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ImageTek Labels to Attend NOFA – VT Winter Conference

The Northeast Vermont Winter Conference Slated for February 14 & 15, 2015

ImageTek Labels is excited to announce their upcoming attendance at the 33rd NOFA- Northeast OrganicNOFA Vermont Farmers Association of VT Winter Conference. The three day event, “Growing the Good Food Movement” put on by the Non-Profit Association of Farmers, invites organic food producers, farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and food enthusiasts to network and expand on ideas that are taking place nationally around economically viable and ecologically sound food systems. The philosophy behind both the organization and exposition revolves around benefiting current and future generations through organic farming and natural food alternatives.

This year’s conference theme will be demonstrated throughout the various events, workshops and lessons.  This event features a photo exhibit titled “The Golden Cage”, as well as featured film and keynote speaker Natasha Bowens, who will present “The Color of Food: Photography & Storytelling from Farmers of Color.” The event will conclude with Sunday’s poetry and story slam.  For more information about NOFA’a Winter Conference such as the weekend itinerary or featured workshops you can visit nofavt.org.

About NOFA – VT NOFA Vermont was founded in Putney in 1971, making it one of the oldest organic farming associations in the United States. Today, they are proud to have over 13,300 members throughout the state and to certify over 580 farms and processors to the USDA National Organic Program Standards. The organizations aims towards increasing the acreage of certified organic land in Vermont while also increasing the access of local organic food to all Vermonters. All of their programs strive to meet these goals, whether it involves working with schools to bring local foods into the cafeteria or providing business planning services to farmers to ensure their businesses stay viable.

VT GMO Labeling Rules Filed – Comment Period Opens

VT GMO & Your Right to Know

The Vermont Attorney General’s office filed proposed regulations to implement Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law yesterday with the Secretary of State’s office.

VT GMO Labels

The new regulations will create new requirements of food producers, distributors and retailers, both for labeling on impacted products and new record keeping requirements.  It provides specifics for implementing (1) the labeling requirements for food produced with genetic engineering, (2) the prohibition on using certain terms to describe foods produced with genetic engineering and the exemptions from both the labeling requirement and prohibition. Additionally, it clarifies certain terms in the law and further outlines the enforcement and penalty provisions.

According to the economic impact statement from the AG’s office, the rule, itself, does not impose any increased costs beyond those imposed by Act 120. Food producers, distributors and retailers may incur costs associated with compliance of Act 120 under the proposed rule, including the costs for updating food labels or finding alternative ingredient sources.  These costs include the updating of food packaging, as well as, the time and resources involved in sourcing alternative ingredients. 

The rules require retailers to label bulk or processed fruits and vegetables that are or may be derived from genetically modified seed, bulk foods, certain deli items, such as salads, in-store bakery items and other products that a retailer may package.

Proposed regulations

Public Hearing

January 20, 2015, 5:00 pm

State House, Room 11

115 State Street

Montpelier, VT

 

Public Comments close January 28, 2015

Todd Daloz

Office of the Attorney General

109 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05609

todd.daloz@state.vt.us

 

Article provided by the VT Retail & Grocers Association 

E-Cigarette and E-Vapor Labeling

E-Cigarette and E-Vapors Face Their Own Unique Challenges

In recent years e-cigarettes and e-vapors, more commonly referred to as e-cigs or vapes, have become increasingly more popular. Thought to be a healthier alternative to tobacco, people are using e-cigs and other vapor based inhalants in place of tobacco based products. This new market has grown considerably in the last few years, being introduced in 2007.

E-Cigarette and E-Vapor Labeling

Photo Provided by TwinVape™

E-cigarettes are available in a variety of flavors, both with and without nicotine. Both e-cigs and the vapor refills are sold in their own proprietary packaging. Producers share their own unique challenges when labeling these items, with many brands available on the market producers are required to introduce new flavors often as a means of staying competitive.

The FDA and E-Cigarettes

To date, the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) has regulated e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco for therapeutic purposes. E-Liquids, vapors (or vapes) have yet to be regulated. Given that studies are still being done to determine e-liquid and vapor products, label regulations have not yet been made mandatory. It is important for producers to stay informed about emerging standards of compliance as these products receive more attention, as label regulations are expected to change often and without warning. To learn more about e-cigs and the FDA’s plans for future regulation, please visit the www.fda.org.

