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Local Label Solutions – 3 New England Producers

Our business has been rooted in Vermont for decades and in that time we’ve had the pleasure of partnering with some of New England’s leading, local brands. From specialty foods, to craft beer and hemp producers, we’ve teamed up with some of the areas most well-known companies, delivering custom label solutions that stick.

When it comes to labels and packaging, every business has its own unique set of challenges.  We’ve picked up our fair share of tricks along the way and our years of experience help us to fast-track custom label solutions for all kinds of customers. We thought we’d share some of the issues we’ve come across over our years in business. So, we picked few of our favorite, local companies and with their blessing, decided to tell you a little more about how we helped them overcome their labeling hurdles.

North Country Smokehouse

local label solutions, food labels, custom food labels, specialty food labels, custom labels

As one of the America’s few remaining, family owned smokehouses, North Country Smokehouse has been crafting artisanal smoked meats and cheeses for more than a century. Their new smokehouse is located in Claremont, NH and as you can imagine, producing smoky meats for the masses means meeting strict safety, environmental, and equipment standards.

Challenge: NCS moved into a new facility just a few short months before we met them, and with that came a long-list of challenges. The company had been labeling their products the same way for years and up until the move, they had it all figured out. That was, until their first day of production in the new smokehouse. The labels were no longer sticking but why?

Solution: Our label gurus headed on over to the new smokehouse. Choosing a local label provider means feet on the ground when problems arise. After a brief assessment, we learned that the new smokehouse was built with tighter temperature controls and the label application was a bit colder than it was previously. The temperature changes, however small, were preventing the adhesive from binding to the flexible packaging substrate. We paired a new aggressive, cold temp adhesive with a polypropylene media and moisture resistant over laminate, and had NCS up and running again in no time.

Bent Hill Brewing

local label solutions, craft beer labels, beer bottle labels, beer can labels

This three barrel brewery is located on a 16-acre farm in the Braintree Mountain range of central Vermont. They produce a variety of artisanal craft beers using ingredients from their own land. They grow their own hops, blackberries, blueberries, currants, and cherries. How cool is that?

Brewing over 20 different styles of beer means they had a lot to think about – and anyone who knows anything about craft beer knows one thing. These days – the labels are everything.

Challenges: The first order of business for Bent Hill was finding a local label provider that can respond quickly and ship fast. The brewery is known for producing seasonal flavors in short runs and it was important to them that their provider be quick and nimble. Next in line, was sourcing a cost effective label supplier who could print variable labels without stacking up expensive setup fees.  When you have two dozen label versions, hidden artwork charges can add up fast. Last but not least, beer cans are made from aluminum and have a smooth surface. The low surface energy of the beer cans and cold, wet environments required ultimate label performance.

Solution: With over a decade of experience labeling craft beer cans, we were more than familiar with Bent Hill’s label requirements. Our low label minimums, complimentary setup for variable designs and 5-day shipping guarantee made us the right fit for this brewery, and lucky for us, we’ve been printing their labels for some time. We worked with them to pair specialty media with the right cold temp adhesive combination that survives refrigerated environments and enhances their intricate label designs. 

VT Bacon Soap

local label solutions, cosmetics labels, soap labels, custom health and beauty labels

If you cock your head to the right, stand on one foot and squint – you can see Okemo Mountain from our office. At the base of the mountain sits VT Bacon Soap. In case the name didn’t give it away, they make soap…. with BACON. Aside the obvious points for coolest company ever, their making strides towards sustainability by producing soaps, shower gels and sugar scrubs that are phthalate and paraben free, non GMO, without harsh chemicals or preservatives. Despite everything they’re doing right, the fact remains, labeling soap can be hard. 

Challenge:

VT Bacon Soap called us looking for a flexible label with good contour to accommodate their specialty shapes. The label had to hug the soap just right, without cracking, wrinkling or curling. It also had to survive the life cycle of the product by resisting oils and residue, to maintain a shelf stable presentation.

Solution:

First things first – we sent multiple sets of media over for testing. With a little finesse and a  lot of teamwork, VT Bacon Soap found a media combination that was malleable enough for their specialty label shapes and could withstand the soaps natural characteristics. Our laser cutting Spartanics system meant VT Bacon Soap could avoid expensive tooling charges, and by printing digitally, they saved money on color charges. This was an ideal solution for their them, being that their custom soap labels are vibrant with a full color floodcoat.

