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.

Get Custom Lip Balm Labels for Every Flavor

Few products are as ubiquitous as lip balm.Offer Chapped Lip Relief and Promote Your Brand with Lip Balm Labels

Few products are as ubiquitous as lip balm, and this means companies that use lip balm labels as a promotional vehicle have the opportunity to reach a wide and varied audience. Think about it: Regardless of age, gender and other demographic factors, almost everybody can say they experience the annoyance of chapped lips once in a while. So, when they reach for the lip balm in their pockets, purses or desk drawers, why not deploy some well-crafted packaging to remind them that your company is out there and ready to serve their needs – just like that lip balm?

Custom Lip Balm Labels Clearly Deliver Your Message

If you’ve ever found a tube of lip balm in a crevice of your couch, the pocket of a rarely worn jacket or the center console of your car, you know that this small but important product can turn up virtually anywhere – and this means custom lip balm labels need to be sufficiently durable to hold up to wear and tear.

When you receive your shipment of lip balm stickers and labels, you’ll be surprised by the vibrant, crisp color produced by our digital printing presses, but you’ll probably question how long this initial high-quality appearance will last. Never fear – Lightning Labels understands the importance of using printing materials that will stand up to everyday use and exposure to elements such as water, oils and sunlight. In fact, we use a unique material for lip balm labels that has been formulated to meet the special needs of these products’ packaging. Whether you select a rich, bright palate or soft, soothing colors, rest assured that our labels will preserve your company’s message.

Our Make-Up Labels Echo Our Quality Lip Balm Packaging

Of course, lip balm isn’t the only product for which Lightning Labels provides make-up labels. We have a selection of hundreds of label sizes and shapes from which to choose, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, we also offer the ability to custom-order labels to fit your bath and body care product containers perfectly. Whether your enterprise sells soap, lotion, cosmetics or is focused on another facet of the bath and body field, our professional-quality custom labels and stickers will help your offerings stand out from those of your competitors.

If label durability is a concern of yours, allow Lightning Labels to put your worries to rest. Every month, we print hundreds of thousands of labels, many of which must be durable enough for their quality to remain uncompromised by factors like extreme heat or a plunge in the tub. See for yourself by requesting free label material samples before you commit to making an order. We’re so confident in the caliber of our products that we guarantee 100 percent satisfaction on every order, every time.

How Can Labels Convey Brand Message?

If designed effectively, branded labels should serve several purposes.Product Labels: A Central Part of Your Brand

When it comes down to it, there are two main reasons behind adding product labels to items – to help shoppers identify goods and to impart important information about ingredients. That being said, this is by no means labels’ only use. In a sense, they act as mini billboards for a brand, whether they’re wrapped around beer and wine bottles, emblazoned across nutraceutical product packaging or stuck on bars of soap.

Beginning to think of stickers and labels as a promotional tool as well as a way to get across details of what products contain can change the entire perspective of a company. If leveraged effectively, packaging can become an extension of a brand in its own right. If a company fails to acknowledge and misses the chance to reinforce its brand message, however, a powerful marketing opportunity is lost.

The Dual Purposes of Custom Labels

At their core, custom labels serve two purposes, depending on the familiarity and stature of the brand.

  • A relatively unknown enterprise that’s new, small or simply not well-known can use custom labels to make its products stand out from everything else on store shelves. Even businesses on a budget can benefit from Lightning Labels’ good-quality, high-definition, vibrant labels.
  • For a more established brand, custom labels facilitate instant recognition for customers who either already know what they’re looking for or are familiar with the company’s good reputation and decide to give its products a try.

The Power of Branded Labels

If designed effectively, branded labels should answer the following two questions:

  • What attributes distinguish the company from its competitors, i.e. why should consumers choose this particular enterprise over any of the others that are out there?
  • How are the business’ products different from – and better than – those offered by its rivals, i.e. what is their unique value and what makes them stand out from the crowd?

