Make Your Sauce Labels Sizzle for National Barbecue Month

Custom Barbecue LabelsUse Standout Sauce Labels to Herald the Start of Barbecue Season

National Barbecue Month – a.k.a. May – is here, and that means it’s more important than ever for your products to boast sauce labels that truly stand out to consumers and give you an edge over your competitors.

With the weather slowly but surely heating up in most parts of the country, cookouts are on the minds of more and more Americans – but why exactly do we love barbecuing so much? The results of the Hearth, Patio and & Barbecue Association’s National Barbecue Month Poll shed some light.

First off, there’s no dress code for a cookout, a fact that 57 percent of the 1,000 respondents said they appreciated. Even the most casual of restaurants tend to have a “No shirt, no shoes, no service” rule, but bathing suits and bare feet are just fine – and even encouraged – in the backyard. What’s more, travel time is minimal, the costs tend to be lower and there’s no long wait for a table once you get to your destination. Finding a place to sit won’t be a problem, and in fact, you don’t even have to stay in your seat while you wait for your food to be cooked. Given these advantages, it’s no wonder that the majority of people who participated in the HPBA’s survey said they preferred cooking out to eating out, with 58 percent declaring the former to be “more fun and relaxing” than the latter.

“Outdoor cooking is a very popular pastime that unites friends and family with great-tasting food that’s easy and affordable,” noted Leslie Wheeler, director of communications for the HPBA.

Bottle Labels Can Help Consumers Make Healthy Choices

Another key finding from the HPBA poll can also be incorporated into bottle labels: Seven in 10 respondents said they believed cooking out was a good way to cultivate a healthier lifestyle by eating wholesome, fresh food and dining al fresco, enjoying the sun and the fresh air.

With so many individuals perceiving barbecuing to be a healthy choice, companies might want to incorporate the idea of healthfulness into the stickers and labels on their bottles of barbecue sauce.

Make BBQ Labels Both Durable and Attractive

Coming up with an eye-catching design for BBQ labels is an important step for companies to take, but it’s not the only element of BBQ sauce packaging success. After all, what good is a bottle label that smudges or peels after contact with oil, water or steam?

Lightning Labels’ standard white BOPP label material can stand up to everything from a single – albeit over-exuberant – splash of pool water to the persistence of a sudden downpour. What’s more, when the cookout is over, the cold conditions of the fridge won’t compromise label quality either. With the white BOPP label, the high-quality, professional-looking printing will stay that way for the duration of the product’s use.

Party Favor Ideas for Summer Events

Cinco de Mayo Product LabelsWelcome the Summer with Seasonal Events and Party Favors

It was a long and arduous winter in many regions of the country, with some areas even experiencing record-breaking levels of snowfall, but the weather is finally beginning to brighten up – and that means summer events and party favors are in many people’s not-too-distant futures.

When it comes to deciding on favors, party planners – be they professionals or amateurs – almost have too many options. Should they go with functional gifts that recipients can put to good use or select decorative trinkets that guests will be able to proudly display in their homes? Would attendees prefer to take home a bottle of wine with a customized label or slip some lip balm into their purses and pockets for those dry summer days? There are no definitive answers to these questions, as what’s best for one occasion might not be a good fit for another. Think about the type of event being planned: Is it a graduation party, a wedding reception, an open house or simply an excuse to celebrate the warm weather? Regardless of the particulars, one thing’s for sure – attendees are bound to appreciate the inclusion of custom labels and stickers.

Taking the Classy Route: Personalize Wine Bottles with Custom Stickers

Bottles of wine make great favors to take home from evening soirees or formal luncheons, and adding custom stickers is a great way to personalize the gift. At Lightning Labels, we offer a range of printing finishes for bottle labels, including high-gloss, matte and old-style textured paper. You also have the choice of one large wraparound label or a separate sticker for the back of the bottle. Whatever you choose, one thing’s for sure: Your labels will be high-quality and water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the text being hard to read or the material degrading in hot, cold or wet conditions.

Taking the Practical Route: Add Pizzazz to Lip Balm with Party Stickers

For a beach-side barbecue, pool party or similarly informal gathering, giving away wine bottles as favors may seem a little excessive – and that’s where tubes of lip balm wrapped in party stickers come into the picture as the perfect casual choice. Think about it: Lip balm is something that people carry around and use frequently, particularly during the summer months when their lips are more likely to dry out. Affixing custom stickers to tubes of lip balm is a great way to ensure the memory of your summer party lives on for weeks and months to come. Lightning Labels prints hundreds of thousands of personalized lip balm labels every month, each one made of a unique material designed to meet the special needs of this type of product, which include the ability to stand up to everyday use and exposure to water and oils.

