First EU joint meeting on nutritional labelling

A joint meeting of European member states and the food industry has taken place this week which could see a more unified approach to nutritional information on the front of food products throughout Europe.
Front-of-pack (FOP) nutritional labelling is a hot topic at the moment as governments look to tackle the obesity problem and consumer confusion when purchasing food and drink. Set up by the European Commission, this meeting is the first in a line of meetings which will be held in the coming months to formulate a report into what it would recommend as regards to labelling rules in the single market.

FoodDrinkEurope, who openly welcomed the meeting said that the sector has long been calling for a synchronised and unified approach to FOP nutrition labelling thought the European Union. Adding that national initiatives, like the traffic light system in the UK and Nutri-Score in France cause fragmentation in the EU Single Market and creates confusion for consumers.

The organisation said in a statement,” FoodDrinkEurope is hopeful that the meeting will be the start of a fair and transparent process that will allow for a thorough assessment and exchange of different approaches to FOP, based on objective and agreed criteria.

“This would allow for a better common understanding of the different nutrition labels – both interpretative as well as non-interpretative – that exist on the European market. FoodDrinkEurope looks forward to bringing these and other industry experiences related to nutrition labelling to the table.”

Two weeks ago, a survey of Dutch consumers asked which FOP nutritional labelling system they thought was best, with the UK’s traffic light system coming first beating out France’s Nutri-Score and the Scandinavian keyhole logo.

What are Asset Labels?

Asset labels are tags that have an adhesive backing and are primarily used for identifying equipment using serial numbers or barcodes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be made from an array of materials including vinyl, polypropylene and aluminium and are used in a number of sectors such as the NHS, schools, colleges, and businesses to track equipment, control inventory, prevent theft and provide maintenance information.

Asset labels are the most important component of an effective asset tracking system, enabling businesses to monitor moveable equipment, automating documentation and gathering information about how the asset is utilised, setting up regular maintenance and to track any repairs.

Types of Asset Labels available from DataLabel

Here at DataLabel we have a variety of different asset labels to choose from depending on the application, these are:

Vinyl Asset Labels

Vinyl Asset labels are our most economical labels, and are primarily used around the workplace on electrical items such as computers and laptops, and are perfect for monitoring stationary and moveable assets.

Vinyl asset labels are available in four standard colours, are supplied on a handy roll format and are available in two sizes (38 x 19mm or 50 x 25mm).

Polypropylene Asset Labels

Polypropylene Asset Labels are designed to stick to a wide range of surfaces and are safe to use in temperatures between -10°C and +80°C. These durable labels can be used indoors and outdoors and are available in over 30 different sizes and 14 different colours.

3M Polyester Asset Labels

3M Polyester Asset Labels are specially designed for heavy-duty protection and resistance against abrasion and chemicals. They are overlaid with polyester film, making them last for up to 5 years under the harshest of conditions.

Able to withstand temperatures between -40°C and +140°C, 3M Polyester Asset Labels are available in 14 colours, over 30 different sizes and come in a handy roll format for ease of use.

Anodised Aluminium Asset Labels

These are one of our most durable asset labels and are durable and hard-wearing, enduring high temperatures, abrasion, solvents and much more. Anodised Aluminium Asset Labels are ideal for indoor or outdoor use, are etched in a range of colours and are available in eight different sizes.

Tamper Evident ‘VOID’ Polyester Asset Labels

These clever void asset labels let you know when a piece of equipment has been tampered with, revealing a void pattern if the label is peeled off. Once stuck down, these labels cannot be removed, giving peace of mind and alerting you to any tampering.

Tamper Evident Polyester Asset Labels have a laminated protective film overlay for durability and come in a handy roll format for ease of use. These labels are available in 30 different sizes and 14 standard colours.

Destructible Vinyl Asset Labels & Stickers

Our destructible vinyl asset labels are similar to our void asset labels in that they let you know when a piece of equipment has been tampered with. The specially designed vinyl material will split into smaller pieces when someone tries to remove it making it perfect for security.

Our Destructible Vinyl Asset Labels & Stickers are available in 9 standard colours and over 30 different sizes.

Write & Seal Asset Labels and Tags

These Write & Seal labels are perfect if you need to add your own information to the label. They come part laminated so that you can add the desired data, peel off the backing and stick down allowing you to use it like a normal label.

These are great for adding dates for maintenance schedules, writing departments or any other information you need. With over 1,000 different sizes and 11 standard colour, our Write & Seal Asset Labels are truly personalised labels.

With all of our asset labels, if you don’t see the colour you are looking for you can request Pantone colours to match your brand or business exactly.

To find out more information or to request a quotation simply fill in our enquiry form or call us directly on 01293 551520.

