a way to capture the information being provided by grower/shippers.
In Search of Freshness
Harold Lloyd gave what was likely the most dynamic presentation of the show. As an experienced grocery and restaurant owner/manager, he offered tips on how to convey the idea of freshness in the store or produce department.
Dressed as Sherlock Holmes, Lloyd investigated good and bad ideas currently being practiced by independent and chain grocers alike. Important to him are landscaping, signage, menu rotation, endcap rotation and employee education.
He spoke at length about how packaging can communicate freshness and suggested that store management should regularly compare their packaging to that of their competitors.
Thanks to everyone who Tweeted with us during the show! We made so many wonderful connections on Twitter and Facebook from this show. If you’re interested in connecting with the produce industry, check out the Twitter United Fresh List @SiteLabbers put together. Subscribe to their list for all the Tweets by those who participated and exhibited at United Fresh 2013.
Next up… the Dairy Deli Bake show June 2-4 in Orlando, FL.
By Margaret O’Leary
As I mentioned in a previous post, “Are You Ready for GHS Labeling,” GHS labeling requirements will go into effect in the US in 2015. To ease this transition, we recommend the Epson ColorWorks printer. It makes creating and printing your GHS label easy and cost-effective.
The printer, ink and label material are now available for purchase on Go-Label.com.
We put together a quick video tour of the new Epson GP-C831 inkjet label printer to show you how simple printing a GHS label can be.
Here is a closer look at the label we printed in the video. Printing this label requires multiple colors for the logo, pictograms and transportation pictograms.
By Margaret O’Leary
Labels are the perfect medium for informing consumers about the nutrition and ingredients in packaged food but they can also be the best place to share your story and connect with a consumer.
Here are a couple of ways that you can share your story with consumers, from the farmer’s market to grocery store shelves:
QR codes work well on labels because consumers can connect with your brand at the store or even later after the purchase.
Scanning the code can direct the consumer to your company’s website or a social media page where they can continue to connect with your brand by getting more information, coupons, special deals or other content that helps build a relationship.
Share your biography
Include a short story or summary on your prime label about the growers or producers of the food. Including a picture of the farmer or the farm also adds a personalized touch to the product’s label.
In the example below, not only does the label include a picture of the farmer, but they also included a biography about their brand. This jar label will definitely sticks out at the farmer’s market or the shelves of the grocery store.
We’re excited to share our produce labels and labeling solutions at the United Fresh trade show in San Diego from May 14th to May 16th.
Our booth (1524) will be the spot at the show to learn about labels for produce packaging and the equipment to print and apply them.
On hand we will have preprinted prime label samples that are perfect for clamshell packaging or bags of fruit, herbs, vegetables and nuts. Weber also provides solutions for barcode labeling, nutritional labeling and produce shipping labels.
Here is a preview of our United Fresh booth:
Hope to see you at booth 1524!
By Margaret O’Leary
This week we noticed a trend in stories about food packaging and labels.
Here are some Twitter highlights from this week:
At this year’s Snaxpo, the hot topic for snack makers was labeling. Whether changes are driven by regulations or the private sector, snack makers are feeling the demands to label products with information about gluten or GMOs.
What else would you like to see labeled on food packaging?
Earlier this month we offered a few seafood traceability options that the seafood industry is using to avoid mislabeling issues. This week a new program was launched called the REEL story.
The REEL Story was started by Black Restaurant Group and the Congressional Seafood Co. Restaurant menu items include QR Codes that lead diners to information on where and how the food was harvest.
Front of Package Labeling
Facts Up Front labels now on 90% of foods in some categories http://ow.ly/kjt3D
‘Facts Up Front’ is an initiative of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute. A website was just launched to promote this type of nutritional labeling.
Do you prefer this type of labeling over the UK popular “Traffic Light Coding” system?
If you’re looking for more packaging themed boards, check out @PackagingDiva’s Pinterest page, specifically, her board called Repurposed Packaging. This is a great place to find fun and creative uses for common packaging.
By Margaret O’Leary
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially adopted a ruling that changes its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to match the guidelines of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
This new labeling system sets out to reduce confusion, create a standard process and educate users.
Current Compliant Labels
In 1994, OSHA mandated that containers with hazardous chemicals must be labeled with a product identifier and hazard statements appropriate for each hazardous chemical.
For years Weber customers were able to use blank thermal-transfer labels or direct-thermal labels to print this product and hazard information.
Other companies ordered pre-printed color labels using the Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS) boxes and then imprinted specific safety information on-site. They were able to variably-imprint their individual products’ Health, Flammability, Reactivity and Personal Protection ratings.
But starting in 2015, those elements alone will no longer be compliant with OSHA. Manufacturers will be able to continue to use the HMIS information on their labels, but they also will be required to include more specific elements that are in the GHS guidelines.
The New GHS Compliant Labels
The new labels must include six parts:
Depending on the hazard severity of the chemical, each label will include at least one of these nine pictogram symbol:
This change will not only promote a safer work environment but also make American companies globally competitive since other countries around the world already require GHS labeling.
What will be difficult for chemical manufacturers and users is the fact that they may not be able to use just one template to use for multiple products. Every pictogram needs to have a red border, and each one needs to be filled in with only one of the nine designated symbols.
For example, they cannot use a preprinted label with nine empty red diamonds and then imprint only the symbols on-site or even “cross out” the ones that do not apply. Those who are used to printing variable information in black may now need a color printer to handle those changes.
The GHS Label Breakdown
When Does This Go Into Effect?
This full-color printer will not only allow you to print the variable information, but also will permit the user to print the red & black GHS pictograms as well as the colorful HMIS chart, NFPA diamonds, and transportation pictograms.
The Flextuff IJ 435 material utilizes a durable poly facesheet. When combined with the pigmented inks of the GP -C831, the result is an abrasion and chemical-resistant image, ideal for demanding petrochemical applications. Flextuff IJ 435 is currently pending BS:5609 certification.
You can find more details about this printer at Weber Packaging’s website.
Contact our Vertical Markets manager, Paul Johnson, if you have any questions about GHS labeling or would like more information on the Epson ColorWorks GP-C831 or Flextuff IJ 435.