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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.


Custom Label Design Makes All the Difference.

Gain Market Share with Great Label Design 

In a fast-paced world where people are subjected to hundreds of marketing messages a day, the need for custom label design has becomeCustom Wine Labels increasingly more important.

With only a few seconds to capture the attention of a potential buyer, producers find themselves having to search for more unique ways to label their products in an effort to gain more market share.  The digital era, combined with multimedia, newspaper, and billboard marketing, are narrowing the competition for product manufacturers far more often than in previous years.

However, producers can rest easy knowing that by the time buyers hit the store, their job is half done. People who are searching the aisles have opted in for products and are on the hunt for information to help them make the right purchase. That’s where the label comes in. The right label can speak volumes about a product, and inspire all the senses. Above visual factors, good design evokes brand recall, meaning you can literally transport a buyer from the aisles to a place only your product can take them. You can engage their sense of smell and taste or enhance memories of places past.


Studies show the majority of buyers are influenced by visual stimulation, meaning images work wonders when designing  product packaging.  Consumers have become desensitized to the claims found on most product labels that declare they are better than the competition. However, even with the changes in buying patterns and increase of sensory information flooding the lives of consumers, one thing remains. People are still, and will continue to be, visual learners.
With that said, the job of designing the right product label remains the responsibility of the producer, and can make or break a business.  Choosing colors that tell your products story, images that are easy for people to remember and to recall, will increase repeat business.
Three Steps to Designing the Perfect Product Label


1.)  Use a unique graphic or image and by unique, we mean amazing. The old adage, “a picture speaks a thousand words” is true. This might be the single most important factor in designing a successful product label. Take the time to find or produce the image that speaks to your product and your customer. It goes a long way.

2.)  Use the right colors. It’s true, different colors portray different emotions. Studies on design have pinpointed that certain colors are related to product characteristics. When designing your label, choose colors that are known to capture the feeling you want your products to deliver. If you produce organic products, lean towards earthy colors like green or brown. If your specialty products are meant for higher income audiences, try purples that are said to reflect royalty. The colors you choose speak directly to potential buyers, choose wisely.

3.)  Fonts and typefaces are important. That’s right, with hundred of fonts available and custom typefaces being released everyday, make sure you are using a font that supports your brand identity. In addition to using the right font, consider how easy or difficult it will be to transition that font to seasonal or specialty product packaging. Is it web safe? Can it be transitioned to bold or italic? Will it still be available and cost effective in five years? Does it give the impression you intend your product to have?

At the end of the day, your label design is the personality of your product. It takes a lot of thought and attention to detail to produce a great product label but the rewards are limitless. For more information about custom labels contact ImageTek Labels today.



Label News: The Cost of GMO Labeling

The debate rages on, but few are actually clear on how much this could cost consumers (as well as converters).

Few topics are as emotionally charged as the food we eat. It is the centerpiece of nearly every milestone in life. We use it to celebrate, to mourn, to comfort, and, as noted in a previous L&NW article, to achieve health. So, it comes as no surprise that the ongoing debate over genetically modified foods (specifically, whether or not they should be labeled as such), has reached a fever pitch.

Numerous food agencies of varying authority have deemed GMO foods as safe for consumption. However, several European

countries have banned their production and sale, and several states in the US are considering doing the same. Because the bans are relatively new, however, few people can say with any certainty what the costs might be, and whether or not they’re worth it. Here’s what we do know so far:

Last year, the Washington Academy of Sciences released a report called White Paper on Washington State Initiative 522: Labeling of Foods Containing Genetically Modified Ingredients. At the time of the report’s release, panel co-chair Eugene Nester, emeritus professor of microbiology at the University of Washington, told the Seattle Times that “the numbers just aren’t there, and the numbers that are there vary widely.” The debate has, unsurprisingly, become partisan, with each side throwing their own “facts” out into the void. Pro-labeling ads that were run  in Washington claimed that passing I-522 wouldn’t raise the cost of food for consumers. Opponents, citing a study, claimed the average food bill for a family of four would increase by $450 per year.