How to promote customer loyalty through branding and packaging

Packaging is a powerful tool for brands to use not only to attract new customers, but to promote both customer loyalty and brand awareness that can propel your company to the next level.
To put this statement into context, YouTube has over 60 million unboxing videos on its platform, which shows how important packaging and labeling is to a brand, and that being creative with your packaging can make a big difference to the way your product or service is perceived.

Here we’ll talk about some ideas of how to build customer loyalty with your packaging and labeling.

Reward customers for reusing packaging

With consumers being more environmentally conscious, many are willing to pay more for sustainable products, so if your products allow it, offering customers a reward for reducing or reusing packaging is a great idea.
An example of this is Costa Coffee, who offer customers a discount on their drinks if they use one of their reusable Costa cups instead of the paper ones. Another benefit of rewarding customers in this way is that it can remind to stock up on their products.

Creating custom packaging

Involving the customer in the process of designing the packaging and giving them a say in how a product is packaged is a great tool to use to boost customer loyalty.
Send some designs out in the form of a survey and let the custom
er choose which ones they like or would be more drawn to if they saw them in a shop or supermarket; this will give the customer a sense of contributing to the product and give them the confidence that your brand cares about their customers.


Offer rewards for customers that buy again

Use your packaging and labels to provide customers with discount codes, news about new products and services and any relevant information about the company. Try not to add too many flyers or other leaflets as it could look messy, but adding it onto the existing packaging is a great way of enticing customers to buy from you again.

Personalising packaging

It is not unusual for brands to thank customers for their purchases, but taking this further you can personalise your thank yous to make the customer appreciate your product more.

Just a small hand-written (if you have time) or printed note to say thank you can have a dramatic effect on customer loyalty, and shows that you genuinely appreciate their purchase.

The customer may also decide to share your note on their social media pages, which is a great way of gaining more followers and positive brand awareness for your company.

Whatever you decide to do it is important to treat your packaging as an extension of your product and brand, while making sure that it abides by what your company stands for ethically.

Irish brewers voice concerns about health warnings on alcohol

Northern Irish brewers and distillers have voiced concerns about the proposed changes to alcohol labelling being debated in the Republic of Ireland, and that if those changes are put into place it could effect the growth of the sector, especially for smaller producers.

Under the Ireland Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, one of the proposed changes would see mandatory health warnings on alcohol labels, with warnings, ingredients and calories taking up to a third of the label.
Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster warned the proposed changes could cause “a significant impediment to the growth” especially for smaller producers.

He went on to say that the Republic of Ireland is a key export market for the majority of Northern Ireland’s alcohol producers and that is is important for all parties to “ensure that they do not create new barriers to trade on the island of Ireland”.

Northern Ireland has seen a big resurgence of craft alcohol producers over the last few years, with over 40 new breweries and distilleries producing alcohol. Jarlath Watson, from Echlinville Distillery in County Down talked about the proposal, stating that having to comply with a new labelling requirement would “deliver a major upheaval to our production systems costing time and money”.

For the last three years the Irish Government has been trying to pass a public health law targeted at alcohol, and wants to introduce a range of measures including a minimum unit price and restriction on the marketing of alcohol to the public.

Independent Senator Francis Black, who supports the proposal said that the alcohol industry is opposed to the legislation because it could effect their profits but that if the measures saved just one life then it would be worth it.

Food portion sizes, misleading labels and obesity numbers still continuing to rise

Food packaging labels should correspond to the serving guidelines given via the GDA and traffic light system. Issues are solely based around people misunderstanding what they’re reading and failing to follow the recommended serving sizes.
People may need to be more aware of food portion sizes and to take in consideration the information they’re being given. Daily guidelines are issued on most, if not all, food packaging in the UK, but how clear are they? Do we know what they mean?

Clearest labels issuing nutritional information for shoppers

We undertook a recent study on food packaging labels, showcasing the GDA and traffic light system. We found most people typically get confused by them or simply misunderstand the information they’re being provided with. Our survey found out which supermarket held the clearest nutritional and general information on their product labels.

1. Sainsbury’s – 38%
2. Asda – 37%
3. Tesco – 15%
4. Morrisons – 10%

To make this a fair survey, we blurred out the brand on the images when conducting the survey, making it completely anonymous. It appeared Morrisons lagged behind having the hardest to understand labelling.

Traffic light system

The traffic light system on packaged foods indicates how much fat, saturated fats, salt and sugars are contained in the food you’re buying, via colours of the traditional driving traffic light. Green represents a low intake, amber being moderate and red classed as a high intake.

How it works is based on all of the above, plus grams per serving, general size and weight of the portion of food. So, for example a green coloured section (representing low) typically contains less than 3g of fat, less than 1.5g of saturated fat, less than 5g of sugar and less than 0.3g of salt.