So, there you have it. Three local label challenges and the solutions that made them stick. For more information about how ImageTek Labels can help you overcome your labeling hurdles, simply drop us line by emailing sales@imageteklabels.com or calling (866) 403-5223.

Meet Us at the New England Food Show

The New England Food Show food show, food labeling, new england foods
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
March 3 & 4 – Boston, Massachusetts

The New England Food Show is one of our favorite events of the year. Bringing together foodservice exhibitors and experts from all over the region, this events gives show go’ers the chance to make connections that will strengthen their business. Attendees can take advantage of educational seminars that cover topics like operational efficiency, staff training and product packaging. Foodservice professionals can source the regions best, local ingredients and learn more about leading, culinary technology.

As one of the industry’s premier gatherings, this 3-day event is a great way for producers to learn more about specialty food label printing and packaging solutions. This year, the New England Food Show is introducing educational seminars for attendees in search of digital technology and non-commercial foodservice solutions. ImageTek Labels will be available to provide complimentary label samples to attendees in search of label solutions. Request a quick meet & greet and chat with our team about custom labels and auto apply labeling systems.

New England Food Show Schedule

Sunday, March 3
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Monday, March 4
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Learn more about exhibiting at the event.

Learn more about educational opportunities at the show.

New England Made – Find ImageTek Labels at Booth 900

New England Made

New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show

This one of a kind show, curates some of the best that New England artisan have to offer.
Find us at Booth 900 on March 17-19 at the Portland Sports Complex in Portland, Maine.

ImageTek Labels will attend the New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show, March 17-19th at the Portland Sports Complex in Portland, Maine. This year, organizers celebrate the show’s 32nd consecutive year by inviting juried artisan to assemble in presenting the finest New England made giftware, specialty food and home furnishings to wholesalers from all across the country who gather in search of quality, locally manufactured products.

This annual event continues to attract authentic New England made crafters and is a true reflection of expertly crafted products that originate in the Eastern states. The show offers a venue for wholesale buyers to spend some one-on-one time with each artisan and learn more about their mission and unique talent. This event supports local business, encourages relationships between whole- sale buyers and the business owners and inevitably puts the best products in front of consumers. Each year, more than 250 producers will exhibit their products at The New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food Show. Absolutely no importers are allowed to attend the event, making it easy for wholesalers to source locally manufactured food, home furnishings, jewelry, apparel and art.

Visit Us at Booth 900 and Request Samples in Advance

ImageTek Labels looks forward to connecting with new and existing New England based businesses. Having partnered with a wide variety of consumable product manufacturers over the years, ImageTek understands the unique challenges associated with lean manufacturing; a huge benefit for the artisan producers tasked with managing time and production efficiencies. ImageTek continues to evolve with the newest digital print technology and the New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show is a wonderful opportunity to present these strides to New England producers.

For more information about The New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show please visit www.nemadeshows.com. Exhibitors may request sample media kits to be delivered in-hand on the during the event by contacting ImageTek Labels by emailing sales@imageteklabels.com or call (866) 403-5223.

Craft Brewers Face Added Nutritional Testing Expenses

Craft Brewers May be Forced into Big Beer Business

craft brewersCraft Brewers are at risk of incurring added manufacturing expenses. The Beer Institute, a trade association based in Washington, D.C. that represents brewers both big and small, as well as importers and suppliers to the beer industry, has recently published what it calls “The Brewer’s Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.”  The idea is for craft brewers and importers to voluntarily agree to disclose certain information to consumers – calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol by volume or weight on the product label. The Initiative also calls for listing all ingredients and a freshness date on either the custom label or secondary packaging or through a website reference or bar code.  In theory, this will allow consumers to make better-informed decisions.  Some consumers may appreciate having the information available, but others probably would rather avoid it. Think about it – do you really want to know exactly how many calories are in that beer?

Many of the big beer companies like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have already agreed to follow these guidelines. This is not a surprise, since the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Beer Institute are big shots with Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, respectively. But the more pressing reason is that starting in May of 2018, the FDA is requiring restaurants with 20 or more locations nationwide to disclose calories and other nutrition information for standard menu items, including beverages.  Many chain restaurants have been providing most of this information for some time, as the compliance date initially was set to be earlier but has been extended several times.

