Anyone with food allergies has a great appreciation for food product labels. Without them, it would be impossible to know which foods were safe to eat and which were not. Every packaged food purchase would be a risk and could put them in the hospital. Fortunately, laws have been passed that require the food industry to list any of the most common allergens that are either in their product or could have contaminated their product. Requirements for the commercial labeling of food products have prevented many from suffering from life-threatening side effects of food allergies, but the commercial labeling industry itself has changed the landscape of the food industry in more ways than that. Three ways that commercial labeling has revolutionized the food industry are:
- Product Information – One of the most important aspects of food labels is that they provide consumers with valuable information about the product. Not only do they list all of the ingredients contained in a particular food product, but they also list any food allergens that could have come into contact with the product, as was mentioned above. Other important information the labels provide includes nutrition facts, cooking instructions and the company’s website and contact information. All of this information creates a safer and more convenient experience for customers when they are shopping for food products.
- Branding – Marketers have also gained quite a bit from commercial labeling. Labels have allowed them to include a unique graphic on the product containers that helps customers identify their product and create better brand awareness. The more consumers are exposed to these branded labels, the more they associate that particular product with a specific company, increasing their chances of choosing that company over others. Coca Cola, for example, is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and when people see that red and white label, they know immediately that the product is a bottle of Coca Cola.
- Safety – Listing allergens on food labels is an important safety measure, but food packaging labels themselves actually create an extra layer of security for the product. Shrink sleeve labels come in all sizes and can even be designed to cover the entire container. When they cover the cap on a bottle of soda, for example, customers can tell immediately whether or not the product has been tampered with. If the label is broken, they know that they should not buy or use the product, but if the label is intact they know that it is safe for consumption.
Whether they are shrink sleeve labels, pressure sensitive labels or cut and stack labels, commercial labeling products play a major role in the food packaging process. From telling customers important information and helping food companies gain recognition to making products safer, commercial labels are a necessity for the food industry.