Custom Bottle Labels Can Complete A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Cinco de Mayo Product LabelsIt’s Time to Prepare Holiday Labels for the First Week of May

As the end of April draws near, companies should be turning their attention to what next month has in store – and planning holiday labels accordingly. The first week of May includes two holidays: “Star Wars” Day on the 4th (based on the pun “May the 4th be with you”) and Cinco de Mayo on the 5th.

It would be tricky to incorporate “Star Wars” into your product labels without falling afoul of licensing laws, but Cinco de Mayo has no such restrictions. The holiday, which is celebrated in the United States and Mexico, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla – a face-off that the French were widely expected to win.

Attract Cinco de Mayo Revelers with Custom Labels

For food and beverage companies – especially those that manufacture alcohol and hot sauce – Cinco de Mayo represents a major sales opportunity, and custom labels can provide an edge in a market that’s extremely competitive at this time of year. If you don’t think you have the budget or meet the minimum order requirement to deck out your products with high-resolution, professional-looking labels, think again. Lightning Labels offers low minimums and crisp, high-quality custom labels that can compete with those used by the big brands.

Worried about including all the necessary nutritional and instructional information on your bottle labels? Don’t be – our small yet readable type will give you the space you need to make your label design as eye-catching as possible while still including all the necessary details. Concerned about how the labels will hold up in the fridge? Our labels are water-resistant, so any splashes or condensation will be like water off a duck’s back.

Numerous Material Options Available for Custom Stickers

Whether you’re looking for bottle stickers that are shiny or matte, modern or old-style, Lightning Labels can accommodate your needs. If you have a non-standard size or shape in mind, chances are we’ll be able to deliver that as well. Additionally, when it comes to bottles, manufacturers have the choice of one large wraparound sticker or two distinct labels, one for the front and one for the back. Some companies only offer one of these options, but not Lightning Labels!

Contemplating A Life Without Labels

History of Product LabelsAn America Without Product Labels

Can you imagine what the browsing and purchasing process would be like in the United States if product weren’t labeled? To experience such an existence firsthand, you would have to travel back in time to the 1800s.

As print and design blog Impressions explained, labels made their American debut in the 19th century as a tool that served two purposes: identifying different types of pharmaceutical drugs and instructing patients how and when to take them. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that printers began to change their focus from simply creating labels that imparted important information to doing this in a way that set their labels apart from the rest. They began to develop label books that offered examples of different printing, engraving and color options. If you’ve ordered stickers and labels from Lightning Labels, you’ll know that we still use an approach like this today – although, of course, the printing options we provide are much more sophisticated thanks to the numerous technological innovations that have taken place over the past century and a half.

The way labels adhere to products has also undergone an evolution over the years. Initially, according to Impressions, gum was used to stick them to pill bottles and vials. In the 1930s, R. Stanton Avery, a Los Angeles entrepreneur, invented self-adhesive labels that proved to be a game-changer for the business. The next red-letter decade for the label industry was the 1980s, when barcodes began to take off, revolutionizing the everyday shopping experience.

Nowadays, virtually every product has a label of some kind. In the preceding paragraphs, we answered the question of how we got here from the world without labels that existed two centuries ago. The next question is why – why did labels not only grow in popularity over the course of the past 200 years, but become practically ubiquitous? The answer lies in their multiple uses and purposes.

Delivering Information

In the 1800s, pharmacists applied labels to containers with the intention of making it easier to distinguish between different drugs, and to ensure patients knew what to do with their prescriptions (shake liquid medicine, ingest pills with food, take their medication twice a day, etc.). The pharmacists of today – along with members of many other industries – still use labels for this purpose. Some of the information included on today’s labels includes the name of the brand and the company behind it, ingredients and nutritional information, warnings (regarding side effects and toxicity, for instance) and details that might make the product more enticing to customers (“fat-free,” “all-natural,” “vegan-friendly”).

Meeting Diverse Needs

Since the printers of the mid-1800s first began promoting different options, label design has taken off in a big way. Just look at Lightning Labels’ offerings as an example. We can manufacture vertical labels for wine bottles, horizontal labels for tubs of nutraceuticals, heat-proof labels for candles, waterproof labels for bath products and more. We even have a special material that has been formulated to meet the unique requirements of labels affixed to tubes of lip balm.

