Label Accuracy Matters: Brew-HaHa Over Misleading Label

How costly can an improperly labeled product be? Just ask the makers of Beck’s beer.

The company this week was ordered to pay a $20 million settlement to American beer drinkers who were under the impression the beer was still a German import when, in fact, the beer is now bottled in St. Louis, Missouri.

The company was ordered to pay the settlement over deceptive packaging.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by Beck’s drinkers who noticed the beer’s label was somewhat ambiguous. While there was no “Made in the U.S.A.” on the label, the packaging stated that the beer was brewed in St. Louis.

Instead, the label boldly emphasized the beer’s “German Quality,” and stated that the beer was made under the “German Purity Law of 1516” and originated in Bremen, Germany.

Supports of the lawsuit said they’re paying an import price on a domestic beer.

According to ABC News, “There was some U.S.-made language on the packaging and bottles, but it was difficult to find. For example, a Beck’s drinker had to turn a 12-pack upside down to find the country of origin on the box’s bottom. Still, U.S. regulators approved the designs.”

Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased Beck’s in 2002– until then, the beer had been brewed in the Beck’s brewery since 1873. Because of cost, after purchasing Beck’s, Anheuser-Busch moved the brewing for the beer to the U.S. in 2012.

Anheuser-Busch tried to have the lawsuit thrown out; however, the company ultimately agreed to settle and denied any wrongdoing.

“We reached a compromise in the Beck’s labeling case,” said Jorn Socquet, Anheuser-Busch vice president for marketing. “We believe our labeling, packaging and marketing of Beck’s has always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements.”

Every household that purchased Beck’s is eligible for a settlement payment. The settlement payments do not apply to those who purchased Beck’s at bars or restaurants.

Ultimately, this case sends a clear message to companies: consumers are reading your labels and they’re holding you accountable for the claims your labels make.

Make sure your labels are transparent, accurate and honest.

Product Labels: Be Wary Of Making Claims

These days, it’s tempting to dress up your copy by using trendy terms, such as healthy, organic, GMO-free, etc, but be wary of making claims you haven’t done due diligence to back up.

Consumers are growing more and more wary of marketing claims and doing their homework to make sure they’re feeding their families is what companies are proclaiming, and if they’re not, they’re airing their grievances on social media and sometimes worse.

What’s worse, if consumers don’t investigate your claims, the FDA might.

In the last couple of weeks, Coca-Cola, the makers of Vitaminwater, has agreed to remove health benefit claims and add the words “with sweeteners” in two places on its label in order to settle a class action suit filed against parent Coca-Cola in 2009 by the Center for Science in the Public interest (CSPI).

Recently, two parents sued Welch’s Food, Inc., the makers of Welch’s Fruit Snacks, for claiming their snacks contain real fruit.

“The two women leading the legal dispute say pictures of fresh fruit and catch phrases on the packaging deceived health-conscious parents who purchased the fruit snacks,” Think Progress reports.

The women sued Welch’s, claiming the packaging is deceiving.

“Welch Foods has deceived shoppers by engaging in a deceptive marketing campaign to convince consumers that Welch’s Fruit Snacks contained significant amounts of the actual fruits shown in the marketing and on the labeling of the products, were nutritious and healthful to consume, and were more healthful than similar product,” the lawsuit claims.

Either this month, Kashi paid $3.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed Kashi’s labeling was misleading when it claimed its products were “all natural” when, in fact, the product contained “bio-engineered, artificial and synthetic” ingredients.

When labeling your product, resist temptation and be as honest as possible. Don’t make claims you can’t support. Consumers appreciate honest companies.

Be wary, your claims could come back to haunt you.

Eco-Labels and Marketing

Consumers who care about a cause are more likely to pick up a product that is affiliated with or identifies with said cause.

For example, environmentalists are more likely to reach for a product that is certified organic and animal-rights activists are more likely to reach for a “Cruelty-Free” product.

Even if your company aligns itself with a mission, it may be hard to become a certified product, and there are often many, many hoops to jump through to achieve certification, but taking the steps to achieve the certification may pay off in a big way.

When given a chance, 83% of customers reach for a product that is labeled as being environmentally friendly.

Studies show that consumers often make purchases based on emotion.  If your company’s values align with environmental or animal causes, it would be wise to seek eco or cruelty-free certification.

Achieving special certification is often a lengthy process, but it’s one that may pay off in the end.

There are currently more than 400 products on the market that have achieved special certifications.

There are many types of labels your company can aspire to achieve.

Single-attribute labels focus on one environmental issue, such as sustainable product sourcing.

Multiple-attribute labels are labels that have been certified in more than one area.

In order to be certified, you’ll likely have to be certified by an independent-third party company. The company will likely audit your materials list and suppliers. You’ll need to prove your product(s) are “green” or “Cruelty-Free.”

Some companies choose to self-certify their product, however, self-certified product labels or emblems often carry less credibility. Consumers are becoming more aware of certification emblems, so self-certification should be done sparingly.

If your product meets the criteria for an eco-label, take the steps to become certified– It will likely pay off and you’ll have a brand conscious consumers trust.



Color-Coded Food Label Lauded By Nutritionists


Image Credit: Free Images


What if every food label had a color-coded grade that told customers whether or not the food is healthy?  Imagine picking up two bags of chips: one with a large red ‘F’ on it and one with a large green ‘B’ on it (red ‘F’ indicating the food is a poor dietary choice and the green ‘B’ indicating the food is a healthier option).  Which would you choose?

France is considering a similar labeling system. The proposal is to use a colored-lettering system to help consumers know which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t.

