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.

Britain’s obesity crisis – could Brexit be the key to rethinking food labelling?

Traffic light labelling on food, we’ve all seen them when we go shopping, but did you know that it is not mandatory for producers to use this system on their packaging and that only two-thirds of products on our supermarket shelves currently carry this kind of nutritional information.

According to the Local Government Association this is fuelling unhealthy eating habits and Britain’s obesity crisis. They propose that Brexit is the perfect time for the UK to standardise food labels, thus making nutritional information mandatory on all of the foods and drinks we consume. As it stands, the EU is in charge of regulating product labelling, but the UK government may choose to implement its own guidelines when the UK leaves the European Union.
In 2013 the Department of Health announced the traffic light labels designed to allow consumers to quickly see how much fat, saturates, sugars and salt are in a particular product, but this is only a voluntary system meaning manufacturers can ignore it.

This has been blamed for the obesity crisis gripping Britain because some manufacturers use the traffic light system and others use more complex schemes giving nutritional information in percentage guideline daily amounts (%GDA). This can cause confusion for consumers who may be unwittingly buying products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.


The Faculty of Public Health has previously stated that the %GDAs labelling schemes can cause confusion and impede consumers from making healthy choices as it suggests that these daily amounts are targets to reach, whereas they are actually limits not to be exceeded.
Why is food labelling so important?

According to latest figures, almost two thirds of British adults and a third of children are overweight or obese and that figure could rise substantially unless precautions and information is provided.

The traffic light system adopted by a range of manufacturers is a great way for consumers to quickly see the amount of fat, saturates, sugars and salt is in a product and make an educated choice as to what to buy.
Clear nutrition labelling on the front of food packaging is an important way to educate the population and to help consumers make healthier food choices. The fact that some manufacturers choose a different nutrition system can make it confusing for consumers.

Creating effective designs for your labels

Whether you are looking at designing labels for commercial products, wedding favours or handmade products it is important to get every detail right, not just because of the branding or marketing efforts, but to avoid revisions and reprints that could become expensive.

Here, we will discuss some helpful tips to consider when designing your next label project.

Using colour, texture and typeface to convey your message and brand

It is best practise to design all of your printed media such as labels, flyers and stickers in CMYK as opposed to RGB; this will produce more vibrant colours and darker blacks giving a more professional look.

Typeface and colour choice are also important considerations when designing labels because some combinations can make it harder to read from a distance, especially metallic or reflective labels which may be eye-catching but could be difficult to read when combined with certain colours and textures.

There is also the perceived psychological interpretation of colours when designing labels and stickers for products and packaging. Silver and gold labels can project luxury, sophistication and a hi-tech feel, whereas rustic-looking labels are ideal for conveying earthiness, reliability and sustainability.

Designing the label with the container in mind

This may seem obvious to many people, but making sure that the label fits the product container is easily missed by designers, especially if they have a great idea and jump straight into the design phase without studying the packaging.

Proper measuring is as important as the actual design when making a label that compliments the product. What shape is the container? Round, square, tapered or textured, these considerations must be taken into account in the design phase to ensure that the label fits smoothly and gives all of the information needed to the consumer.

It is also important to decide how much of the product you want to show, an example of this is if you are using an opaque container then a larger label can be used, whereas if the product is in a transparent container such as jam or honey then a smaller label may complement it better.

Creating designs that are distinctive and memorable

Creating label designs that are distinctive and memorable will make your products stand out from the crowd and is a great way of attracting customers to buy and promote your products. Whether the products will be sold in stores alongside competitors’ products, sold through a stand-alone website or through an online buyer and seller community, presentation is key.

A clean, eye-catching and distinctive design can be the difference between a sale or not, so ask yourself these three questions to see if you are on the right track during the design process:

  • Is the labels design distinctive compared with its competitors?
  • Does the label clearly and accurately reflect the product and the brand?
  • Will the products target audience find it captivating enough to purchase?

Get feedback from customers

Creating your label design and getting it to market is only the beginning of the marketing efforts and being proactive with the design will ensure that your products stay relevant to your customers and will continue to attract your target audience.

Invite your customers to take part in a survey asking what about the packaging attracted them to the product in the first place. This information is a great way to spot changes in the market, mood and lifestyle of your customers meaning that future label designs can stay relevant even with changing demographics.

The information gathered can also be used to learn from any mistakes from the initial design such as hard to read fonts, colour clashes and whether you are using the right type of label.

By putting into practise some of these suggestions when designing your labels it will undoubtedly make your designs stand out from the crowd and will produce a process to make future label designs not only more relevant but also more efficient.