If a new or existing craft brewery seeks to distribute its beer to restaurants, it may need to factor nutritional testing into startup or business costs. The cost of testing a batch of beer to gather this information is estimated to be between $300 and $1,000. Small craft brewers may not be able to bear these costs without increasing their prices. Although craft beer offers on large chain restaurant menus are relatively few and far between, if an enticing opportunity arose for a craft brewer to sell its beer at such a place, it would miss that chance if it could not provide the required information to the restaurant. It is not yet clear what liability a brewer may have for providing erroneous information in this regard, but to avoid unnecessary risks brewers  will need to ensure their data is accurate. And consumers of craft beer may end up eating (drinking?) the cost.

For more information about craft beer and nutrition labeling visit thebeerinstitute.com. This article was published by JPSupra.com,  a daily source of legal intelligence on all topics business and personal.

2017 VRGA Convention & Exposition

2017 VRGA Convention & Exposition - Image Tek Digital Labels

ImageTek Labels is excited to announce that they will be exhibiting at the 2017 VRGA Convention & Expo exhibitor on April 28th at the Hilton Burlington, Vermont. This is a business-to-business event loaded with multiple networking opportunities over 2 days, with 8 information sessions and over 50 local and national exhibitors with quality goods and services at every price point for businesses of all sizes.

2-DAY CONVENTION & EXPO SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, APRIL 27 

  • 8:30 – 5:00 PM ServSafe® Certification Class & Exam – SOLD OUT
  • 6:00 PM Laughs at Vermont Comedy Club
  • 7:00 – 10:00 PM Brewery Hop: Switchback Brewery, Queen City Brewery, Zero Gravity Brewery, Citizen Cider & Foam Brewers
  • 9:00 PM Late Night at Nectar’s

FRIDAY, APRIL 28 

  • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Information sessions
  1. The Future of Healthcare in Vermont: Understanding the drivers of health costs & how it impacts you.
  2. How to Tackle Waste Regulation to be Compliant: What the Universal Recycling & Composting Law means for your business.
  3. Invest in Your Hiring Strategy: Learn how to recruit, hire and retain engaged and dedicated talent.
  4. Improving the Customer Experience: Creating unique experiences to increase customer growth and loyalty.
  5. Organized Retail Crime: Facts and Realities: What is the driving force of Organized Retail Crime & what tools and stories can help you prevent it from happening in your business.
  6. Smarter Energy Investing: Creative ways to save you money now while being an investment in your future.
  7. Maximizing Your Customer Base and Revenue in an Online World: Digital business strategies to attract customers to your website and your store.
  8. Social Media Strategies for Success: Quick tips for success at all experience levels.
  • 12:00 – 5:00 PM Tradeshow: Featuring 50+ exhibitors from local and national companies to answer your questions and provide quality solutions. Enjoy multiple raffle prize giveaways throughout the day and a GRAND PRIZE, product demonstrations, networking and so much more!Information Sessions & Tradeshow are FREE for members $10 for nonmembers or save 50% by registering online by April 21st.
  • 5:30 PM VIP Food & Beverage Pairing Workshop: Limited to 24 tickets. Presented by Farrell Distributing Cicerone Certified Beer Servers. This also includes your ticket to Vermonte Carlo afterwards.
  • 6:00 PM Vermonte Carlo: Network the night away with unlimited samples of local beer, cider, wine PLUS complimentary beverages, a cash bar, a buffet dinner and $250 of casino chips for a nigh of entertaining casino games.

Participating vendors will network with Retailers, Grocers, Specialty Food & Beverages Producers, Manufacturers and related Business Services Providers at this highly-anticipated annual event. Online registration is available at VRGA17.eventbrite.com. Follow Vermont Retail & Grocers Association on Facebook or #VRGA17 on twitter for the latest news.

Free Custom Samples on NEW Orders and 20% Off Your Purchase

Spring into Savings! (1)

There are all kinds of ways to take advantage of ImageTek Label’s Spring Savings Promotion! Whether you have a new seasonal label design, you’re introducing new products to an existing line or you’ve simply never done business with us,
you can cash in on quality labels!

FREE custom label samples on all first-time label orders & new designs! That would be our first-time, not yours.
If we’ve never printed your label design, you qualify.

If you place your order within 14 days of receiving your custom label samples you get 20% off your purchase.

No catch – just a deadline. All sample requests must be placed by 5pm on Friday, March 17, 2017.

To order your custom label samples, contact us at sales@imageteklabels.com or call (866) 403-5223.

Summer Labeling Woes: Beat the Heat & Humidity

e4e759ed6112791acc31684d9dd7d998With the warmer months fast approaching, producers are gearing up for seasonal product labeling. Heat is an important factor to considering labeling warm weather products. High temperatures and humidity can adversely affect your product labels, causing them to fade, lift and curl. Keeping a few tips and tricks in mind will ensure your labels stand up to the summer months and last the life cycle of your product.