The goal is to combat food companies’ clever marketing tactics such as labeling foods as “Low Fat” or “Reduced Fat” by providing consumers with an overall grade that takes saturated fats, sodium, calories, sugar and cholesterol into account.

“An effective antidote against nutritional marketing: The coloriel code thwarts marketing techniques consisting of wear flattering cuts salt and fat or to make much of that ingredient nutritionally rewarding for imparting proper image,” a French study states.

If a color-coded, grading system was applied to the FDA’s newest food label recommendations, do you think it would help combat obesity and diabetes?

Using creative, colorful fonts and tag lines are great, but using misleading health claims is not a fair way to gain a loyal customer base.

Consumers are getting smarter and are really beginning to question what goes into their food.

Don’t end up on one of the many sites now devoted to calling out foods and manufacturers who make misleading health claims. 

Labels are important. Use yours to promote your product in an ethical, responsible way and you will gain a loyal customer base!








FDA Proposal Would Mean Big Changes To Food Labels

A recent proposed rule by the FDA would mean big changes for food labels.

According to a statement from the FDA, the agency is proposing an update to the information that is presented on the Nutrition Facts label.

The new rule would require updating serving sizes; adding more information about “added sugars;” updated daily value for sodium, dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin D; require manufacturers to declare the amount of potassium and vitamin D on the label; and “Calories from Fat” would be removed from the label.

The most notable change will be to the updated serving size requirements.  The FDA wants food label’s serving sizes to reflect how people are actually eating and drinking today.

FDA Recommended Food Labeling

The FDA states that food that is typically consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings would be required to have a “double column” label to indicate “per serving” and “per package” nutrition information.

“For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, typically consumed in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving rather than as more than one serving” the FDA states.

Additionally, larger food packages, that still may be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, would also require “dual column” labels. The FDA used 24-ounce sodas and a pint of ice cream as examples.

“This way, people would be able to easily understand how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package at one time,” the FDA states.

The new labels will also featured a “refreshed design.”

Calorie and serving sizes will be more prominent. The daily percentage value will move to the left side of the label and the footnote will “more clearly explain the meaning of the Percent Daily Value.”

FDA Food Label Recommendations



Labels: What Information Must Be Included

If you’re just getting started on creating a label for your product, there are many things you must take into consideration.

What do you want your label to say about your product?
What color palate will you choose?
What contact information will you choose?
How much copy do you want to put on your label?
How large/small do you want your label to be?

While there are some things you may choose to not include on your label, there are some things that, by law, must be included on your label.

If your product is made for consumption, you must include an ingredient list, and some states require nutrition information. Your label must include whether or not your product contains common allergens, such as peanuts, milk and soy.

If your product is hazardous, your label must contain a warning; i.e, Not suitable for consumption; Keep out of reach of children, etc.

Your label may not make unfounded claims. “Guaranteed to help you lose 10 pounds.”

According to the FDA, “The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act—which provides authority for FDA’s consumer-protection work—requires that labels on packaged food products in interstate commerce not be false or misleading in any way.”

It’s important to check with federal and state laws when creating your product label to ensure your product label is in compliance.

Once you’ve decided what should go onto your label, it’s important that your labels be properly placed and aligned.  Properly aligned, uniform labels give your product a professional, finished look.

Don’t apply your labels by hand.- This can sometimes lead to human error and sloppy labels and it can be very time consuming. Invest in a label dispenser or label dispensing machine.

Label dispensers apply labels perfectly every time and they ensure that your labels are centered, consistent, crisp and professional-looking.

Let us help you get started!





Semi-Automatic vs. Manual Label Dispenser

When a business ships lots of products or sends out lots of mail daily, it knows all too well the role labels play when it comes to shipping. Whether it’s an address label, shipping label or simply a label depicting an American flag or cute animal labels not only have important information on them, but can also make the package stand out and be more attractive. When there is a high volume of packages or mail to send out each day, label dispensers are invaluable tools that can save lots of time and hassle. Depending on the type of business one has, most often people use either a manual dispenser or semi-automatic dispenser.

Manual Dispenser

Simon said to make it simple, and with the Simple Simon manual label dispenser shipping and mailing are as simple as ever. Made to use with labels up to four inches wide, this dispenser is great for business or personal use and can accommodate almost any type of label. Butt cut or die cut, mylar, holographic, transparent, foil or other thin label stock work great with this dispenser. A perfect addition to a small business that ships out only a handful of boxes daily, it can be used to label boxes, envelopes, bags, cans or most anything else needing a label. Assembled at in-house manufacturing facilities, all components of these dispensers are precision-made and built to last for many years. An American original, they are shipped within 24 hours and guaranteed to satisfy.

Semi-Automatic Dispenser

On the other hand, if a business has a higher volume of shipping and mailing it’s going to need a label dispenser that provides a bit of help when putting labels on packages and envelopes. Semi-automatic dispensers offer the added advantage of eliminating the need to manually pull each label up to be dispensed. With a new photoelectric sensor now available on all semi-automatic dispensers, labels can automatically be advanced up to 10 inches per second with high-speed dispensers. Just like manual dispensers, these can also use various kinds of labels including clear, foil, mylar and more. In many businesses where shipping departments are located in dimly-lit warehouses, these dispensers work very well thanks to their sensors that are made in the United States. A great addition to any business that needs to label big, bulky items such as tires or lightweight, fragile items such as light bulbs, semi-automatic label dispensers take the task of shipping and make it look and seem easy.

No matter what needs to be mailed or shipped, these label dispensers take an arduous task and make it much easier, putting a smile on everyone’s face while also putting a label on each package or product.