The impact of technology in education

Technology is forever expanding, from the way we communicate to everyday work ethics and skills. It makes an impact across education, proving to be an invaluable resource in schools for student’s learning development. Pupils now have the ability to produce progressive results by using online research as well as the latest software programs and tools, a far cry from the traditional methods of pen and paper, and literature in print.

Parental perspective

Whilst there may be many advantages to technology in education, there can also be certain drawbacks too, which has created cause for concern for some parents. 28% of parents worry that technology in schools can lead to a reduced attention span, whilst an alternative study found that 88% of parents believe that the technology available to students has pushed them forward to learn and take full advantage of their education.

How is technology changing education?

Whilst technology benefits many areas of learning, parents are considering the pros and cons of it’s continuous rise. They believe their kids are lucky to be involved in this generation with the advances of the latest technology, however voice their concerns that it may take over their surroundings and cause distractions towards learning.

Tablets and iPads have changed teaching and learning, creating a much more interactive environment that both student and teacher can benefit from and get engaged with. For students to physically hold, touch and swipe through their work is a great interactive aspect in lessons. The simple user interface can be easily picked up by all ages, and touch screen tablets incorporate a different style of teaching that can prove to be a turning point in various levels of education.

Generally, the consensus is that both teaching and learning can be made fun with technology; it becomes much more interactive and engaging. Teachers are able to direct individual learning needs with the aid of technology, however, there are many drawbacks of incorporating the latest tech, too.

What are the drawbacks?

Using technology too frequently, or constantly staring at screens too closely can lead to strained vision. There can be a lack of attention given by students, as well as the risk of technology being a distraction, affecting work and concentration levels. In severe cases, some students are lead into injuries and lack motor skills. Of course, there is always hardware or software problems, causing delays that are sure to be a drawback for students.

Is the investment in modern technology worth it?

That said, the benefits of technology are clear to see, certainly when it comes to developing everyday skills that are the bread and butter of modern society. Some forms of software programs cannot be implemented in traditional methods, so a whole host of possibilities become available for education and learning. Through the latest software, students of all ages can access a huge variety of fantastic tools and resources.

The instant access to information is a huge benefit for students, even when at home, students can gain information through research and fast access. There’s also opportunities for individual learning. Technology can easily create long distance interaction, communication and learning.

Having the ability to improve on skills such as communication, problem-solving techniques and reading and writing allows us to bring education into the modern world with minimal restraints.

The overall outcome for students using technology should be, to use in moderation, if possible. If students are able to take extra care and not over-use the equipment, technology will be beneficial, not a hinderance.

Reasons you should consider stickers as a marketing tool

Technology now allows brands to advertise and increase exposure at the touch of a button, but for decades stickers have been and still are an effective marketing tool that companies use to promote their brands and products.

Here we will guide you through why you should look at stickers as a powerful and low cost marketing medium that can push your brand to the next level. Promotional self adhesive stickers now come in all shapes and sizes, and with modern printing techniques can be made weather resistant and easy to peel making them ideal for windows, gadgets, signs, phones and even people.

Studies have shown that people trust the recommendations of friends and family above anything else and that 90% of these recommendations happen offline. Having a promotional sticker which is easily identifiable, starts conversations and conveys the right message is a great way of promoting your brand for very little outlay in cost.

As opposed to other mediums of advertising, stickers are not perceived as advertising at all, in fact displaying a sticker, whether it is on a gadget, car, notebook or laptop is widely observed as being a personal endorsement of a brand, product or message.

Even if a promotional sticker is not displayed in public view they can still be a very cost effective advertising tool. Handing out a quality made sticker to you customers has more value than other advertising mediums such as flyers, business cards and brochures as they are harder to throw away and have the potential to engage the recipient time and time again, especially if the content is relevant and well designed.

Promotional stickers aren’t just an item that you give away, they can also be used on brand products and packaging, and even applied to serviced equipment.

If promotional stickers are done right they can also become profitable products in their own right. Your brand name, logo or slogan can become a powerful advertising platform, especially if you have a unique angle to market to a specific sector or demographic, have fans and advocates and can come up with a design that people want to show off.

So you see, stickers can be used in a number of ways to advertise, improve brand awareness, show off new products and services or convey a message. Sticker marketing is a lowest-cost, highest exposure marketing tool which is largely overlooked by both large and small businesses in favour of expensive online marketing.