 

E-Cigarettes and E-Vapor Labels Should be Printed Digitally

Like any product, producers must find the fastest, most cost-effective way to produce a quality, no-fail label; E-cigs and E-Vaps are no different. In fact, packaging containing these liquids may face exposure to varying environments, more so than most other product packaging.  Hot sun, freezing temperatures, water, moisture and humidity are common elements and chances are your e-cigarettes and e-vap labels will come in contact with some of these elements throughout the course of the product’s lifecycle. Choosing the right material ensures your product label remains intact and is easy to read.

 

Label E-Cig and E-Vapor Bottles in a few Simple Steps

1.) Be sure to source a weatherproof material that is receptive to durable ink and won’t fade or smudge when exposed to moisture or humidity. When a label gets wet, it can cause the ink to smudge, fade or drip from the label. Even worse, the label can breakdown completely. A durable weatherproof label material ensures your label remains intact if the label is exposed to water or moisture.

2.) Adhesive is important. As important as finding the right label material can be, adhesive is also a big consideration in choosing the right label media. The bottles that e-liquids are stored in come in all shapes and sizes. Generally, these bottles are smooth with a low surface energy. Certain adhesives are created for this type of packaging and ensure the label won’t lift or peel after application. Also, make sure to label your bottle before filling them with e-liquid. The liquid might compromise the label adhesive if they come in contact prior to labeling. You will want a smooth, dry surface to apply the labels to.

3.) Make sure to choose a digital label printer. Most e-liquid and e-vape companies offer a variety of flavors and each flavor needs it’s own unique label. Traditional printing, that requires plates and tooling, requires a significant investment by the producer for the tooling required to flexo print labels. Digital printing not only saves you on tooling but also offers you a full range of brilliant color & specialty shapes.

For more information about labeling e-cigarettes and e-vape products, please contact ImageTek Labels at (802) 885-6208 or email sales@imagetekdigitallabels.com

A New Label Look for a New Year

With a new year fast approaching it’s the perfect time to think about your custom label improvements for 2015. A lot of changes New Label Look happen over the course of a year. Your products need to evolve to remain at the forefront and stay competitive. New labels are the perfect way to rejuvenate your brand and the look of your product.

The New Year is a time for resolutions. Consumers are becoming more health conscience and searching for products that are environmentally friendly. Why not position your custom labels to meet the demands of your target audience and offer solutions that speak to their healthy lifestyle resolutions.

Three Ways to Update Your Labels for The New Year:

1.) Source Environmentally Friendly Labels and Brag About It.

More and more consumers are looking for ways to purchase the greenest products available. Whether chemical free products, or biodegradable packaging, using more earth friendly solutions will appeal to an entirely new audience and give your company something to talk about.  Business owners no longer have to trade quality or profits to find the right eco-friendly label solutions. Ask your label supplier to send you samples of their environmentally conscious materials and test them out. Chances are you may find an alternative that enhances your business model and brand identity.

2.) Play with Colors and Graphics to Make Your Labels ‘POP”

It takes longer to get a customers attention than it does to lose it. That’s right. You can actually train your customers not to see you! Using stale imagery, neutral color palettes and failing to adjust your design to the times can make that same fantastic product virtually invisible. Until recent digital print technologies, business owners would use the same design year after year because even the most minimal changes could be expensive and risky. Today, digital printing allows the same companies to try out a new look, variable designs and boast an array of crisp, vibrant color for no additional cost. These new print capabilities make it easy for companies to freshen up their age-old design, keeping their customers engaged and interested.