People often get confused by the guidelines being given as the information varies from product to product. We’ve found some people believe they should only go for green labelled foods, as it will benefit them and their health. Whilst this all sounds perfectly reasonable, there are general rules to follow. This may not be the case to just consider green labelled foods; you want to have a good clean balanced diet.

The traffic light system is probably not a way to substitute and follow a healthy plan; it’s more of an indication of how many fats, saturated fats and sugars are in your food and the salt intake you’re consuming.

GDA system

The GDA (guided daily amount) system is in place for people’s attention and for consideration. The numbers are based off the serving amount it suggests, per every serving, but some people are unaware of how it all works.

Taking Kellogg’s cereal, Crunchy Nut, as an example: this displays 45g per serving in which it gives you x amount of fat, x amount of saturated fat, x amount of sugars and so forth. But given the fact majority of people don’t typically measure their food intake, this information can lead people to believe this is what they’re gaining from every single bowl of cereal they’re having, whereas each serving isn’t measured accordingly.

If not followed accordingly, this can disrupt and affect fitness plans and diets. When committing yourself to a strict calorie-based diet, you want to be achieving the results you intended and making the numbers fit with your new diet. Faults happen due to people not measuring or considering the serving amount issued.

In most recent news, the topic of obesity has been brought to the forefront as numbers are still continuing to rise in Britain. The talks of 400, 600, 600 should be in place as a plan of attack, when battling against obesity in the UK. This entails 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 to be consumed for dinner.

It’s found that overweight and obese children may be eating an extra 500 calories every day whilst adults are consuming an extra 200-300 calories per day. It’s arguable some schools won’t issue proper food guidelines to their pupils, but the area of focus should be understanding what the information is telling us from the packaging.

Portion size serving recommendations have also seen an increase over the last twenty years. Pasta for example, typically ranged around 500 calories twenty years ago, to now in present day, one serving equals over 1,000 calories.

How DataLabel can help your marketing strategy with window stickers

Window stickers are an effective way to advertise your brand and to get your message out there. Now with the advances in printing technology, long gone are the days of big white rectangular stickers seen on cars, shop windows and signs with these being replaced with vibrant promotional stickers of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Windows stickers are available in a range of different styles for a range of different applications such as inside and outside environments, temporary stickers which can be removed easily or permanent stickers that will stand the test of time.

You can also choose to have the vinyl in clear gloss, meaning that it will have a clear background (perfect for logos) or a solid background which means you can fill more of the area with your message and branding.

Here at DataLabel, we have over 5,000 cutters in a range of different sizes and shapes including rectangular, oval and circle and we can customise bespoke shapes to make the sticker unique and stand out from the crowd.

Our state of the art printers can 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.

We also have an in-house design team that can help advise you on how to get the best out of your stickers. Whether you need a small run of stickers for a fleet of vans or thousands of stickers for promotion we can help, simply tell us you requirements and we can advise you whether they are best supplied as single stickers, on a sheet or on a roll for ease of use.

Window stickers can be used for a number of applications including advertising on cars, in shops and offices, but can also be used as seasonal decorations, parking permits and even as maintenance reminders.

We can typically 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.

How to design packaging that stands out from the crowd

Packaging is the perfect blend of form and function; it not only protects the contents from damage and tells the customers about the product, but it’s also a powerful tool for advertising your brand. In its essence packaging should inform consumers of the product benefits while making it attractive, especially in today’s competitive environment.
Packaging is the final finishing touch to a product and it must first and foremost protect the contents from damage, but it can be so much more with the right planning and design. Whether it’s just a sticker or hang-tag, or custom made packaging, these little extras convey an attention to detail and should not be overlooked.
Here, we’ll discuss how to make your packaging stand out from the crowd, convey your message through branding and attract customers.

Packaging and Branding

Packaging does its job in its naked, unadorned state, but to attract customers it must convey a meaningful message. This is done by adding brand logos, useful information about the product and key visuals that appeal to your target audience.

Before getting the full value out of your packaging, you need to have your brand identity planned. You should look at colour palettes, font styles, brand logos and your brand message carefully, making sure that all of these components stand on their own and don’t get lost in the bigger picture. Is your logo big enough? Does your message and ethos stand out? And is your imagery clear and concise.

Types of Packaging

Due to today’s technical advances, packaging now comes in a range of sizes and styles. Bigger companies usually have the capital to customise all aspects of their packaging, but for small companies and those starting out it is best to start with a simple design as tooling for custom packaging can become expensive.

Just because you are starting off with a generic shape or size doesn’t mean that your packaging has to look plain, the packaging can still be customised with bespoke logos and branding, custom labels and stickers or tags.

Designing your packaging

brandingHiring a professional packaging designer can help you plan out the best way to approach your packaging and can give you valuable guidance on layout, sizes and colours to get the most out of it.

