Bud Light adds nutritional label to packaging

It has been suggested that beer drinkers may be unaware that beer contained a lot of calories! Whilst this could be true for a young and inexperienced, possibility first time drinker, we feel sure that a man who has carefully nurtured a “beer belly” will be only too aware that the average pint or 20oz glass has upwards of 180 kcal or more, depending on the alcoholic content!

However, in keeping with the demand today, by governments and health professionals, Anheuser-Busch, the St Louis giant that brews Bud Light, has decided that it is in the public interest to prominently display on their pack labels the beer’s calories and ingredients, as well as the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein in a serving.

The label that is being produced is a large black and white printed one that currently corresponds with the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration on packaged foods. The information that is given is the usual list of contents, water, barley, rice and hops, but also that for their 12oz can, the amount of energy is 110 kcal, which is the suggested 2% of the recommended daily amount of carbohydrates.

We do not know if the government here or, the brewing industry intends to follow suit, but at Data Label we have both the experience in producing labels which conform precisely to legal requirements, as well as a wide range of standard cutters for producing labels for bottles.

An Introduction to Waterproof Barcode Labels

We are all familiar with barcode labels, there cannot be a day goes by when we do not come across them or have reason to buy a product that is without a barcode label.

However, to be function and to impart the information to the barcode reading device, they have to be in good condition. Should the barcode be printed onto standard paper which then becomes wet, it can and often does, make the code become unreadable.

As we are all aware the normal barcode consist of a series of parallel lines above a series of numbers, which stores information. This is then deciphered by the machine and used to complete the task required, most often this is indicating the price of an item to the check out. There are alternative styles of barcode such as the QR or Quick Response code, which works in a similar manner but they differ from standard barcodes as they are two dimensional.

Where there is a possibility of a barcode coming into contact with water, however small the chance may be, we recommend the use of waterproof labels. We can offer a variety of waterproof labels which includes white, clear, and silver giving complete flexibility with barcode labelling and these can be supplied on rolls and have either a gloss or matt finish.

We will be happy to discuss with you the type of material that can be used, this can be Polypropylene which is a synthetic material that is weatherproof and waterproof and is both highly durable and resistant to oils, alcohol and chemicals including materials that can cause staining.

Another alternative is polyester, a synthetic type of material; again this is weatherproof and waterproof. Polyester also has the advantage of being able to withstand very harsh conditions freezer temperatures for example, extreme heat and also has high resistance to Ultraviolet light; this will protect colours and text from fading and again can be supplied in either a gloss or matt finish.

A product which is in wide use within the horticultural industry is Vinyl as this has been found to operate very well in conditions found in these environments, both hot and humid summer conditions as well as cold, damp and freezing conditions, this also makes it perfect for use in marine and underwater situations.

Recognising at everyone’s requirements are different, if you would like advice of any further information, please get in touch and then we will then ensure we by calling our customer care team on 01293 551520 or click on Request a Free Quote.

Car Window Stickers – a great way of advertising!

Attaching a sticker to a window has long been recognised a great means of marketing, in fact, if we take the example of motor car dealerships and used car suppliers, putting a sticker onto the rear window of a car has been in “vogue” for many years.

Here at DataLabel we can, with the help of our in house design team help you create a design of your window sticker and with a huge stock of over 5,000 cutters in a range of different sizes and shapes including rectangular, oval and circle, we feel sure that there will be something that is right for you. However, if you require a special shape to fit with your brand, this can be accommodated at a small extra charge.

Window stickers do not have to be restricted as a marketing tool, they can be used for a multitude of applications, parking permits or to just remind a user the time when maintenance is needed. Using window stickers for a range of different applications either inside or outside a window or attached to the side of a van or pleasure craft, these can be easily removed after they have served their purpose, permit has expired or the event has taken place for example.

How you choose your vinyl car window sticker will to some extent depend on what it is displaying. You may decide to choose a sticker in clear gloss, meaning that it will have a clear background, this way we find it is ideal for logos, or perhaps a solid background which means you can fill more of the area with your message and branding.