Once the Washington Academy of Sciences took a look at the data – collected largely after failed efforts in Oregon and California and successful labeling in Europe – they determined that the primary cost of labeling GMO products comes not from the actual labeling, but from food producers “having to separate genetically enhanced ingredients from other foods.”

The panel said, “Mandatory labeling is likely to affect trade and impose higher costs on firms producing and selling products in Washington. These costs are likely to be passed on to the consumer in higher food prices.”

Other studies have had conflicting results. Opponents of GMO labeling often cite a study by the Northbridge Environmental Management Consultants. That report had a similar finding to the Washington Academy of Sciences; researches concluded that the costs would be incurred at the production level and would be passed on to consumers. Conversely, the Alliance for Natural Health, a “pro-labeling” organization based out of the UK, determined that consumers will likely see no increase in prices.

Recently, Slate examined the inconsistency in these estimates: “This disparity hinges less on sloppy science or ideological bias than a basic disagreement over how food suppliers and consumers would react to a freshly minted GMO label. One side – the no cost/low cost advocates – equates a labeling mandate with little more than the paper and ink required to manufacture the label. The idea here is that food suppliers and consumers wouldn’t necessarily shift their purchasing choices in the face of a GMO designation. Mother Jones’ Tom Philpott gave a nod to this assumption when he asked, ‘Ever seen the words ‘new and improved’ on some boxed delicacy?’ His implication was that the consumer’s gaze glosses over new labels all the time without leading to a radical shift in purchasing behavior. Why would it be any different with a GMO label?”

In spite of the potential costs to consumers, one could make the argument, from a converter’s perspective, that labeling GMO foods could be costly. The process for labeling GMO foods may very well be similar to labeling a line of products with multiple SKUs. Converters who use digital equipment may not bat an eye at the proposed regulations. But, in states where GMO labeling could soon be made mandatory, it could change the local landscape in terms of competition for converters.  – See more at: http://www.labelandnarrowweb.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2014-05-27/label-news-the-cost-of-gmo-labeling/#sthash.58saSDT3.dpuf

Published by L&NW; June, 2014.

Non-GMO Labeling may be Mandatory in Vermont

Non-GMO Labeling may be Mandatory in Vermont by July 1, 2016

Vermont will likely be the first state to make the labeling of genetically modified food products mandatory. After a 35-minute debate on Wednesday, the Vermont Senate has approved a bill previously passed by the house in 2013, with a 114 to 30 sweep, in favor of labeling products containing GMO’s. The new bill will take effect July 1, 2016 and require labeling of all products that contain GMO’s.

Genetically modified organisms are foods that contain corn, soy or other plants that have been inserted with a gene from an unrelated species, to give them certain characteristics (like resistance to insects or enhanced nutrients). The impacts this bill will have on Vermont food producers is huge, with 70-80 percent of packaged food on a typical supermarket’s store shelves needing to be relabeled.   The bill grants the Attorney General’s Office the job of establishing rules surrounding the labels. Those requirements have yet to be released but the goal is clear, to decrease the risk to humans who ingest products containing genetically modified organisms.  Studies on the effects of GMO’s to humans are still in their infancy. With these organisms becoming popular in 1990, many believe the dangers of this manufacturing won’t be fully evident for years to come.

Along with the labeling of GMO’s, legislation is also seeking to ban the use of genetically modified seeds until labeling requirements can be more clearly defined. Labeling is already required in 64 countries but not the U.S. A few states like Maine and Connecticut have passed labeling laws but under the ruling, those laws won’t take effect until neighboring states have also joined the cause. Vermont lawmakers have rejected that route and supporters of the food labeling bill hope their efforts will clear the way for other states to do the same. “As Vermont goes, so goes the nation,” said Rep. Kate Webb, D-Shelburne, lead sponsor of the bill.

To read H.112, the GMO labeling bill, visit http://tiny.cc/8jesex. This law affects all food producers with the exception of meat, dairy, liquor and prepared food sold in restaurants.