How Data Label can help:

Whatever your label requirements, feel free to contact our customer focused and friendly team on 01293 551520 who will be more than happy to talk through your options. Alternatively, fill out our simple online enquiry form and we’ll call you at a time that’s more convenient

Preparing yourself for an post-apocalyptic world

We’ve created an infographic on how food supplies and identification labels hold up over time, all in the name of surviving the apocalypse.

Surrounded by flesh eating zombies, or an end of the world catastrophe, what would you do to prepare yourself? How long would you be able to last on the food supplies available?

Do you have the information you need in order to cope and survive? Will food supplies hold up over time? Could you gain information from the important labelling sell by dates?

How does food hold up over time?

What types of foods will hold up over time and which foods should you be looking for in a survival situation? If damage has been done to stored away foods, would the food still be edible even if you can’t read the sell by date?

There are many different types of foods that have sell by dates, either those that are refrigerated or stored in a dry place, all with their own life expectancies. Surely the majority of food would slowly become expired over time?

It’s clear that dairy products won’t hold out too long in the fight, so make sure you take advantage of the foods when you can. For example, milk, cheese, and butter will only last up to one day if there is no power. Your best survival foods are those tightly compact into food survival kits for emergencies. Emergency rations, and food biscuits lasting up to five years.

Another factor to consider is how food is stored and how secure it is. The cause of destruction, whether it be environmental damage, explosions, earthquakes or flooding could jeopardise the facts and information on labels.

There undoubtedly won’t be many manufacturing companies or active shops still making or supplying the goods, once a disaster strikes and takes over, so getting your supplies ready and being prepared is key to having enough essentials to last even a short while until you can plan your next move.

Durability of labels

How durable are informational signs and important to read labels? Retaining information is important for all survivors, not just for finding out what food is edible in the fight for survival but also for any potential warnings or directions they can give.

How long in the fight can labels and signs last for? When considering the worst of extreme weather conditions or any major war breaking out, what are the effects that can occur to important labels and information?

If damage arises, will it be readable? When surviving you most likely won’t have any luxuries like the Internet to seek out advice, guidance or any information from. So keeping labels intact is crucial.

Where you’d hold up over time

So if you’re concerned about how you will manage in an apocalyptic situation, why not measure up against the top movies and TV shows which face end of the world catastrophe’s and see what will last the time and what won’t.

Identifying honest food labelling for your beloved pets

Last year, as a result of the scandals around our food not being properly labelled and recent scaremongering over sugar and salt content in our packaged foods, we surveyed people and found out that 31% do not trust the information provided on the labels. This year, we’re focusing in on something just as important: our pets.

Pets are everything to us, they successfully complete our homes, bring so much life towards our own and are a big part of our family. We would do anything for them, and as such would follow in their shoes or paws. The big question is: Are we supplying enough protein and nutrients for our cherished pets? In the bags of food we buy for them, can you get the correct information from the labels?

Some pet owners are unaware of the extra requirements needed for their cherished animals. We’ve spoken to independent pet food brand McAdams PetFoods and put together an infographic highlighting how pet food is currently labelled. The objective is for this to help notify people of the choices they have in their pet food purchases and allow them to make informed choices.

Recognising correct label information

Protein is important, not just for us humans, but for animals also. It originates from meat, fish, eggs and some plants. It is the value to steadily maintain healthy growth and survival.

Look out for labels on pet food you buy, as it’s important to make sure your much-loved animal is taken care of the right way. The labels should state feeding guidelines, to help people safely distribute out the correct amount of food portions for their beloved pets. Under supplying and over doing are both actions of risk towards the animal. The label should also state how to accurately store one’s supply of pet food, stating either a cool and dry place, to being in humid conditions.

Samples of pet food can be supplied to people to try to see whether it’s appropriate and satisfies their animal, whether or not to purchase and continue to buy more, or to skip and move onto the next brand. However, putting all the information onto a small packet can be tricky.

The same labelling rules apply to samples of pet food products, in however way it’s showed as long as the information reaches out to people. Displayed either on product packaging itself, if it’s able to fit, or attached to the packaging.

Issuing correct foods

Taking the example of dogs, ranging from all different sizes in weight, height and width from one another, altered protein needs to be given out correctly in the exact amount. As over use or under use of protein can be a bad thing. But even within good quality dog foods, the levels of protein compared to other ingredients can be very variable.

Creative Marketing

Often on labels, the important section is a small print not necessarily meant for our eyes and we tend to skip over reading it. However this likely could give you additional information about your beloved pet that you might be unaware of.