3.) Label Your Products with Descriptive Words That Align with Consumer Trends

The New Year is a time for change. This is the perfect opportunity to rethink your label design and speak directly to the solutions your customers seek.  Are your labels easy to read? Do they feature words like new or improved? Or, do they feature too much jargon that seems more like hype than it does describe the benefits of your product?  Revaluate the look of your labels, rally small focus groups for feedback and to test-run new ideas. Make sure your labels are speaking your consumer’s language. By evaluating your label design you will stay in-line with consumer trends and influence your customers buying decisions,

For more information or to receive materials for testing please contact sales@imageteklabels.com

 

 

 

 

Health Food Labels Help Consumers Make Better Buying Decisions

Health Food Labeling is All the Buzz

 

As Non-GMO labeling debates line the airwaves,  cultural norms take a massive shift towards more natural food alternatives.  Consumers are reading health food labels now, more than ever before and food producers find themselves having to redesign their labels and packaging in an effort to keep their products relevant and stand out on grocery store shelves.health food labels and fda nutrition content

Recent studies show an shift in consumers purchasing trends, with more and more people making buying decisions based on the ‘healthfulness’ of a product rather than price and taste alone. In addition to these buying trends, many consumers find themselves shopping at specialty health food stores in an attempt to introduce themselves to more mindful products and a wider variety of health food options. So what does that mean for the food producers?

That is a question that has raised a lot of attention from not only food producers, but also health food retail buyers and the Food & Drug Administration labeling guidelines department. With more products making nutritional value claims, using labeling terms like Fat-Free, Light and All Natural, the label guru’s at the FDA realize that not all these claims do in-fact mean healthier food alternatives.

 

Health Food Label Guidelines and The FDA

 

In short, the Food & Drug Administration is looking for ways to tighten the health food compliance guidelines and differentiate health options from those masking themselves as mindful choices when they are in fact loaded with sugar and byproducts.

While it is important for producers to understand what types of health food factors influence buying decisions, it is imperative that they also understand what constitutes a valid health food claim and how to properly label their products. By doing so, not only are health food producers better able to design labels that help them sell their products but they are able to identify fraudulent products that might be intruding on their market share. In the long run, the more producers know and understand health food labeling guidelines, the easier it will be to communicate superior products to a health conscience audience.

 

Health Food Content Label Claims

 

Health food content label claims are made all the time. By simply opening your fridge, you are likely to find items claiming to be fat-free,fat free label claims low in sodium, or light. Unfortunately, consumers are learning that those claims don’t always mean a more healthy food product. Any item that is made by process, i.e.; engineered to alter the core ingredients of a whole food can only claim their products are ‘free’, ‘low’ or ‘without benefit of special processing, alteration, formulation or reformulation’; e.g., “broccoli, a fat-free food” or “celery, a low calorie food”. If the core whole food ingredient is not considered ‘fat-free’, or ‘low in sodium’, than the engineered byproduct through manufacture is not authorized to make the claim.

 

Health Food Nutrient Label Claims

 

Never mind content claims, what about nutritional value claims? How many times have you seen health food products that claim to cure you from certain ailments or prevent you from getting certain diseases by simple consumption of the product? The FDA has cracked down on these nutritional labels claims, mandating that health food labels use words like “may, could or might” on their labels to avoid giving the impression that their products alone are capable of overall better health or disease prevention.

An example of this would be a carton of milk. Not long ago consumers would see labels that claimed milk would “prevent osteoporosis” and “ensure strong bones”. Today, the same milk producers have traded in these broad label claims for more model statements like “adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet” and “may reduce the risk of osteoporosis”.

 

For other examples or to learn more about health food labeling and FDA guidelines visit www.fda.gov. For questions related to health food labeling contact ImageTek Labels at sales@imageteklabels.com or by call (866) 403-5223.  You may request a white page on FDA labeling guidelines by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NHGA Fall Conference

The NHGA Fall Conference & Exhibition 

The New Hampshire Grocers Association (NHGA) Fall Conference is the organizations biggest event of the year and only a few short weeks away.  Held at The Executive Courthouse Facility in Manchester, N.H., the expo brings together suppliers from all over New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The exposition allows NHGA members to get their products in front of an exclusive audience of retail buyers and business owners who are looking for new products to add to their line of inventory in locations throughout New Hampshire. NHGA Fall Conference & Expo

The NHGA Expo includes a variety of related seminars, with speakers who represent the best-of-the best in New Hampshire’s retail food industry. These seminars will address topics related to productivity, business planning, operations and best-practice with the goal of helping food producers increase revenues and further advance their business.