Good printing for any advertising medium is a necessity, but we consider it more so with vinyl window stickers which is why we offer print at 1440dpi, providing a high quality product and we use eco-friendly ink which not only lowers our environmental footprint, but provides exceptional resistance to fading from UV radiation.

When you are ready we will usually be in a position to deliver your stickers within 3-5 days, but are more than flexible to meet your need if you need them quicker. To chat to one of our sales team or to request a quotation simply fill in our enquiry form or call us directly on 01293 551520.

Imagine a world without barcodes

We can’t imagine it and when you consider that for a huge number of people they will not have lived without them, simply because the barcode first appeared in 1952 in America and although it was slow to take off, by the early 80’s it was beginning to be commonplace.

For many of us the barcode is just something that tells the cashier at the checkout the price of the item that has been scanned through a barcode reader, but it does a lot more than that. For example the purchasing office will be able to see the current stock levels of each item scanned and re-order as necessary to make sure the shelves are kept stocked. This enables the business to keep stock to a minimum, today this is often referred to as “just in time”. No longer does the shopkeeper or manufacturers have to keep expensive items in stock, it also reduces the need for large warehousing facilities; just sufficient room until the next delivery truck brings in the newly ordered supplies.

We can offer barcodes printed on a variety of materials which can include paper, vinyl, metal and plastic. The barcode is attached to the product and naturally requires an adhesive which is suitable for the environment and conditions that product is expected to meet, for example, changes in temperature or have to withstand extremes of cold or be in contact with moisture

Printing for a barcode has to be of a quality that will enable the code to be “read” by the barcode reader, something which caused some problems in the early days when universal barcodes evolved. We are pleased that with our modern digital printing process, our printed barcodes present no problem for the barcode reader.

We can see that the use of barcodes can make a business more efficient, cost effective and keep prices low, whilst enabling overheads in staff, stock levels and storage to be kept to a minimum. So if you are considering using barcoding for the first time, or at the point where a new supply is needed, contact us and we will be pleased to discuss the numerous options that are available, also let you have a free quotation and samples of our barcodes if required.

Bottle and Jar Labels from DataLabel

It may appear to be an obvious statement to make, but a label attached to a jar or bottle has a simple and very basic function; to describe what is in the container, provide branding for your company, plus there may be some legal requirements too.

For example some of the statutory requirements would include; on alcoholic beverages need the name and address of supplier or bottler, country of origin and in the case of wines France or Blend of wines from Italy, Spain and Portugal. The all-important quantity within the bottle, the alcoholic strength and the use by dates are just some.

Food packaged in jars requires the weight to be prominently displayed, a ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, the name of the food, allergy warnings,  a list of all the ingredients if more than one, storage information and if necessary guide lines for cooking the product. We will be more than happy to discuss what you may and what you must include on your bottle or jar label.

Putting all this information on the label would be pointless if it became unreadable because of exposure to sunlight, moisture, or adverse temperature for example. We can offer a variety of solutions if your product is liable to be exposed to difficult conditions, two examples being UV varnished, or laminated for added print protection will make the label last for a longer period of time than usual. In this respect the adhesive is vital, again we can advise which adhesive would be suitable for just about any condition and ensure that the labels stay firmly attached to the bottle or jar.

Naturally you will want your bottle or jar to attract the customer and stand out from your competitors, material is important and shape too. You may have a particular shape in mind and we are able to supply most shapes from our range of stock cutters, but we can for a small charge supply any shape and size to your own customised unique measurements.

We will help you make your bottle or jar stand out on the shelf from your competitors, with printing techniques that are at  the forefront of label production because we are equipped with the very best digital printing technology, ready to meet today’s demand for high quality labels.

So when you are ready for a supply of labels contact a member of our experienced team who will be happy to help, just call us on 01293 551520, email if you prefer to sales@datalabel.co.uk, or complete our online enquiry form at our website https://www.data-label.co.uk

World’s biggest food companies fail to agree on new unified nutrition label for Europe

Producing a food label designed to help consumers decide whether the product would be suitable for people with a diabetic condition, high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity has proved to be a bit of a minefield. The European idea was to have a “Traffic Light” system depicting colours ranging from red to green, to indicate whether a portion of a given food was high in calories, fat, and sugar or salt.