For producers effected by the new bill, three options for wording are available, they are: “produced with genetic engineering.”, “partially produced with genetic engineering,” or “may be produced with genetic engineering,”. The labeling regulation will likely have an impact on product sales for many of these producers, as consumers will be able to compare products and choose non-GMO options.

To stay ahead of the bill and stand out on the grocery store shelve, ImageTek Labels is encouraging Vermont food producers to modify there labels early and in advance of labeling regulations. For more information about how you can digitally print your labels please contact sales@imageteklabels.com.


Design Custom Labels in Three Simple Steps

Design custom labels that will attract new customers and keeping already loyal customers buying your brand. By knowing your customers and what motivates them to buy, you can create a label that entices them and doesn’t take a bite out of your budget. Custom Label Design

1. Know What Your Customers Want. This step is a lot easier than it sounds. If you want to know what your customers want, just ask them! Host a focus group and invite some of your best customers. Whether you produce hot sauce, soaps or specialty foods, customers are almost always willing to tell you why they choose to do business with you. These groups can offer insight as to what makes your buyers tic and what selling points to focus on with your new custom label design. Think about the types of questions you will ask, that will help you determine the elements in your design that will speak directly to your target audience.

2. Know What Type of Printing Process Fits Your Budget: Before you start designing your new  labels, make sure your current custom label provider can support such a design. If not, what additional costs will you incur by changing the design? Specialty shapes, color matches and embossed label designs may create additional expenses. It is important to determine what these expenses might be and adjust the design early on in the process if you need to.

3. Get a Press Proof Before You Commit to Your New Label Design:

Before you order a full run of your new labels, invest in a press-proof.  A press proof is a printed label that demonstrates your exact design. Press proofs are the only way to be certain that your design, label stock and production process will work together to deliver the product label you’ve envisioned. Press proofs allow you to adjust minor details in your artwork or materials should you need to. They also prepare you for the print quality you can expect in your finished product.

For more information about label design and printing, please contact ImageTek Labels at (866) 403-5223 or contact us today.

Short Run Labels Offer Long Term Benefits

Short Run Digital Printing is Better in the Long Run

Introducing a new product to market is exciting but with it comes the work of planning budgets, purchasing ingredients and finding cost effectiveShort Run Digital Labels ways to creatively package your product without cutting into to profits.  Generally, new to market products are produced in smaller batches, making it more difficult to reap the benefits associated with bulk purchasing. This challenge becomes more evident as producers work on labeling their products and packaging. Generally, producers look towards their current label printing techniques and find them- selves having to purchase label quantities in the thousands, in an effort to drive the cost per label down. Often times, labels go to waste due to redesigns or changes to ingredients. These types of issues can become expensive and cut into the bottom-line. Luckily, those days are coming to an end as digital print technologies makes short run labeling of new-to-market and seasonal products more cost effective.

Save time and money with short run digital labels

Choose a label provider with digital printing capabilities. You can feel confident developing new products, knowing the labels will be priced right and deliver the same quality you have come to expect with longer run orders. By using digital printing, you avoid set-up fees, tooling charges and enjoy lower cost per label prices in short run quantities. Rather than being forced to buy thousands of labels you won’t use and do not need, digital printing leaves money in your pocket and leans out costs associated with production. Not only will you save a few dollars, it’s also an opportunity to use more quality media because the UV cured inks won’t fade or smudge, making expensive laminates unnecessary. In addition to the savings and convenience of short run digital labels, the real value is in printing multiple label versions for seasonal products. Typically, flexo printing, which uses plates and tooling to print long runs, is only efficient when printing the same label, over and over. With digital label printing, various designs can be programmed prior to printing, so you can order low quantities of many different types of labels, without incurring tooling and plate charges for each change you make. This technology saves food producers a ton of money and makes introducing new seasonal products fun, enjoyable and even profitable!

