The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry
experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the
overall food industry marketplace. In this issue, we ask:
Which innovations in food labeling should food manufacturers be paying attention
to, what benefits do they have to offer and how are they best implemented?
John Giesfeldt, Senior Manager, Marketing, WS Packaging Group, Inc.
Bob Adamson, Vice President of Sales, B & H Labeling Systems
The greatest innovation in roll-fed labeling is happening in adhesive application. Roll-fed labelers have used multiple versions of a
rotating glue wheel system since the invention of roll-fed labeling
over 40 years ago. This technology is proven and widely used, but it
has several inherent deficiencies:
• Voids in applied glue patterns
• Inconsistent glue application
• Limited control over amount of glue applied to a label
• Glue slinging, stringing and build-up
• Glue degradation caused by repeated recirculation and
• Multiple mechanical components that make set-up, operation
and maintenance difficult
Recent innovations that are being offered as alternatives to the
traditional glue wheel system include spray application systems,
label reels with adhesive pre-applied to the label web and extrusion
From my perspective, extrusion-based systems have the greatest
potential to become ‘what’s next’ in roll-fed labeling.
Extrusion technology provides a platform for fully automatic, rec-
ipe-driven, hot melt adhesive application. Unlike spray systems for
roll-fed labeling, which are limited in speed and high in maintenance,
In addition to improving the accuracy of glue
application, extrusion technology reduces glue
recirculation and reheating by more than 90
percent and it eliminates dozens of mechanical
components, reducing glue waste, improving
labeling quality and increasing uptime by mak-
ing the labeler easier to set-up, operate and maintain.
Another unique advantage of an extrusion based system is its
ability to use a wide range of hot melt adhesives never before used
for roll-fed labeling. This capability is based on the fact that extrusion
can smoothly process adhesives that simply will not run on glue
wheel or spray glue systems. This may prove to be the greatest
breakthrough offered by an extrusion based glue application system.
Manufacturers should be aware of all innovations related to glue
application, and they should fully understand and evaluate these
new technologies before deciding which approach is best for their
Labeling represents one of the strongest
ways to connect food brands with consumers on multiple levels, bring the product
positioning to life and create shelf impact.
A product label is the face of the brand. It
needs to position the product and communicate the brand story.
From pressure-sensitive to glue-applied,
shrink to in-mold, having the right label
enables you to bring your brand story front-and-center to consumers. And with about
70 percent of purchase decisions being
made at the shelf, your label has just seconds to be noticed.
Establishing, maintaining and growing your SKU strength for food
products depends on packaging and decoration solutions that complete your overall brand strategy.
Packaging development for food products needs to command
increased visibility with shelf impact that confirms product goodness
and quality. But competing in today’s retail environment has never
been tougher. For national brands and private label, row upon row of
faced product creates a visual wall that is increasingly challenging for
to break through. If the shelf impact of your packaging misses being
noticed, you miss a sales opportunity. But when you win at the shelf,
you increase your share gain.
When you look at the total cost to package a product, decoration
represents only a fraction of the cost. For example, the total applied
cost per 1,000 of a 16-ounce PET container runs $100-$150 for the
container, $25-$35 for the closure, and $5-$15 for the label.*
Though it holds just a small percentage of the total packaging cost,
decoration is the last chance to communicate the brand to the consumer. This is why packaging success hinges on effective execution.
Design a label before the container is finalized and you ensure the
prospect of a redesign. With a complex supply chain, it’s important
to leave a seat at the table for everyone early in the process for
major projects. When the brand owner, packaging designer, container supplier, label/package printer and manufacturer/co-packer are
all involved early, you assure the overall success of winning at the
moment of truth.
*Cost comparison courtesy of Avery Dennison Label and
Packaging Materials ◆