Food Labels


Food Labels

Five things to think about when it comes to food labels.

  1. Food labels need to perform under unique circumstances, such as in a freezer, in contact with food or oil and moisture.
  2. They need to meet legal standards in terms of nutritional information and allergy advice. 
  3. Food labels often get printed in small batches and over-printed with variable information. 
  4. They often need to be applied to packaging using machines or hand-held label applicators.
  5. Finally, labels need to sell your food product – use them to stand out from the competition.

Let’s take a look:

Food Grade and Heat Proof Materials and Adhesives

Food labels need to meet certain legal standards as well as practical ones.  Normal adhesives freezes solid and the labels fall off.  If your product is destined for the freezer – you’ll need freezer adhesive labels.  For labels that will get wet, you need labels made from moisture resistant material.  You labels need to remain readable if oil is spilled on them.

Does you food label need to survive in the oven?  Choose labels that will remain presentable, even at temperatures up to 250 Deg C.

With fresh food, labels can be printed using ‘direct thermal’ printers – this means the label printing is made more simple without the need for ink.  The label turns black when it’s printed on with a thermal label printer.  Best before dates and batch codes can be over-printed quickly and easily using these printers.  Learn more here if you are interested.

Request a sample of materials and test them for yourself.

Legal Standards for Food Labels

Nutritional information
Nutrition labels

Unlike standard product labels, your food labels need to contain certain mandatory information such as allergy advice, product names and ingredients.  We work with a few graphic designers who can help you with this – contact us for more information. 

Ask us about software to design your labels yourself, with allergens highlighted and ingredients pulled in from a database or spreadsheet.

Small Batches of Food Labels

On demand colour labels
On demand colour labels

In addition to pre-printed food labels – we can help with on-demand food label printing for small batches of labels. 

Here you can choose to print an entire colour label or take a pre-printed label (printed with colour elements such as your logo or address) and over-print with specific food details.

Food labels often need to be over-printed with batch codes and best before dates, whilst the rest of the label is standard.  We can do this by having panels to print onto.

Contact us to learn how you you can print onto your labels.

How You'll Apply Your Labels to Your Food Products

Food labels tend to be used in high volume situations.  If you need large rolls of labels (or fanfolded labels that get fed straight from the box), for use in a label applicator – let us know. 

If you plan to use a handheld label applicator then we can supply labels on small rolls that will fit in the applicator. 

Your Labels Make Your Products Stand Out

Finally, and possibly the most important thing your labels need to do is sell your product.

You can employ a range of label features to make your products look and feel different to the competition.

Metallic foiling catches the consumer’s eye and also gives your product a premium appearance.

Embossing, ‘spot varnishes’ and special varnishes (like extra matt – that makes your label feel like sandpaper) not only make your food item look different – but actually creates an intimate connection by way of touch.

Things to make the your buyers stop and think.

Embossed labels
Embossing and Foiling to make your product stand out

Further help

Learn about food labelling regulations here:

Read about the advantages and disadvantages of direct thermal printing here:

Updated: 19 Apr 2020


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