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Taking Custom Food Labels to the Next Level

Have you noticed how many choices there are for consumers today?  I was recently searching for a pasta sauce at my local supermarket.  To my dismay, there must’ve been a hundred sauces to choose from.   Every sauce I inspected seemed to use fresh ingredients and had attractive looking labels.  In today’s competitive food market, manufacturers are looking for any advantage to set their product apart from the rest.  Now, more than ever, manufacturers realize the importance of branding in an industry that has so many choices.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the techniques manufacturers are using to help their product stand out on the shelves.

Bove’s of Vermont is a premium pasta sauce company that uses only the finest all-natural ingredients and time-tested recipes.  The company recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary and they wanted to unveil a fresh new label at the celebration.  This custom food label had to represent their rich history, as well as the freshness that characterizes their ingredients.   Bove’s used sophisticated sketches of plump, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and roasted garlic cloves to depict some of the ingredients found in each of Bove’s six varieties of sauce.  President Mark Bove said, “Our sauces have always featured illustrations of some of our ingredients.  Based on feedback from our customers over the years, we knew we wanted the artwork on our new labels to be more refined, but to still retain some of our original whimsy and fun.”  These new labels, all designed by Vermont artist Scott Lenhardt, capture the essence of Bove’s of Vermont.  Bove’s decided to use a unique technique when it came to manufacturing the labels.  Typically a varnish is laid down on top of the inks to protect the inks and the label.  The varnish is laid down on the label with a roller.  Then a doctor blade scrapes away excess varnish and ensures it is laid down evenly.  Bove’s chose not to use a doctor blade to remove the excess varnish.  This gave the label a grainy textured feeling.  The label now has an artisanal look and feel.  This production method helped Bove’s achieve a new look while still staying true to their roots. 

                Bove%27s single old resized 600                 Boves single new resized 600

                                  OLD                                                      NEW

“When we took a look at the overall packaging of our products, we also saw an opportunity to really improve the look of our company logo,” said Bove. So, the red, yellow and green oval-shaped Bove’s logo was replaced, and Bove’s products now boast a more sophisticated image of a black ladle wrapped in a scripted black “B”, positioned directly above a much bolder black font.  The new logo is further highlighted by the red sauce in the background.  This custom food label shape and construction help Bove’s of Vermont stand out on the shelves among its competitors.

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Topics: food labels Custom Food Labels Food Label food label printer FDA Approved Labels FDA Approved label printer

Beer Label Requirements

If you are thinking about designing a new label for your beer bottle, then there quite a few decisions you must be weighing.  Unbeknownst to many new beer makers are the numerous different rules and regulations when it comes to what information has to be on the label.  The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), is very strict about how producers can label and market their beer.  Navigating these rules and regulations can be quite difficult and cumbersome.  This article will help lay out the most important provisions found within these federal laws and regulations.

First and foremost the following statement is required on all beverages containing 0.05% or more alcohol by volume.  "Government Warning: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.  (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems." 

Alcoholic content must be included on the label and expressed in terms of "percent alcohol by volume." To be labeled "non-alcoholic," the alcoholic content must be below 0.5 % by volume. To be labeled "reduced alcohol," the alcoholic content must be below 2.5 % by volume.  Also, the phrase "contains less than 0.5 % alcohol by volume" must be included.  To be labeled "alcohol free," there must be no alcohol in the beverage.

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The TTB requires the name and address of a "producer/bottler" or "packer" to appear on the label.  For domestic beers, the TTB allows breweries to use either the company's name plus the city and state where the beverage is bottled or packed or the city and state of the bottler/packer's principal place of business.  If you outsourced the bottling to someone else, you don't have to say who bottled it, unless state law requires it.  You would substitute "bottled by" with "distributed by" and add your company's information.  For imported beers, the name and address of the importer must appear on the label.

If the beer contains any food allergens or the beer is bottled in a plant that has any food allergens, then it must be stated on the beer label.  These food allergens include; milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.  Also, if the beer contains sulfites, color additive cochineal extract, color additive carmine, FD&C Yellow No. 5 or aspartame there must be a statement that the product contains these ingredients.

Be sure to consult local state laws in regards to label requirements.  State laws regarding beer label requirements can vary from state to state.  For more information about beer label requirements access the BAM (Beverage Alcohol Manual) here. 

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Topics: Beer Labels beer bottle labels
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