You can of course design your own packaging and labels, after all, you designed your products. Start by making some templates of your chosen packaging and make various design layouts. You may also want to print out your designs and make mock ups, making sure that the product fits securely and that the colours match your brand.

Mars leaves ENL nutrition labelling initiative because of lack of widespread support

Food giant Mars has pulled out of the Evolved Nutrition Labelling (ENL) enterprise, citing a lack of widespread support and lack of credibility and consensus as the main reasons. The company is now calling for an EU wide labelling system for food.

The ENL initiative was unveiled last year and in similar to the traffic light system used on UK food labels. It uses a colour coded system, giving customers information on sugar, salt and fat content in food and drinks. One of the main differences of the ENL system is that the colours would be assigned to portion sizes below 60g unlike the UK system which works on a ‘per 100g’ system.

“To this end, we will continue to engage and lead in advocating for an EU-wide, interpretative approach to nutrition labelling. We need a pan-European solution, for all EU consumers to benefit from it and to reduce complexity and cost to businesses.”

FoodDrinkEurope has also called for a coordination throughout EU member states, stating that the introduction of national food labelling systems (such as those in France and the UK) undermines the EU single market.

Should alcohol have mandatory health information on labels?

The Royal Society for Public Health which is dedicated to the public’s health and wellbeing is calling for a change in the way alcoholic drinks are labelled. The RSPH claims that there is an “awareness vacuum” on how alcohol affects health and wants to see alcohol producers include the government’s guideline of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week on their labels.

The RSPH also suggests having a drink-drive warning on labelling and that the use of a traffic light colour coding system (similar to those used on many food items on UK shelves) could help drinkers be more aware of the effects of alcohol and help them to make better choices when it comes to their drinking habits.

But John Timothy, from the Portman Group, the responsibility body for drinks producers in the UK disagreed with the RSPH’s findings, saying:

“There was little public interest in a radical overhaul of drinks labelling and strong opposition to cramming more information on packs”.

Mr Timothy reiterated that the Portman Group continually updates its advice to alcohol producers so that consumers are given accurate, accessible health information.

What do you think?

Do you feel that alcohol should have a traffic light system like food products, should the government take a harder stance and ban branding on alcohol like they do to tobacco or are alcohol labels fine the way they are?

Let us know in the comments below.

Personalising Your Wedding Favours

Wedding favours have become a common tradition, just like the first dance, wedding speeches and drunk guests, and are a great way to treat your guests and show them that you really appreciate their support.

In the build up to a wedding there is so much to think about that wedding favours can become an afterthought, but with a bit of planning you can present your guests with a favour they will remember forever.

Here are a few handy hints for picking the perfect wedding favours and some different ways to personalise them for your guests.

Making Your Own Wedding Favours

If you opt to make your own wedding favours, it is important to consider how much time and extra work it can involve. Be sure that whatever you choose is easy to create as you will be making lots of them for your guests. Make a few samples first to help you know if you are on the right track and if you have enough time to make them all. Once you have the process perfected, why not enlist the help of some family and friends to take the weight off.

Also, make sure that you have a few extra wedding favours ready as backups in case some get damaged or lost before the wedding day.

The great thing about wedding favours is that you can be as creative as you like, and with any type of gift putting the extra thought into it really makes it a unique gift. One thing to consider before starting a project like this is to ask yourself it if would be something that you would enjoy and is it something that you would be happy to receive.

Edible Wedding Favours

Edible wedding favours such as sweets and snacks are a popular choice that your guests can enjoy on the day or take home to enjoy later. Think small when choosing edible wedding favours, things like fudge, chocolate truffles and mini jars of homemade jam are perfect gifts that can be personalised with labels to mark the special day.

Practical Wedding Favours

Practical favours are another popular choice as these can easily be personalised and are great trinkets for guests to keep, reminding them of your wedding day for years to come. Some ideas for practical wedding favours include bottle opener keyrings, personalised soaps, engraved shot glasses or cookie cutters. You can even make a charitable donation in your guest’s names, giving them a card explaining the work the charity does and the people or animals they help.

Whatever you decide on for your wedding favours there is one golden rule that shouldn’t be ignored. Try to avoid putting your names, photos or wedding date on everything, as this could turn an otherwise useful gift into a cringe worthy trinket.

Personalised Labels and Packaging

The one exception to this rule is the packaging for your wedding favours. It’s absolutely fine to put a personal touch on boxes and bags, ribbons, wrapping paper and labels. Personalised packaging not only makes a great presentation piece, it is also less likely to put guests off.

Whatever you choose as your wedding favour, be creative, choose something that you would want to receive yourself and have fun, and remember, that personal touch is sure to make an impression with your guests long after the special day.

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