Attracting Attention

When consumers are standing in front of an entire shelf filled with the same product, how are they expected to choose one brand over another? Labels are the answer. If they’re fond of a particular brand, they can easily identify it by its label. If they’re looking for something organic, free range or low-fat, they’ll be drawn to the labels that tell them which products have these attributes. If they’re ambivalent about which brand to choose, a bright, eye-catching, well-designed label may well pique their interest and seal the deal.

Whatever your motivation for procuring labels, Lightning Labels’ state-of-the-art printing technology can provide you with affordable, full-color custom labels and stickers of all shapes and sizes.

Prepare for Mother’s Day with Custom Labels for Candles, Cosmetics and Beauty Products

Happy Mother's DayAre Your Product Labels Ready for Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day is less than a month away, so if you sell candles, cosmetics and beauty items, now is the time to kick off the process of decking out your product labels ahead of the big day.

More often than not, moms are the glue holding households together. They ferry their kids to school, play dates and sports games, hold down the fort at home and, as if this weren’t a full-time job in its own right, many even have their own careers on top of all that. There’s no doubt about it – moms are busy people. So, when Mother’s Day rolls around this May 10, the best gift families can give their matriarchs is relaxation.

Optimizing Your Custom Labels

If relaxation is the name of your marketing game for the second Sunday in May, be sure to integrate soothing colors into your custom labels. You can’t go wrong with pastel shades, especially soothing blues, tranquil greens, glowing pinks and sumptuous purples.

Did you know that purple is a traditionally regal color? Around this time of year, shoppers are looking for items to make their moms feel like queens, so a little purple can go a long way. For a splash of decadence, try using gold trim or silver highlights – but don’t go overboard, or else you may cross the line from tasteful and elegant to gaudy and over the top.

Bath Product and Candle Labels Should Hold Up Under Pressure – Just Like Mom

Keeping candles and bath products near the sink or the tub sounds great in terms of easy access, but as any mom knows, sometimes accidents can happen. A splash of water, an unplanned dunk, contact with bath oils or the extreme heat generated by hot wax shouldn’t ruin bath product or candle labels. That being said, if the wrong material is used, your carefully designed labels may very well get ruined. Don’t take the risk – make sure your labels are water- and heat-resistant by ordering them from Lightning Labels.

In addition to ensuring safety, Lightning Labels also offers high-quality, professional-looking custom stickers and labels than can stand up to major national brands’ packaging at a fraction of the cost. Catch consumers’ attention in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day without breaking the bank!

Stand Up to April Showers with Weather-Resistant Labels

Weather-Resistant LabelsDon’t Forget Waterproof Packaging When Designing and Ordering Labels

You might think that once you’ve locked down the information you want to include on a label and the format in which this will be presented, you’re good to go – but if you forget to consider the importance of waterproof packaging, you could be in for a soggy, unpleasant surprise down the road.

Especially at this time of year, the weather can be unpredictable, with the sun shining one day and the rain pouring down the next. After all, they’re not called “April showers” for nothing. Failing to take this aspect into account when designing labels could lead to quality issues that don’t exactly cast your company in a great light. Avoid inadvertently cultivating a reputation of being that enterprise with the delicate labels by making robust packaging choices.

Why Use Weather-Proof Labels?

Beyond the ability to stand up to April showers, weather-resistant labels are generally more durable, which widens the scope when it comes to storage options and use scenarios. When consumers see that a label is weather-resistant, they don’t only associate this moniker with the idea that the packaging will stand up to hot sun and pouring rain. Rather, they assume it will hold its own in a range of less than optimal conditions, whether these are directly caused by the weather or not. Consider water bottle labels as an example. You don’t see many paper water bottle labels in this day and age, and that’s for a good reason: Manufacturers understand that bottles get jammed into bags, held by sweaty hands, stored in cold places and more – in short, they need to be durable, which means standing up to heat, cold and moisture as well as being hard to tear or rip.

What to Expect From Lightning Labels’ Weather-Resistant Stickers

At Lightning Labels, we’ve made enough labels over the years to understand and accommodate the special requirement of weather-proofing. Our standard White BOPP polypropylene sticker is waterproof and durable, able to withstand everyday exposure to everything from torrents of rainwater to intense sunbeams. In other words, they’re not so much weather-proofed as April-proofed! Whatever this month brings in terms of weather, you can be confident that our labels will be up to the task of handling any conditions that come their way.