Getting 27, or 28 if the United Kingdom is included, countries agreeing completely to a unified system, is not unlike the  ”design by committee” which as we know is a disparaging term for a project that has many designers involved but no unifying plan or vision. A maxim which many will remember is when asked to design a horse; the committee came up with a camel!

The project seems to have hit stormy waters as five of the largest food companies in the world Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, have abandoned the trials of designing and developing a unified system for the whole of the EU.

Health professionals and governments are naturally disappointed that the trials seemed to have stalled, as they argue that many foods should be avoided or at least restricted because if the product is high in some additives, these can include added sugars and processed carbohydrates as well as sodium (salt) it is known that they may increase your blood pressure and, in turn, the risk of heart disease or stroke.

Sadly it looks as though the curse of “the committee” strikes again and as Bart Vandewaetere, a Nestlé government affairs executive commented “we have been working together for two years on an “Evolved Nutrition Label”, this would have replaced the current monochrome label now displayed on food items,” he went on to say “colour coding of food labels is very controversial in continental Europe and we need leadership from the European Commission to come up with a common approach.” It would appear that the stumbling block is that the companies could not gain consensus around the new portion-based, colour-based scheme, this after trials have been conducted in many countries, along with consultations with consumer groups and with academics too.

The outcome at the moment is that European countries will continue to design and develop their own labelling system, some such as the UK and Ireland have put in place a voluntary labelling scheme that uses a design based on the red amber green traffic light colours to convey information to people scanning packages in supermarkets. However, the French system does seem to be gaining momentum in Belgium and the Netherlands and is being considered by Spain. This assigns foods a single so-called NutriScore and colour code from red to green. However the industry as a whole is becoming very concerned that the current disjointed approach will, at some time, disrupt the supply chain.

Why choose vinyl stickers and labels from DataLabel?

Today, vinyl stickers and adhesive labels are in common use throughout industry and commerce, and we think that it would be unusual not to see them everyday life; after all the postage stamp that we buy at the Post Office is an adhesive label now!

Supermarkets are just one of the places where vinyl stickers and adhesive labels are in common use; often we can see them fixed over a barcode, for example, offering the product at a reduced price.  Another area where we all will have come across them at some time is in the pharmaceutical industry. Here they would be used widely; this could be to describe the contents of the packet or bottle, very often to tell or describe how the product should be used and stored.

With the ever-growing demand for vinyl stickers, we at DataLabel have, through our years of experience, kept abreast with technology. This allows us to produce vinyl labels that are of the very highest quality, and with a print quality that we believe is unmatched. Products which are to be stored and displayed in freezer cabinets require an adhesive that will ensure that the label will not detach. These labels can be produced in the standard matte finish or given a high gloss finish; the latter will also help to protect the label against moisture.

Using our state of the art HP Indigo equipment, we provide the highest quality print in full colour and Pantone, varnished or laminated to protect the print. Adhesive can be either peelable, permanent, or hi-tack acrylic and we can usually despatch the labels within just a few working days. We also offer a wide range of label sizes and shapes to suit your requirements.

 

Get in touch with one of our experienced team, and they can send you a free Vinyl sticker sample pack so that you can see the quality for yourself. You can also request a quotation over the phone on 01293 551520, or you can if you prefer, fill out our quick and simple online enquiry form, and we will call you.

Barcodes on polling cards to be trialled by three councils

At the last General Election there was a lot of talk in media circles regarding the possibility of some fraud having taken place, which could have affected the results in some constituencies. The British system of voting has changed very little since the Act of Union in 1707.

To vote in a general or local authority election a person must be 18 years of age or over on polling day, have to be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen and also must be resident at an address in the UK.

Those qualifying will be sent a polling card which has to be presented at the local area polling station, which is checked physically against a register. There are anomalies in this system, as students for example can register in with two separate addresses, home and their student accommodation meaning that they, in effect have two votes!