Event exhibition is exclusive to NHGA member-suppliers. Retail & distributor affiliates are welcome to attend and will receive free admission with pre-registration. For those wishing to attend, sponsor or advertise at the upcoming expo, here’s a few helpful links.

Download Registration Form

Download Exhibitor, Sponsor & Advertising Form

The NHGA Exposition Connects Food Producers and Retail Buyers

ImageTek Labels is especially excited for the fall exposition. The Annual NHGA Fall Exposition allows us the opportunity to connect with many of our customers and friends, attend relevant seminars and network with food retail experts who play an important role in consumer trends and distribution.

For those attending the expo, ImageTek Labels would be happy to bring you material and printed label samples. Please contact our customer representatives to discuss your labeling needs or submit your artwork to us for production by Friday, October 17th and we will print your samples and deliver them to you at the event.

 

Labeling Seasonal Beer and Malt Beverages

Seasonal Beer and Malt Beverage Labels have Specific Requirements.

Beer and malt beverage labels are a fundamental element in packaging your product for consumers. A malt beverage, as defined by Federal alcohol labeling requirements, is any product made at a brewery with malted barley and hops. Beer is the primary malt beverage. However, malt beverages do include both alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic products.  In order for consumers to understand the ingredients and nutritional values of these beverages, beer and malt beverage labels are required on all consumer products.

ImageTek Labels has designed the guide below, to help you understand what information must be present on your beer & malt beverage label. The guidelines dictating what information must be displayed on malt beverage labels have been established by  The U.S. Department of Alcohol and Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau, also known as the TTB.  The regulations set forth by the TTB, were designed to help consumers make more informed choices when buying beer and malt beverages. ImageTek cannot suggest label-printing alternatives, we are simply here to help you meet TTB labeling requirements and assist you with design and/or label printing. For more information about beer and malt beverage labeling please contact your state alcohol beverage authority.

Beer and Malt Beverage Labels Must Meet the Following Criteria:

A.) DRAFT/DRAUGHT

The presence of “DRAFT/DRAUGHT” on a label generally means that the product has not been pasteurized and some other method of removing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria has been utilized. However, pasteurized beer may be described as “Draft Brewed” or “Draft Beer Flavor” as long as the beer or malt beverage label discloses that the beer is pasteurized. The term may also be used if the beer is packaged in containers of one gallon or larger and the contents are to be drawn off through a tap, spigot, faucet, or similar device.

B.) BRAND NAME

The brand name is used to identify and market a beer or malt beverage. A brand name may not mislead the consumer about the age, identity, origin, or other characteristics of the malt beverage.

C.) NAME AND ADDRESS

The name and address of the bottler or importer must appear on the brand label. However, the address of the bottler’s principal place of business may be used instead of the actual location where the bottling took place. It is also permissible for a bottler/importer to use a duly authorized trade name in place of its usual operating name.

D.) CLASS DESIGNATION

The brand label of a beer or malt beverage must contain the class designation of the product. Examples of class designations are beer, ale and lager. Ale, stout, and porter are classes that must be fermented at a comparatively high temperature. Products labeled “Wheat Beer” must be made from a fermentable base that consists of at least 25% by weight malted wheat.

When a beer or malt beverage is made with the addition of spices, fruit, honey, or natural flavors, it requires specific labeling to indicate the class of designation. These malt beverages must be labeled with a statement of composition that reflects the base malt product and the added ingredients, unless otherwise known to the trade under a particular designation. Examples of statements of composition that you might see on malt beverage labels include “Premium malt beverage with natural flavors,” “Ale fermented with spices,” or “Belgian-style Wheat Ale brewed with natural flavors.” These products must also bear a distinctive or fanciful name (such as Tammy’s Treat”). A malt beverage must derive at least 51% of its alcohol content from the fermentation of brewing ingredients, with stricter limits for products with an alcohol content of more than 6 percent alcohol by volume.

E.) ALCOHOL CONTENT

An optional statement of alcohol content expressed in percent by volume may appear on the label. Federal regulations require the alcohol content to appear on the labels of flavored malt beverages that derive alcohol from added flavors. However, some State laws have their own requirements with regard to alcohol content statements.

