European Commission announces new origin of ingredients labelling rules

The European Commission has announced a new initiative affecting the rules on labelling the origin of primary ingredients in food. The new rules, voted for by the member states means that the origin of the primary ingredient in a given food item must be clearly marked if it is different from the origin of the food.

This new rule will come into force from 1st April 2020 and is designed to not deceive consumers and to synchronise the labelling of ingredient information throughout the member states. The European Commission said that the new rules would help to ensure a high level of transparency and provide EU consumers with clear information about the origin of food and ingredients sold in the EU.

The new rules have been discussed for some time, but it is initially thought the labelling changes will be voluntary in the beginning, however, for brands wanting to use the new labelling system it would be mandatory to specify the origin of the main ingredient if it is different from the country of the food. There will also be a certain amount of flexibility to the new rules to take into account the different methods of food processing adopted throughout the EU.

Earlier this year, the UK food industry was told that it would have to with any forthcoming rules regarding origin labelling to continue a free trade agreement for food produce post-Brexit.

Tips for Developing Purposeful Packaging for you Brand

People’s tastes are changing when it comes to packaging, is it recyclable? Does it impact my environmental footprint? Is it sustainable? These factors are what is driving consumers when it comes to looking at products and identifying with brands, and packaging can make a big statement about your company values, the products you sell and your brand, so packaging planning is key to creating the right message.
Creating purposeful packaging is making sure that your packaging does more than just being a container for your product. It is packaging that encompasses extra benefits, more functionality, your values and enhances the consumer experience.

Studies have shown that consumers buy products and services from brands and companies that align with their values and preferences, with many being willing to spend more on sustainable products and prioritising buying products and services from companies that they trust.

Consumer preferences and innovation is pushing sustainable packaging forward, especially as people are moving to brands that embrace environmental responsibility. Companies in turn are communicating these values through their products, with packaging fast becoming one of the most important mediums for communicating these practices and providing information to consumers about the products they are buying.
It is good practice to be transparent with your information on your packaging because where you source materials and ingredients for your products is a big selling point, especially if they are from sustainable sources. Being transparent is also key to building brand loyalty, and can separate your products from your competitors.

There is no one-size-fit-all when it comes to packaging, but with the proper consumer insights and by targeting your audience you can choose the best attributes for your unique selling points while gain customers and brand loyalty.

eBay now let’s sellers scan product barcodes to autofill listings

One of the most time extensive tasks to do when selling things on eBay is setting up listing for every product. Taking pictures, writing descriptions and setting a realistic price takes a lot of work, but eBay has just released a new setting to change all of that.

eBay has updated its iOS and Android apps to let sellers scan a product barcode which automatically fills out the items details in a matter of seconds. Simply scan the items barcode on the box and state the condition of the item. Once eBay identifies the product it automatically fills in the necessary details like item description and stock pictures, and even suggests a starting price based on much the product has sold for before on the platform.

If you don’t have the barcode, don’t worry, you can also use the search box to search for the product manually. All of the item details, pictures and price can still be edited if you are not happy with eBay’s suggestions.

According to eBay, this new setting is aimed at new seller wanting to try out the platform, but can also be a great service for power seller that are listing hundreds of different items on their eBay shops.

Amazon already offers a similar system to its FBA sellers, but eBay’s adoption of barcode technology will certainly be a welcome sight for new and experienced seller alike.

Are you an eBay seller or are looking at selling items on the platform? Would you use this new feature? Let us know in the comments below.

Iceland’s new labelling helps UK consumers avoid plastic packaging

Iceland is one of the first supermarkets to introduce a new labelling system that tells consumers which products have no hidden plastic packaging on them. The new plastic-free ‘trust mark’ was introduced earlier this week and will be prominently displayed on food and drink packaging that does not contain any plastic.

The new initiative was introduced to allow consumers to choose greener alternatives. Iceland and Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza have started using the new labelling system, along with tea bag manufacturer Teapigs, but it hoped that other organisations will follow suit.

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, the campaign group behind the scheme told the press, “Our trust mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing; this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free,”

She added, “Finally shoppers can be part of the solution not the problem,”

Over recent years there has been a growing concern about the impact that plastic has on the oceans and environment, and plastic pollution is now so bad that it has been discovered in tap water, fish and even sea salt. It is not known what the impact of this plastic residue has on humans, but it is causing havoc for marine life and wildlife.

Iceland will be intruding the ‘trust mark’ labelling system on their relevant own-label products from May onwards and has pledged that its whole range will be free of single-use plastic by 2023.

Iceland’s managing director, Richard Walker, said: “With the grocery retail sector accounting for more than 40% of plastic packaging in the UK, it’s high time that Britain’s supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue.

“I’m proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realise a plastic-free future for food and drink retail.”

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.