For instance, consider the example of an enterprise that has been around for more than a century. It makes sense for a company like this to focus its brand message around the general idea that it’s been doing what it does for years and knows its industry better than any other organization out there. In this scenario, there’s the implication that the business has gone through a process of trial and error, perfected its approach over time and, as a result, produces goods of a higher caliber than its younger and less seasoned competitors. The notion seems straightforward enough, but how can the company translate this to its labeling? Faux-parchment labels are a great way to emphasize age – and all without requiring the consumer to read a single word. That being said, of course, prominently displaying the year in which the enterprise was founded doesn’t hurt either.

Celebrate Easter with Seasonal Candy and Chocolate Labels

seasonal-candy-and-chocolate-labelsWhy Jazz Up Food Labels for Easter?

For many Americans, Easter Sunday simply wouldn’t be complete without the candy and chocolate that have become a well-loved part of the holiday, which represents a stellar opportunity for confectionery companies to revamp their food labels – and, indeed, their products themselves.

Whether your enterprise is planning to replace its regular candy and chocolate with bunny-, chick- and egg-shaped equivalents or is simply looking to position its offerings as the perfect Easter egg stuffer, product labels are crucial at this time of year. Many of your competitors will be switching up their packaging for Easter, so if you stick to the same old design, your wares will likely get overlooked.

Add Pizzazz to Package Labels and Reap the Seasonal Rewards

How important are eye-catching seasonal package labels? According to the National Retail Federation’s recently released Easter Spending Survey, an overwhelming majority of people who are planning to celebrate Easter this year anticipate buying candy (nine in 10, or 89.3 percent, of the more than 6,300 consumers who took part in the poll). The NRF projects that more than $2.2 billion will be spent on sweet seasonal treats in 2015.

“Americans are eager to dip their toes in the fresh green grass this Easter and celebrate the day with friends and family,” commented Pam Goodfellow, director of Prosper Insights and Analytics, the research firm that partnered with the NRF to conduct the study.
With $2.2 billion up for grabs among confectionery companies, the more vibrant and attention-grabbing your product labels, the better.

Show Your Company is Eager for Easter with Custom Labels

You might think that in order to take your custom labels to the next level and truly pique the interest of Easter shoppers, you’ll need to sink a significant amount of money into a revamp. However, if you partner with Lightning Labels, you can expect the high quality and vibrant, crisp colors you’re looking for without the hefty price tag you might expect, thanks to our state-of-the-art label printing technology. After all, just because you aren’t a major national brand, that doesn’t mean your Easter candy or chocolate should be packaged any less professionally.

See the quality of our custom labels and stickers for yourself by requesting a sample of our label materials. Once you place your order, you can get a free printed press proof or emailed PDF files – we want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting before you finalize your transaction with us.

With Easter just a few days away, you might think it’s too late to place an order, but Lightning Labels is more than just a name – it’s a description. Following press approval, you can expect a turnaround time of two to three business days, allowing you to get your products out there in time for the big day.

Make Sure Your Candle Labels Hold Up to Heat

candle-labels."Acknowledging the Importance of Heatproof Labels

When it comes to packaging, some types of items come with pretty standard requirements – most food products, for example – whereas others have more specific needs, such as waterproof or heatproof labels.

For instance, bath and body product labels need to be able to withstand contact with water and oils, while the stickers on candles must hold up to heat and be flame-resistant. As well as fulfilling practical concerns, custom labels and stickers need to be vibrant and high-quality in order to catch the attention of consumers.

Strike a Balance with Custom Candle Labels

As far as custom candle labels are concerned, enterprises that focus solely on the aesthetic aspect or safety considerations will likely miss the mark. The key is to find a balance between making labels attractive and functional. After all, a beautifully designed candle sticker that isn’t wax- or heat-resistant could crash and burn – literally. By the same token, a fire-resistant label that lacks the “wow” factor required to pique shoppers’ interest is unlikely to help a company become competitive within the candle marketplace, so the product’s sales might go down in flames.

Lightning Labels Understands Candle Labels’ Unique Requirements

Lightning Labels routinely provides candle labels for customers, so we can help you create the perfect design for your product while simultaneously ensuring the labels are safe, flame-resistant and able to withstand extreme heat. Our offerings are full-color and high-quality, which you can see for yourself by requesting some product samples before placing your order. Don’t choose between design and safety – get both when you let Lightning Labels handle your candle stickers and labels.