They state words that sound good but may conceal the behind the scenes manufacturing process so that it doesn’t truly explain to us the lower quality of the food our pets are getting. What consumer understands exactly what “animal derivatives” is when they see it in the ingredients list? Do you know exactly how “meat meal” is made and what it is?

As a call for less creative marketing on pet food labelling and clarity over what is going into our pets’ foods, we’ve spoken to McAdams PetFoods, an independent dog food manufacturer who strive to give consumers a choice, having all the facts about how their pet food is made and where the ingredients are sourced.

Neil McAdams, Managing Director of McAdams PetFoods said:

“Most customers view dogs as family members. We want the best for our pets’ health as we do for our children. With creative marketing, terms to describe food that is not necessarily made with fresh or ethically sourced ingredients can sound as if they are. It’s hugely important that the labelling makes it clear enough for consumers to be able to make the choice, to have all the facts to be able to make an informed decision. We strive to give consumers a choice, and this can only be successful with honest and clear labelling of ingredients including how and where they have been sourced.”

We have collated the information into an easy to read and understand infographic in order highlight and clarify terms which consumers may find misleading and to better explain them.

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Bloggers speak out about working in retail

A couple of months ago, we decided to run a survey to find out what people thought of tamper proof labels – they’re one of the most necessary items that we sell to businesses, being absolutely crucial in certain industries, from official departments in healthcare, government and defence to everyday jobs such as confidential office work and education. We’d heard the stories and read the complaints though of some end users, particularly in retail, that tamper proof labels can be a nuisance, leaving sticky residue on items they’ve bought or being near impossible to remove. And so, we ran our survey.
We asked 529 people whether they found tamper proof labels to be a nuisance or a necessity, and found that nearly half of these found them to be annoying. Our evidence went out as a press release that was published at Fresh Plaza among others, and we had the opportunity to hear back from lots of influencers about their thoughts on using tamper proof labels in retail. We know from an industry perspective how crucial our tamper proof labels can be to those using them to deter theft on everything from high value items to smaller goods in high street retail stores, but it really helped to reinforce our message hearing from people who work or have worked in these environments on a daily basis and understand just how necessary they are, from big businesses to small.
We’ve gathered some of the stories that bloggers and influencers shared with us together to show just how important they are for those working in the industry and other issues that those working in customer facing jobs deal with on a daily basis – maybe it’ll make consumers think twice when purchasing something with a tamper proof label attached or when making a complaint!

“Customers are shameless. Returning full price items to buy them back then and there at sale price? Seen it 100 times before.” – Lizi at Glasses Girl

“They’d put a sticker that said £20 on a pair of £45 shoes, but you would notice it wasn’t the right code, or when you rung it through the till the description wouldn’t match. I tried to be as on the ball as I could, but I’m sure people must have got away with it some of the time – else they wouldn’t bother, surely?” – Jodie at Jodetopia

“I can’t tell you how many times people attempted to steal things and it never was one or two items, they tried to steal loads of things every time. Even when we introduced tamper proof labels to the store, people were still attempting to grab and dash. The labels always did the trick and there was no thefts with them on.” Laura at Laura Knows Lifestyle

“Whilst working in retail as student I watched a lady take a price label from one handbag and change it with another, she then proceeded to try and purchase it. Once informed the price was incorrect she battled it out. “The Customer is always right” she said, “you HAVE to honour the price on the item” she exclaimed.” – Lisa at Leelee Loves

“I’ve experienced a lot, from accidentally smashing a few too many nail polishes for the Boxing Day sale prep, oops! to dealing with the most difficult customers. Another which was always an absolute nuisance was customers with clearly very fiddly hands who liked to take off tamper proof labels as if I somehow wouldn’t notice.” – Vanese at Vanz the Machine

Online Scams and How To Avoid Them

Can we claim that 2015 has been the year of online hacks scams? Yes, scams have been around for years – did you know that the “Nigerian Email Scam” has been around since the French Revolution? Even before the age of computers, emails and the internet even existed, innocent people were being cheated out of their money in malicious ways.

But now, in the online age, scams have become more and more sophisticated so that even a person who has grown up with the internet and is educated in its ways can easily get caught out by security breaches and fraudulent emails that appear to come from friends, family or a trusted source such as their bank or internet provider (as we’ve seen with big hacks in recent years including Sony in 2014 and TalkTalk only a couple of months ago).

Here at Data Label, we have created an infographic to bring a higher awareness to online scams and explain what’s going on behind the scenes when you receive one of these malicious emails as well as providing some tips on what to look out for to help you avoid being caught out by one.

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