Earth Day is Coming – Do You Use Sustainable Stickers and Labels?

Sustainable Stickers and LabelsCelebrate Earth Day With Recyclable Stickers

Every year on April 22, people across the globe acknowledge Earth Day in a variety of ways, from planting trees to making sure the recyclable stickers affixed to the products they buy actually get recycled.

United States Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970 with the goal of making environmental protection part of the national political agenda. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created and two pivotal laws were passed: the Clean Air, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Over the past four decades, the movement has grown and evolved, spreading across the globe and taking new forms every year. In fact, according to EarthDay.org, it is the largest civic event in the world with more than 1 billion participants.

Do Your Part With Sustainable Packaging

You don’t have to be a senator to drive environmental change – in fact, you’d be surprised by the size of the impact that switching to sustainable packaging can have, even for a small company. Think about it: Every item you sell is branded with a label, sticker or some other kind of packaging, and all those materials can quickly pile up. Of course, you want your custom labels and stickers to be high-quality, professional-looking and durable for the duration of your products’ life span, but what about after that?

Why Use Recycled Labels?

The benefits of recycled labels go beyond helping to conserve the Earth’s resources. Today’s consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, so letting them know that sustainability is important to your company might attract green-minded shoppers to your brand.

“Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions,” Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability at Nielsen, asserted in a statement. “This behavior is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”

Indeed the Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility released last June revealed that more than half (55 percent) of online consumers are willing to pay more for goods if the companies from which they’re purchasing are committed to making a positive social and environmental impact.

Promote Community Gardens with Custom Labels and Stickers

Liquor Labeling TrendsGet the Word Out About Community Gardens Using Custom Stickers

Community gardens are advantageous to neighborhoods in a whole host of ways, so why not promote them with custom stickers?

According to the website for President Barack Obama’s nationwide service initiative United We Serve, the benefits of community gardens are numerous, and include:

  • Providing a place for families and individuals without gardens of their own to grow plants, flowers and produce.
  • Facilitating local access to fresh and nutritionally rich foods.
  • Offering members a chance to give back to their communities by donating what they grow to soup kitchens and food banks.
  • Giving green-thumbed individuals the opportunity to share their knowledge and bond with their neighbors.
  • Partnering with schools and after-school organizations to teach children about gardening and nutrition.

Event Promotion Can Help Take Community Gardens to the Next Level

Event promotion can be a great way to raise awareness of local initiatives, and community gardens are no exception in this regard. The events in question can be anything from tours of plots to dinner parties featuring dishes made with ingredients sourced from the garden – whatever the details, using custom stickers and labels to get the word out is a surefire way of increasing turnout. The more people who know about a community garden, the more are likely to get involved, so hosting and promoting events is an important way to bolster membership and local interest.

Take Advantage of Event Stickers from Lightning Labels

At Lightning Labels, we have extensive experience printing custom stickers and labels in just about any shape, size and material you can imagine. As well as helping with promotion, we also offer event stickers that can be used during occasions themselves. Say you’re planning to sell produce grown at a community garden for a good cause – professional and high-quality labeling can go a long way. Small operations like community gardens typically don’t have high budgets, which is where Lightning Labels’ custom sticker printing in small amounts comes in useful. If you only need a small number of stickers or want a selection of different designs, take advantage of our short-run roll stickers, which can be printed in small enough quantities to make them financially viable and help you avoid breaking the bank.

Demand For Nutrition Transparency Fuels New Alcohol Labeling

Liquor Labeling TrendsDiageo Move Drives Industry-Wide Rethink of Packaging Content, Branding

Consumers want transparency in their alcohol consumption, and we’re not talking about see-through bottles.

Responding to growing demands to know nutritional content of both food and beverage, the world’s largest distiller, Diageo, will begin showing nutritional information on Guinness stout, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin packaging, according to a Bloomberg News article published on washingtonpost.com in March.

That trend is likely to grow, putting beer, wine and hard liquor makers large and small on notice to ready themselves for packaging and labeling changes that will include nutritional content. Those that move quickly may capture a competitive edge, while companies lagging behind could start to see consumer support lag as well.

Niche brands such as beer microbrewers can use smaller scale to their advantage. Notes a March 2015 fortune.com article, “…it will likely take some time before labels will feature such information as it is a costly endeavor for such big brands to change the labels on their packaging.” In contrast, once they receive TTB label and packaging approval, small brands can print digital labels and packaging in as few as 1-2 days and be ready to roll out very quickly.