Keep Your Branding Process Nimble: A Hard Lesson From the E-cig Industry

branding-process-e-cig.

For many organizations, branding and rebranding can be addressed in deliberate fashion over a period of months. But what happens when circumstances—such as unexpected passage of emergency legislation—force a very quick and unplanned turnaround?

Just such an event is now happening in the electronic cigarette (e-cig) industry, where young children across the country have ingested the liquid nicotine used in e-cigs. In addition to repeated calls for child-proof packaging from a growing number of states, the federal government also is weighing in on the dilemma.

The challenge doesn’t stop there. Many nicotine liquids are candy or fruit flavored and come in colorful packages that appeal to children. They also carry such names as Peppermint Patty, Bubble Gum and Caramel Surprise. So, along with childproofing, e-cig companies now face rebranding challenges to make the products less attractive to kids while continuing to draw adult buyer interest.

Right about now, you may be wondering how this could possibly apply to you. Well, in our lightning-fast-changing world, no one can know for sure if or when their brand may come under attack. For example, it’s highly unlikely that the makers of pet food saw the specter of tainted ingredients that wound up harming and killing many animals.

But, the time to face the potential need for rapidly changing branding, including labels and packaging, is long before anything occurs. Just as companies increasingly have reputation management crisis plans in place to address future negative reports and reviews, look at how a rapid rebranding process could unfold. Among the areas to address:

1. Fast-track team assembly/responsibilities. Determine what team members will oversee the effort. Establish pertinent task lists, deadlines, budget and how revisions and approvals will be fast-tracked.

2. Concept creation. Assign the appropriate team members to oversee the big picture of the rebranding effort. (It might even be useful to do some brainstorming sooner than later about what ideas could be in play for this effort, providing a jump start of sorts.)

3. Design and content development. Decide if/how to use in-house and/or contracted services to create what’s needed quickly. If time permits, consider holding a crowdsourcing competition to get outside ideas/input into the process—and perhaps get some positive social and mainstream media coverage at the same time.

4. Make sure that all printing and packaging systems can rapidly deploy. Digital label printing can provide the best option for quick turnaround (can be ready to ship in 1-2 days from receipt of approved artwork),offers cost-effective pricing in any quantity up to 10,000, and delivers quality comparable to or better than other forms of printing.

In today’s dynamic marketplace where social media-fueled comments and reports can spread literally like wildfire in a matter of minutes, it’s important to get and stay way ahead of the game—even if you think you’re immune from emergent problems. You never know for sure.

Car Window Decals Help Promote Your Company on the Go

Our custom window stickers and labels will always stay in place and come off cleanly.Custom Car Stickers: Subtle, Yet Effective

Hiring people to become walking billboards can be a great way to improve your brand’s visibility, but what if it doesn’t quite fit with your company’s style or simply exceeds your budget? Custom car stickers are a more subtle – yet just as effective – approach to on-the-go marketing. No matter whether vehicles are on the move, parked somewhere public while their owners are out and about or sitting back home in motorists’ driveways, the decals affixed to them promote your enterprise in a highly visible way. What’s more, this type of promotion has the potential to reach a lot of people but comes at a fraction of the cost of other methods of doing so, such as paying for a billboard or chartering a blimp.

Why Use Custom Decals?

Custom decals for vehicles are a great marketing tool because it’s hard for other people NOT to look at them. Think about it: If you’re driving behind a car that’s sporting a promotional sticker on its back window, you’ll probably give the decal at least a cursory glance. Moreover, if you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for a light to change, chances are you’ll probably take the time to study the sticker in greater detail. Let’s face it, it’s probably a lot more interesting than the mundane trees, road signs and other vehicles that surround you.

Get Superior Window Stickers from Lightning Labels

Window stickers of all kinds can look great for a little while after you affix them to your car, but sub-standard types may quickly begin to peel off – and, even worse, they sometimes leave behind a sticky residue that’s unsightly and hard to get rid of. Annoying blemishes and low quality are hardly things you want your company to be associated with, which is where Lightning Labels comes in.