Label Adhesive:

  • Soft pressure adhesives can fail as temperatures increase, causing the binding to liquefy, smear or fail. Adhesives that react adversely to heat can also affect your printers and auto labeling equipment, leaving residue build up that will damage print heads and other components.

Some label stocks are better suited for printing and applying at cooler temperatures. Be sure to use a label stock that is approved for heat and humidity and has a wider application range for warm weather product labeling.

Labels Substrates & liners:

  • Quick changes to temperatures can cause label stock to curl and peel. This occurs because the liner absorbs more moisture than the substrate, making labels harder to apply and increasing the risk of label failure. Film substrates with paper liners are most susceptible to such problems. To avoid potential risks, try testing paper labels on polypropylene liners. The more resistant the liner is to moisture and humidity, the less likely your labels are to lift.

Label Transportation  & Storage

Labels can be exposed to extreme temperatures during shipping. Non-climate controlled shipping containers can often reach heights of over 170 degrees Fahrenheit. To avoid receiving a shipment of labels that are destined for disaster, try sourcing climate controlled shipping methods that protect your labels while they are in route.  Lastly, store your labels in a controlled environment once they arrive at your facility. This ensures your labels will be ready for peak performance when it’s time to apply them to your products.

If climate-controlled transportation and storage are not available, follow these simple steps:

  • Place your product labels in plastic bags or shrink-wrap to protect them from temperature fluctuations.
  • Store your labels on low racks and shelves that are closest to the floor. Do not double stack your labels and make sure to leave a few inches of space between each container and pallet.
  • Acclimate your labels to your environment before applying them to your products. Generally, labels can acclimate within 24 hours. For best results, labels should be stored in locations that do not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% humidity.

Labels with heavy coat weight adhesives and textured surfaces may require special care. If you are experiencing label failure commonly associated with high temperatures and humidity, please contact sales@imageteklabels.com for assistance.

Create Custom Label Designs that Speak to Consumers

Custom Label Colors Are More Than Meets the Eye

Creating a custom color label takes finesse’. . There is more to packaging a product than meets the eye. In fact, some might argue that the single most important asset a company can have isBakery Labels a their brand identity and building a solid brand takes time and consideration.

A business identity starts by assessing the personality of your business. What sorts of feelings should your business evoke in the minds of consumers? Is your product or service eco-conscience? Are you a bold, forward thinking business? Does your company’s success depend on attracting a certain type of demographic, like women or children? By answering questions like these, you can learn a lot about the type of identity that makes the most sense for your company and start brainstorming label designs that support your business model.

Look up product packaging similar to your own to see what their labels looks like. Are you able to figure out what the company does just by looking at the label? Do the colors and fonts speak to you? Are the images easily identifiable?

Once you’ve narrowed down your ideas, you’re ready for the fun part. Designing your products custom labels! Designs are limitless and many options are available for business owners with little to no graphic design experience. Use this easy color chart below as a guide to designing product labels that speak volumes about your business.

Custom Label Color Printing and What It Means to the Consumer

Pink = Fun and Flirty

Brown = Rural, Rustic and Outdoorsy

White = Purity, Cleanliness & Simplicity

Red = Passion and Energy

Orange = Innovation and Modern Thinking

Green = Natural and Eco Friendly

It’s important to consider the quality of printed colors in choosing your color scheme. Red and yellow hues are bolder and certainly worth considering, however, they tend to fade in UV light much faster than other colors. Durable goods or specialty food packaging that comes in contact with moisture, sunlight and extreme temperatures may need an overlaminate, which may add additional charges to your package printing.

Now that you’ve considered all your color options and determined if you may need an overlaminate – which of these colors make the most sense for your product? Maybe there’s more than one and that’s okay! Digital print technology has made it possible to print virtually thousands of colors at no additional cost, opening up a world of packaging options to business’s of all sizes and leveraging the playing field for companies, big and small. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Try showing your design to small focus groups or creating a customer survey where your current customers can vote on their favorites. By taking the extra time required to create the best label design for your product, you lessen the risks associated with poor brand identity.

For more information about digital color printing contact ImageTek Labels at (802) 885-6208 or email us today. Label samples can be sent same day at no cost for testing.

