Digital label printing facilitates direct printing of digital label with the required content, logo, and so on. They come with an adhesive film which is easy to peel off and stick on. The printing methods usually include fanfold, 4 color process, 7 spot color, UV varnish, and sheeted laminated. These self-adhesive labels are made from materials such as polycarbonate, vinyl, polypropylene, or styrene. All digitally printed labels may look the same, however, the ones for the food and beverage industry need to comply with FDA standards. This post talks about the digital label printing options and more for the food and beverage industry.
Meeting Mandatory Food Label Requirements Through Digital Printing
With the food industry in question, one needs to meet requirements at every stage from ingredient selection to packaging and labeling. The digital label printing process, materials, and so on need to comply with FDA standards. The FDA regulation does not end here as it is essential to print mandatory content such as ingredients, nutrition value, and more, on any food product label. Here are some relevant pointers.
• The statutory information for most food products include product name, ingredients and their proportion, batch number, nutritional details, allergen warning, manufacturing and expiry dates, brand logo, and so on.
• Including creative content related to the brand may be optional. However, it does help in drawing the attention of buyers and in branding and marketing of the product. Hence, both statutory and optional content are important aspects on a food product label.
• Some printing methods are not effective and the content may fade in a few days or after exposure to light or moisture. This is not acceptable in the food industry, at least till the expiry date. Hence, the digital label printing process must assure clarity in colors and the content printed should last long.
• The food items may be packed in a jar or a plastic bag in varied shapes and dimensions. This is an important aspect to consider as odd shaped labels could be printed to accommodate this requirement. It is important to ensure that the entire printed information on the label is fully and clearly visible and must not escape the viewer’s eye.
• Digital labels are effective in such cases because of the high resolution they offer. Digital printing facilitates the clarity of the smallest of font sizes on the label.
• These labels may be matte or glassy but they have a photographic quality equivalent to magazines.
Digital Label Printing: Design Tips
Here are some tips to optimize the effectiveness of digitally printed labels for the food industry.
• While digital printing anyway offers high resolution and quality, it is important to choose the right material, shape, size, and the content length.
• To prevent any price of information from getting hidden or torn, it is important to consider bleed and safe zones on the label. This means one should extend background colors or images slightly beyond the label’s trim edge to create a bleed area. This keeps the essential content and graphics within a safe zone and prevents it from getting cropped when printing. It also prevents getting torn when a label is removed from its adhesive.
• The content length must be precise and comfortable to fit on the label. It must not look cluttered. At the same time, it is essential that the statutory and other information is covered. It must look effective on retail shelves and draw the attention of viewers.
• Choosing the right shape and dimensions is essential and will directly impact not just the look but also the content fitment on the label. While most labels are rectangular, square, or round, you can choose other shapes or asymmetrical ones depending on the type of packaging.
• It is also important to choose a legible font and size.
Current and Future Trends of Digital Label Printing for the Food Industry
Here are some pointers that depict the current and future trends for labels in the food industry.
• While personalized and custom labels are quite common even now, this trend is set to last over the next few years.
• With increased focus on using eco-friendly inks and sustainable materials, this trend is already there and is set to last for the long term.
• Smart labels, QR codes, and barcodes are already in use and this is also going to be a future trend with labels already getting NFC ability and RFID tags.
• There are unique identifiers, holograms, and so on that add to the security features of the label.
• Some futuristic options which are not popular or in existence currently include edible labels for food products, IoT-enabled labels that can integrate and communicate with connected devices such as smartphones, AR-based labels, and more. All of this may be possible after much research and innovation in AI.
If you are a part of the food industry and are looking for effective labels for your product, ensure it is FDA approved and that the label materials are safe and non-toxic. Ensure you partner with a reliable player that offers custom digital label printing options to perfectly suit your requirements. Ask for a sample before they start the label production in bulk. Also, make sure the label adhesive and paper are of good quality and don’t come off easily. Performance Label Company (PLCTX) offers digitally printed custom labels for the food industry among many other varieties. The company uses environmentally friendly printing methods.