Our custom window stickers and labels may feel the same as the familiar, traditional static cling variety, but they will always stay in place and come off cleanly when you remove them thanks to their ultra-removable adhesive. Moreover, it’s possible to reposition them or add them to an entirely new vehicle without trouble, provided you apply them to a smooth, non-porous surface. Remember, these decals are for windows, so they should not be applied to the body of the vehicle.

Launching a New Product? Ask These 4 Custom Label Design Questions

New product launch label design. The Importance of Label Design

Launching a new product is a huge undertaking that involves everything from putting together a comprehensive marketing strategy to zeroing in on the perfect label design. Although there are a lot of different moving parts that must be synchronized to ensure a successful product launch, creating custom labels and stickers is arguably one of the most important components. At the end of the day, even though the old adage warns against judging a book by its cover, we all know that people tend to do this – and the same is true of consumers browsing products. With this in mind, it’s critical for product labels to be the best they can be.

Things to Ask When Designing Custom Labels

When you’re staring at a blank screen, it can be daunting to figure out how to begin designing the custom labels for your new product. Asking the following questions is a good place to start.

1. What do you need to include on the label?
Product labels must include elements such as the brand’s logo, your company’s name and address, a list of ingredients, nutritional information and more.

2. What color scheme is suitable?
You might already have a set color scheme that ties all your products together, but if not, think long and hard about aspects like the psychology of color and which hues will clash with your brand’s logo.

3. What shape should the label be?
If you’re designing the packaging for a wine bottle, a label with a height that considerably exceeds its width will make the most sense. In contrast, for something like a candle, you’ll want the label to be wider than it is tall.

4. Does the label need to meet any special requirements?
Referring back to the example of a candle, it stands to reason that the stickers and labels adorning such a product should be flame-resistant and able to withstand extreme heat. Similarly, bath and body product labels must hold their own when exposed to water and oils.

Turning Your Ideas for Product Labels into Reality

After you’ve answered the questions above and the relevant people have signed off on your vision, it’s time to bring those hypothetical product labels into the real world. Lightning Labels can take your design and turn it around in as little as 48 hours.

Refresh Your Product Labels with Vibrant Spring Colors

Vibrant Spring Product Labels.Spring into Spring with Bright Labels

After a long, cold winter, the first signs of spring come as a blessed reminder that the dreariness of the previous season won’t last forever – and you can harness this sense of joy by revamping your product packaging with bright labels that rival the vibrancy of the newly budding flowers. But what if your part of the world is still experiencing the depths of winter? In this case, bright labels will act as a positive reminder of what’s to come once the snow melts.

Especially when it comes to this time of year, it’s safe to assume that the brighter the label, the more attracted consumers will be to it. After all, colors that pop should prove to be a welcome respite from the grays and whites that dominated the outdoor landscape during the winter season.

Make the Most of Colored Labels

When you’re infusing a splash of vibrancy into your colored labels, quality is imperative. Make sure the colors don’t look washed out, clash with each other or inadvertently obscure important elements such as your company’s logo or nutritional information. If you fail to take these aspects into consideration, your goal of attracting consumers to your product like hummingbirds to a flower will likely fall flat.

That being said, if you order high-quality stickers and labels from Lightning Labels, you won’t have to worry. Our high-resolution digital label printing ensures the finished product is as bright in person as it looked on the digital proof. Additionally, if you’re concerned about fitting in large amounts of text, rest assured that our small type is still easily readable.

Enjoy a Quick Turnaround on Your Product Labels

Today is the first day of spring, so time is of the essence when it comes to getting your seasonal product labels ordered and mailed out to your business. Luckily, Lightning Labels is well-named: Following press approval, we offer a two- to three-day turnaround period for the vast majority of orders. If you’re putting an emphasis on crispness and vibrancy at this time of year, you’ll be glad to know that there are no added fees for unlimited color, as well as no setup fees or plate fees. Spring into spring with Lightning Labels and make sure your product packaging is popping.