One of the problems seen in the current system is that no form of identification is required to cast a vote, other than the polling card. Under the proposed system, under trial at Mid Sussex, Watford and North West Leicestershire, polling cards will have a barcode on them, which will have to be scanned before voting.

Not having to present ID when voting in UK elections is one of the quaint anomalies that can be associated with the UK, it is not something which is seen in any other modern democracy, the barcoded polling card is seen as a way to address this, after all if we have to collect a parcel at a sorting office for example, ID must be presented.  As Chloe Smith the minister for the constitution pointed out, it is necessary for people to have complete confidence and assured that elections in this country are safeguarded against any threat or perception of electoral fraud.

Unilever and Veolia sign collaboration agreement to work on sustainable packaging

Unilever and Veolia have signed a deal to work together on emerging technologies, and in particular focusing on material collection. The new three-year collaboration will look to expand waste collection and recycling infrastructures around the world.

This work will ensure that recycled materials are used properly and that they are added back into the value chain as opposed to being sent to landfill. Veolia will execute used packaging collections, add to its recycling capacities and develop new processes and business models in various countries.

The project is due to start work in India and Indonesia initially, but will be expanded to other countries throughout the project.

Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally is recycled after use, with a staggering 40% ending up in landfill and a 30% ending up in fragile ecosystems such as our oceans.

Unilever’s chief supply chain officer, Marc Engel talked about the project saying, “The scale of the plastic waste issue is getting worse, not better, with the production of plastics expected to double over the next two decades.  We all have a lot more to do to address this critical issue and we hope that by partnering with Veolia, a world leader in waste management, we can take meaningful strides towards a circular economy.”

Laurent Auguste, senior executive vice-president of Veolia for development, innovation and markets, added: “There is an undeniable need to transform the current way plastic packaging end of life is managed in order to reduce significantly its environmental footprint. It will take a collaboration of a new kind between all the actors of the value chain. With this global partnership, Veolia and Unilever join forces in various geographies around the globe and, from the collection to the recycling, take a leadership role to redefine a responsible and sustainable future for packaging.”

Michael Gove to launch new food strategy for the UK after Brexit

Michael Gove has set out plans to launch a new food strategy for the UK after Brexit, following criticism about his Agriculture Bill not talking about food policy. Gove also announced a £15m food surplus redistribution scheme, aimed at generating 250 extra meals per year.

Speaking at the Conservative Party event in Birmingham, Mr Gove stated that the Tory government is in the best position to bolster the UK’s food and farming industries, despite concerns about the effect a no-Brexit deal to have.

Under the scheme, farmers would be rewarded for making positive environmental impacts, food labelling would be reformed to provide consumers with the information they want and a new food redistribution scheme would generate 250 million extra meals a year.

Speaking at the conference, Gove said: “When we are outside the EU, we will also publish a new food strategy for Britain. We will ensure that food production is truly sustainable, replenishing the soil, using energy wisely and supporting innovation. And we will reform food labelling so that we uphold the highest animal welfare standards and give consumers the information they need to stay safe.

“Every year, millions of tonnes of good, nutritious, edible food is thrown away. This is an environmental, economic and moral folly, and we will address it.”

Some of the charities who are set to benefit from the new food distribution scheme include FareShare, who were postivie about the announcement saying, “We congratulate Michael Gove for responding to our call to use surplus food for social good.

“This fund means we can get so many more charities more of the food they so desperately need: fresh fruit and veg, meat, dairy and fish, by diverting food that would otherwise be wasted within the supply chain.”

In his speak, Gove also stated that new initiatives would be set up to deal with the issue of waste. Steps will be taken to make sure that recycling is easier, more investment is contributed into cleaner technologies and tougher penalties would be imposed on fly-tippers and criminals who pollute the landscape.

Gove reiterated that British food and agriculture will be able to act faster and be more flexible after leaving the European Union, saying, “Our new Agriculture Bill will help farmers to be more productive and ensure they get a fair price for their produce. It will mean that they can invest in new technology to help them provide a harvest for the world.”

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