LITE/LIGHT/LOW-CARB

A malt beverage may be labeled with a caloric representation (such as “Light” or “Lite”) as long as a statement of average analysis appears on the label. This statement must include the amount per serving of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. In addition, a malt beverage may be labeled as “Low-Carbohydrate” if the label includes a statement of average analysis and the product contains no more than 7 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving.

F.) NET CONTENTS

The net content of a malt beverage container must be stated in English units of measure (e.g., pints, fluid ounces).

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Pursuant to regulations issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a Country of Origin statement is required on containers of imported malt beverages. Acceptable statements include “Product of (insert name of country)” or “Produced/Brewed in (insert name of country).”

G.) HEALTH AND WARNING STATEMENT

By law, this statement is required on all alcoholic beverages containing 0.5% or more alcohol by volume.

 

 

Burning Mouth Festival 2014

Join Us for The Burning Mouth Festival™ on The Quechee Village Green in Quechee, Vermont from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for All Things Hot & Spicy!

Burning Mouth Festival

The 2nd Annual Burning Mouth Festival™ is ready to turn up the heat once again on Saturday, September 27, 2014! Join ImageTek Labels, Fiddlehead Brewery and dozens of local food producers on The Green in Quechee, Vermont to celebrate All Things Hot Spicy!

This event originated in California, where The Chiligods, otherwise known as the Sultans of Sauce, began the Burning Mouth tradition. The festival is host to great food, local craft beer, and live music. This good of a time was sure to spread like wildfire and it’s headed this way once again!

Don’t miss out on The Spice Stand-Off, raffles, games and giveaways! The Burning Mouth Festival is a great time for the whole family with not-so spicy creations available for food lovers of all ages! The event is also host to local crafters ready to send you home with a souvenir.

The best part is, it’s all for a good cause. This year’s event will benefit the Williams Syndrome Association. Williams Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States. This disability is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning disabilities.  These symptoms occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. For more information about WMS click here and to show your support, come to Burning Mouth Festival! 100% of net proceeds will be donated to Williams Syndrome Association in an effort to support the lives of those living with his disorder and well as enrich the lives of their families.

The festivities begin at 11:00 a.m. and go all day, with gates closing at 6:00 p.m.

Admissions are only $6.00 for attendees ages 13+, and kids 12 and under are FREE! Tickets are sold at the gate same day.

2014 Festival vendors include local food producers like Benito’s Hot Sauce, Vermont Fresh Pasta. Squeals on Wheels, and many more!  We look forward to another great event during the most beautiful season in Vermont and we look forward to seeing you there!

 

Short Run, Variable Label Printing for Seasonal Products

Short Run Digital Labels Make Variable Designs More Cost Effective

Though smack dab in the middle of the summer months, ImageTek Labels is thinking fall, and gearing up for one of our busiest seasons! When autumn arrives, so doesn’t the demand for variable labels to place on seasonal packaging and specialty products. In times like these, we need to stay on our toes and make sure our customer’s orders are met with speed and efficiency, not to mention a great looking label!Short Run Variable Labels

To make sure we are one step ahead of your labeling needs, we offer a short list of things to think about while your planning your seasonal label orders and short run product designs.

1.)  Design a new look, not a new brand. That’s right, step one in producing a new label is to make sure the size, and shape and materials fall in line with your current brand identity. Short run labels work well when all of these factors work together. A new design can go a long way, but remember to keep the size, shape and most striking identification consistent. By doing this, you reinforce your brand to consumers, make your products easily identifiable on the store shelves and support your products personality. By changing up your label design, you can introduce colors, textures and other elements that give your product renewed shelf appeal, while maintaining the look and feel that your consumers know and love.

2.)  Variable, short run labels save you time, and money. Beer bottle labels are the perfect example of variable, short run labels. Think about your favorite malt beverage, have you noticed the label is almost always the same size, and shape, though the design may be totally different? Digital printing offers the ability to run all your labels in one pass, and print different versions of your labels at the same time. Better yet, you won’t have to pay hefty plate, tooling or color charges which will open you up to design options that traditional printing makes far less cost effective.

