Food Label Power: Going Beyond Nutrition Facts

How a Food Label Can Boost Your Retail Operation

Why is a food label so important? Prepackaged snacks and meals are often necessities, regardless of which industry you serve. For military, service members must constantly refuel to balance out intense training. Healthcare workers must maintain energy throughout long shifts with short breaks. Students may need a quick bite between classes. Whatever the case, “grab and go” presents a fast, convenient dining option.

Vector graphic of a person looking at a life-size food label

When one pictures a food label, it is typically a simple black and white box that lists various data: serving size, calories, daily value percentages, etc. However, nutrition facts are vital, as they help educate customers to make the best decisions for their health. The food label can also provide a detailed list of ingredients for consumers who may have allergies, sensitivities, and/or restrictions (e.g., gluten), thereby reducing the risk of complications.

In accordance with FDA or Health Canada standards, nutrition facts and ingredients should always be present on items for purchase. Yet, a food label can go much further in a retail environment. With the right labeling solution, an operation can add its logo and dish name to the package, enhancing brand awareness. Enticing descriptions (e.g., “Crisp Mediterranean Salad”) can highlight key ingredients and attact customers based on their preferred flavors or cuisines while generating curiosity and excitement around new dishes. Consequently, a proper food label helps to optimize the shopping experience, increasing throughput and along queues for made-to-order items.

Insights from Palos Hospital

Seeking advice on how to run a successful grab and go operation? Watch the video below for a clip from our past Virtual User Conference “Retail Radar” session, during which Palos Hospital shared valuable information about their retail experience.

Top Considerations When Choosing a Food Label Printer

If you are interested in producing high-quality food labels and want more guidance, here are several questions to consider:

Will it be easy for my staff to use?

Touchscreen-driven label printers are easy to operate, requiring little training of your staff.

Can I print labels in the kitchen without a computer connection?

Stand-alone units allow your staff to print labels on-demand right at the point of packaging with no computer connection required. Some units have a small footprint and are even wall mountable.

Can I customize the food label? Can I have my logo on it?

Make sure your chosen company offers the flexibility to design a custom label. Including your branding, whether it’s for the facility, your retail area, or both, can increase sales, promote your brand’s visibility, and highlight wellness initiatives.

Is it capable of adding other languages?

Ensure your label software can accommodate your establishment’s demographics; for example, a Canadian hospital may have both English and French speakers.

How do I figure out how my food label needs to look?

With varying requirements even within a county, it’s best to speak to your local sanitarian for guidelines. Ask them precisely what you’re required to advertise, sharing a proof of the label (sometimes provided by the labeling company) to ensure you meet the requirements.

Can I change the layout depending on governmental requirements?

Flexibility in the label design assures that the system you choose addresses your needs today and well into the future. The labeling company should be able to make changes for a nominal fee.

Does it integrate with my nutrition analysis software?

Very few systems allow you to integrate with a food service automation system, so it pays to do your homework when deciding on a food label printer. Integrations enhance your food service automation system’s value while eliminating manual work and inherent inconsistencies in managing duplicate information sets.

Does the vendor offer any special partnerships?

Consider teaming up with a company that values partnerships with fellow vendors, which will only serve to augment your investment. For example, we are proud to partner with Integrated Control Corporation (ICC) for nutrition label printing.

For retail operations looking to ensure their food labels provide accurate information, enhance customer safety, reflect a professional image, and meet or exceed regulatory standards, a robust labeling system is a crucial tool in your arsenal.