Wine and Glass Bottle Labels: Choosing a Suitable Media

 

Label Wine and Glass Bottles for Special Occasions  

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast looking to bottle your own blend or just wanting to create personalized glass bottle labels for a wedding or social event, you want to choose the right labelWine and glass bottle labels stock for a finished look that is just right. Though there are lots of different types of labels that might look the part, it’s important to use a label whose adhesive is meant for high surface energy products, like glass bottles.

Glass bottles are generally very smooth to the touch, which means the label adhesive has a lot of surface to cling to. Additionally, the labels often come in contact with the liquids inside the bottle, making adhesion pivotal to the labels success. Luckily, these types of challenges have bee met by producers past. Traditionally, waterproof labels are the perfect solution for labeling wine and beverage bottle and will leave you with a good looking label that will maintain their color and shape when exposed to moisture.

Waterproof Labels for Glass Bottle Labeling

Waterproof labels, also referred to as weatherproof labels, are common among wine and beverage producers. Generally, waterproof labels have a permanent adhesive which is why they can stake their resistant claim. Waterproof labels come in a variety of thicknesses and adhesive coatweights but the average bottler isn’t concerned with that. Most just want a smooth, glossy surface that will deliver bright vibrant colors once printed and won’t curl, fall off or smudge when they come in contact with moisture, ice or cold temperatures.

Now that we have narrowed down the type of label for the job let’s look at the most common finishes for glass bottles.

White Gloss BOPP Labels 

White gloss BOPP labels are perfect for printing crisp, clear graphics on wine or glass bottle labels. A go-to label media for printing custom labels that ‘POP’. The finished layer is coated to leave a shiny, smooth surface, adding a professional, finished look to the label. Perfect for intricate designs and small or individual portion bottling, gloss labels produce a superior finish.

Metallic Foil Labels

Think about the wine and specialty beverage labels you see on the grocery store shelves. The sparkly gold and silver foils that give the label a chic, sophisticated look. Foil labels are perfect for detail and add a sense of elegance. By creating artwork that has transparencies in the design, you can print directly onto the foil media with bold color and the areas that remain uncoated will showcase the unfinished foil. Metallic foil labels give an ultra-shiny, posh look to your label and are perfect to accentuate debossed or embossed label designs.

For more information about wine and beverage labeling, specialty media and more, contact ImageTek Labels at (802) 885-6208 or email our sales team.

Summer Product Labels are All About Protection

Plan for Summer Product Labels

Spring is upon us but the summer heat is not far away. Consumers are already making plans and stocking up on seasonal necessities like lip balm, suntan lotions and insect repellent. It is Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 6.18.08 AMimportant to note that these warm weather items have one thing in common, they protect people from the dangers that arise in the summer months.  Health & Beauty producers are faced with a challenge when labeling seasonal products. As these products fill-up the store shelves, only one thing sets them apart – the label.  Speak to consumers by taking the time to assess your custom health & beauty labels and make sure you are gaining their attention and their loyalty not just this year, but every year.

 

Print Custom Health & Beauty Labels that POP

Have you ever really studied a suntan lotion label? Have you noticed that the SPF content is generally large and printed in yellow? That is because producers’ know that most consumers will only study a product label for a few seconds before they make a buying decision. That means your customers are making choices based more on label aesthetics than they are ingredients or information. That means you need to act fast!

Take the single most compelling factor about your product and make it POP! Is it organic? Is it fragrance free? Is it waterproof or hypo-allergenic? Chances are you’ve spent a great deal of time trying to corner your niche market, so use that information to your advantage by printing bold, brilliant labels that tell your story quickly.

Choose a Custom Label Material that Resists Moisture and UV Rays

You’ve done the work of learning your market.  You’ve designed and printed product labels that speak to your audience. Now, make sure your hard work reaps the rewards by choosing waterproof labels that are digitally printed with UV inks and won’t fade, smudge or smear with long-term exposure to sunlight. Paper labels are a go-to for a wide variety of health & beauty labels but when it comes to summertime environments, they simply won’t stand up to extreme temperatures and exposure to water or other liquids. Instead of paper labels, consider a polypropylene product label, otherwise known as a BOPP. BOPP labels are the perfect alternative to paper since they are cost-effective and durable. Making the change from paper labels means not having to add a laminate over the paper label for protection; which saves additional costs and unnecessary waste.

To learn more about health & beauty label alternatives that will stand up to summer, contact ImageTek Labels. Our professional sales staff will send you complimentary label samples for testing. Prefer a quick custom quote? No problem. Tell us a little about your label application and we will send you a quote-same day!