Now’s the Time to Give it a Try

If you have not tried digital printing to date and are launching a new to market or seasonal product, now is the time! Avoid all the additional fees of your typical printing practices and step into the digital world. You will have a quick turnaround and a finished product that doesn’t break the bank. Try a new a material, put UV inks to the test and avoid the pricey laminates you have been using on your long run paper labels. Feel confident printing different versions of the same product label for on-the- shelf consumer testing and benefit from short run digital printing capabilities year round. There is a lot you can gain from printing your product labels digitally and perhaps this is your chance. Who knows, maybe you find new and improved ways to run your business that are smarter and more cost effective! To give digital printing a try contact sales@imageteklabels.com and let our label professionals walk you through the process. With no set up fee’s or tooling costs you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Vermont Food Tasting to be Held in Montpelier, Vermont.

VSFA to Host a Vermont Food Tasting in Celebration of Vermont Brewers, Cheese and Wine Producers


A Vermont food tasting will be held in Montpelier, Vermont February 18th. Hosted by the Vermont Specialty Food Association thisVermont Cheese Council
food tasting will include local organizations like the Vermont Brewers Association, Vermont Cheese Council, Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont and the Vermont Grape & Wine Council.  The event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at The State House Cafeteria in Montpelier, VT. For more information on this event and how you can participate please contact Jim Harrison at info@specialtyfoods.org.

ImageTek Labels is pleased to be among those attending the event. To request a label sample or material for testing for delivery at the event, please contact sales@imageteklabels.com and our representatives will be happy to assist. As always, we look forward to seeing you at the event!

Choosing a Custom Label Provider in Three Easy Steps

So, You Need a Custom Label? 

With hundreds of custom label companies, all eager to print them for you, how do you make sure you are choosing the right label company for your product and your business? By answering these three easy questions, you can ensure you are not only picking the right company but that you end up with a custom label that is of superior quality, at a fair price.


Location, Location, Location

You have heard this before. Location is one of the single most important factors in the success of any business. The same rule applies when you’re choosing a vendor. With the Internet and other resources, making it easier to source label printers, location remains an important factor. By using more local suppliers, you are cutting delivery time and shipping costs. Your label supplier is more readily available to visit your business and discuss new products or challenges. Also, you are more likely to know other business owners who can give you references about their experience with a particular company. When possible, try to start with local companies and work out from there. Keep an open mind in your search for a custom label printer, and don’t be afraid to expand your reach if you need certain capabilities or have found a supplier who’s reputation precedes them. Local is nice, but sometimes experience and being confident in a job well done, outweighs the few dollars you may save on shipping.

Printing Capabilities

This can be a tricky one. Most people are not experts in label printing, nor do they want to be.  It is important to know how your label needs to be printed, in order to make sure you end up with exactly the look and quality your are after. Furthermore, you could very possibly be so used to doing things a certain way, that do not in fact benefit your label product or your bottom-line. Ask your label suppliers how they are printing your label and compare those capabilities to other suppliers. If you are being forced to order long runs of labels, pay tooling charges for custom shapes and sizes or add layers of laminates to your labels with suppliers claiming they are more durable, chances are your labels are being printed with antiquated print technologies. Digital printing is a new print technology that allows for short runs, uses UV cured durable inks, making laminates less likely and caters to special shapes and sizes without additional charges or set-up fee’s. Find out what print technology works best for your products and seek a label supplier that specializes in that type of printing. IN the long run it saves you time and money.

 Price, of course.

The old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. However, with 90% of buyers using the Internet to search label suppliers prior to making a purchase, printers need to be more competitive in their pricing structure in order to stay competitive. Though you never want to make a label purchase based solely on price alone, it has to be a factor in your buying decision. A big difference in price might suggest the materials that are being quoted are very different in terms of quality. Maybe leads time are longer or the inks are less durable. Whatever the reason, it is important to understand the quotes you receive and if the pricing is far apart, why? Are they using different print technologies, are you being forced to buy long runs of labels you don’t need, in order to get a fair price? Though cost is and always will be important, it is easy for average label buyers to be fooled by what they don’t know.  IN short, make sure you are comparing apples to apples in your label quoting. BY doing that, you will make sure you are using the best label printer, with the best product, for the best price.