3.)  Know your seasonal sales volume and plan accordingly. For start up’s this can be a tough one but working with ImageTek to digitally print your seasonal labels makes it a whole lot easier! Short run label orders start at only 100 labels. While past print methods would deter specialty food producers form introducing new products, due to the high costs associated with manufacturing smaller batches, newer print technologies have made it easier and more cost effective for producers to introduce new products to market. By printing short runs of variable label designs, you can test the popularity of new product designs, without breaking the bank. Autumn is a great time to sample new flavors and design new labels for market testing. When short run labels are simple and speedy, there’s no reason to miss opportunities for increased sales and possibly, your next best product!

ImageTek Labels prides itself in top-notch customer service and quick turnaround. When you do business with ImageTek Labels, you know your product will be printed professionally on high quality media, be delivered on time and meet your every expectation. In turn, your finished products will impress consumers and give your products an identity that will help you grow your business. For more information about variable design labels and how you can print seasonal labels for specialty flavors and products, call ImageTek Labels today and our sales professionals will walk you through the process.

Homemade Bakery Products Labels and Cottage Food Label Laws

Homemade Bakery Product Labels Must be Properly Designed & Labeled.

Home Producers are sprouting up all over the United States, due to Cottage Food Laws, a law allowing low-risk bakery products to be manufactured in domestic homes, for consumption and distribution to the general marketplace.  Many of the products you see at Farmer’s Markets are a direct result of Cottage Food Laws, and without these laws in place, producers would not be able to produce baked good at home and sell to a national audience.

However, it is not as simple as baking up tasty treats and putting a price on them; these baked good must be labeled correctly, to include Homemade Bakery Product Labelsingredients, weight by volume or ounces and manufacturer information per the Food & Drug Administration guidelines. In addition to listing the required FDA information, the label must identify the product and ideally, set the product apart in the marketplace.

Farmers markets and local farm stands are the perfect outlet for new to market producers to test out their products and variable label designs. They keep producers in touch with their local markets and allow them to learn more about what works and what doesn’t.  In addition, face time with consumers is the single most important step in launching a new product and these types of seasonal markets provide a great backdrop to building these new relationships.

As wonderful as these markets can be for your business, the competition is vast. The majority of new to market bakery producers will be there right beside you! That is why making sure you label your baked goods correctly and have a label design that ‘pops’ is crucial.  Digital labels  are the best choice for baked goods food producers for a variety of reasons, to include:

1.) You can print variable label designs without additional tooling and artwork charges. This gives you the advantage of trying different designs and choosing the labels that sell your products!

2.) Digital printing used UV cured inks. That means your labels will stand up to the sun, heat, and moisture that are common among seasonal Farmers Markets. Your labels will remain vibrant and resist the urge to curl or lift. You can feel confident that your products will remain intact and maintain the integrity of the brand you are working so hard to build.

3.) Digital printing is perfect for short runs, saving you the money you will need to build your business! Digital labels can be printed in batches as low as 100 labels. The days of having to buy thousands of labels at a time are over. You can benefit from a professional look and not break the bank!

Cottage Food Laws and How to Get Started:

Cottage Food Laws require producers to apply for the permission to manufacture baked goods in their home.  Once approved, producers must abide by specific label requirements. Producers, who do not meet these requirements, and are found selling baked goods with improper labeling will be subject to fines and/or legal action. The Cottage Food Label requirements are:

* Special notification that baked goods were made in a home kitchen. (The registration or permit number of cottage food operation).

* Ingredients used in the creation of the product in descending order of prominence by weight.

* Net quantity of the food product in English and metric units.

* A declaration of the use of any major food allergens, including but not limited to milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts & soybean.

* The common or descriptive name of the product being sold.

* The name, city and ZIP code of where the baked good was produced.

In addition to meeting Cottage Food Laws, producers must also meet the FDA label requirements, especially when making product claims like “Low Fat” or “Organic”. For more information about FDA label regulations click here.  It is important to remember that if a health claim is being made, all of the products nutritional information must be listed on the label, at all times.