Branding and relabeling changes, however, may not all be about adopting the new standard. Until or unless regulatory authorities mandate such nutritional disclosures, some liquor producers may opt for the “counter-culture” approach with messaging and graphics proclaiming adherence to the basics (e.g., “our smoothness and taste speak for themselves-that’s all you need to know”).

While this sorts itself out, London-based Diageo, active in 180 countries, already has received US approval for product labels from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates alcohol. The Bloomberg article notes, “‘Consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass,’ the distiller’s chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said in an e-mailed statement. ‘We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information from which to make informed choices.’”

At this point, the TTB is making inclusion of nutritional information voluntary except for some existing narrowly defined requirements–unlike the Food and Drug Administration, which mandated nutritional listings decades ago.

No matter how liquor makers view it, change is afoot and companies need to be responsive and agile in every area from creative brainstorming and desirable messaging to new label and packaging printing. Many companies may experiment to see where the right messaging lies. For example, baby boomers on up will tend to be less motivated by nutritional disclosures, perhaps following the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy, while millennials generally will prefer more transparency and clarity.

Obviously, Diageo is betting that the latter mindset will prevail. The Fortune article notes, “Diageo, the world’s largest liquor company, has led the charge to change misconceptions about what exactly can be found in alcoholic beverages…it will begin adding nutritional information — including protein, fats, calories, and carbohydrates — to labels in the U.S., Diageo…has fought for such approval for more than a decade.”

No doubt, much of the rationale for Diageo’s strong support lies in health issues. According to a March vox.com report, “‘Many adults take in a tremendous amount of calories from alcohol, and they have no idea,’ says Sara Bleich, a public-health researcher at Johns Hopkins. She has found that the average American who drinks regularly takes in 400 calories daily from alcohol — not a huge surprise, given that average beer or glass of wine has about 150 calories.”

The Vox article adds, “[Bleich] and colleagues have previously found that the particular information on nutrition labels can have a dramatic impact when it comes to consumption of soda and other sugary drinks. Though she hasn’t yet looked at the potential impact of labeling alcohol specifically, she imagines the effect would be similar.

Regardless of how and when all this plays out, there’s no doubt that liquor labeling and packaging change is on its way. This well may be a dramatic case of early adopters gaining major competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Show Your Spring Sports Spirit with Team Stickers

Team StickersTrumpet Team Pride with Youth Sports Stickers

For kids who are participating in spring sports this year (that is, assuming the snow finally melts in certain regions of the country), showing off their baseball, soccer and lacrosse team spirit with youth sports stickers is almost as important to them as actually being on the team in the first place. Not only do they tend to emblazon their lockers, folders, cork boards and pretty much as many belongings as they can with the proud declaration that they’re part of the team, they’ll likely do their best to persuade Mom, Dad, and even aunts, uncles and cousins to display the stickers on each and every car they own.

What Makes Team Decals So Important?

Most kids – and adults, too – are eager to feel part of something bigger than themselves, and team decals are the perfect way to trumpet this sense of belonging to the world without having to say a single word. Joining spring sports teams is a great way to meet like-minded people, make new friends and get some exercise – all while developing a tight-knit, deeply exclusive community in the process. Spring sports teams come with so many positive associations, and given this, it makes sense that team members and their parents would be eager to flaunt their involvement all season long. What’s more, for parents who are watching their recreational activities budgets, team decals are a lot cheaper than matching T-shirts – and much less likely to fall victim to pasta sauce or chocolate stains.

Making Custom Decals User-Friendly is Key

Chances are that parents have had a bad experience or two related to scraping outdated decals off the surfaces upon which they were so triumphantly stuck just a few short months earlier. Luckily, Lightning Labels offers alternative materials with less aggressive adhesive. Our removable BOPP material and our ultra-removable window decal offer a superior alternative to the traditional static cling, so team decals will stay firmly attached to whatever smooth, non-porous surface they’re applied to for as long as you wish, and not a second longer. Once they’re removed, you’ll never know they were there, as they don’t ghost, stain or leave an unsightly residue.

After all, five years from now, you’re unlikely to get excited by the sight of the remnants of your kid’s sports team decal from spring 2015 on the rear window of your car. Now, however, you’re all about showing team spirit, and custom decals from Lightning Labels can help you do just that.