Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying Labeling Equipment

Breaking Down the Cost….Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying Labeling Equipment

Do you have a short-term production run approaching? Does your marketing department want to try a new promotional program? Maybe you just aren’t ready to commit to another piece of capital equipment. EPI Labelers has no hassle, no maintenance, and no fuss affordable rental options on all labeler systems.

Fleet Rental

Why Rent?

  1. Save Time – we have machines on the shelf ready to ship. This reduces the delivery time with minimal interruption to your production line.
  2. Save Space – rental equipment can be sent back when the job is done. No more taking up unnecessary space in the warehouse.
  3. Save Money – No capital expenditures, our rentals can be expensed as part of the short-term program. The financial burden of maintenance is also passed back to the rental company, EPI.

Our rental program allows you to upgrade your facility for a short period of time for less, while creating a more efficient line. If you need to get into production fast because of a last minute promotion or incorrect information printed, the ideal solution is EPI’s rental program.

Why Not Rent?

  1. Higher End Cost – A lot of times renting is more expensive if you rent for extended periods of time or you rent frequently.
  2. No Ownership – There is no equity being built and you are at the mercy of the rental company.

How often do you have production runs? Does your marketing department run promotional programs regularly? Do you have the available capital to just buy the equipment outright? Maybe it makes sense to just buy the labeler.

Why Buy?

  1. Ownership – When the property, such as an EPI labeler has a long useful life you not only gain ownership but a product that will serve your company for years.
  2. Save Money – Depending on how long you rent or how often you rent it could be cheaper in the long run to buy the equipment out right.
  3. Save Time – EPI labelers are so versatile they lend themselves to a wide variety of applications. If you own the equipment you can use it or change it to fit your company’s needs.

Why Not Buy?

  1. Higher Initial Cost – When buying outright you have to have more money up front, whether you pay cash or have to put 20% down on a loan.
  2. Maintenance – You are responsible for the cost that comes with needed maintenance.

EPI Labelers is a dedicated manufacturer of high quality labeling equipment. Our machines are the answer to your labeling problems. Whether you rent or buy you need to make the choice that is best for your company. There are pros and cons to each. Contact our sales department at 717.235.8345 or email them at sales@epilabelers.com. Let EPI’s sales team help you figure out the best solution to all your labeling needs!

Salty Snack Sales Continue to Increase Through 2020

Salty Snack

The consumption of snack foods in the U.S. is undoubtedly a large part of our culture. Snacks offer a convenient way to curb hunger by eating a quick bite on the go. In addition to this, they are often times individually packaged which means there is little or no preparation required to stock up and enjoy! One of the most popular segments of the snack market is salty snacks. These include our favorite items such as chips, pretzels, and more! The salty snack food market is currently experiencing a strong growth, in fact, by 2020 it is estimated that the U.S. salty snack sales are to hit $27 billion. While this may seem like a large number, the industry is already on its way. Sales were $22.5 billion in 2015 with popular products such as potato chips, popcorn and caramel corn, and fruit and vegetable chips contributing to this growth.

The Appeal of Salty Snacks

The salty snack industry has a large appeal. According to the article “Snacking: The New American Pastime,” Mintel research shows that 60 percent of snackers eat salty snacks as a treat, and 58 percent buy them to satisfy a craving. With large numbers of consumers at stake, it is important for manufacturers to promote their product’s unique benefits. Consumers often times want to eat a healthy snack while feeling as though they are indulging.

Consumer Needs

Knowing what drives consumers to pick one snack over another is important to staying competitive in the snacking industry. For example, how much are health considerations taken into account when selecting snacks? According to a Nielsen study, “More respondents around the world care about the absence of ingredients than the addition of them.” In addition to this, Susan Dunn, executive vice president, Global Professional Services, Nielsen said, “Consumers want snacks to stick to the basics.”

As manufactures of salty snacks move forward with their products, improving taste and product varieties can only help to improve sales. It will also benefit manufactures to pay attention to consumer demands and snacking occasions as well. In addition to taste and variety, the labeling of snack food packages is important. Correctly labeling food helps consumers to learn more about the contents of what they are consuming and highlights the benefits that healthy snacks have to offer.

If you are in the market for a labeler to cater to the snack food industry, consider giving us a call. We have a custom designed Flex-PacTM labeler and strong partnerships with the vast majority of bagger/wrapper manufacturers. In addition to this, we can apply pressure sensitive labels to just about any surface of the package, which makes it ideal for reclosable, production and primacy labels. Let us help you push the salty snack market to $27 billion by 2020.

A Look at Food Label Transparency

Food Label Transparency and Why It Matters to the Consumer

Label Transparency

There have been multiple updates regarding food labels in the past few months, specifically with GMO Labeling, and this has become a topic of discussion across news channels, publications, and blogs. As we place a greater emphasis on the importance of food labels, it is critical to evaluate their transparency.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, which works to prevent contamination in food, encourages transparency. As consumers become more and more educated with food choices and what they are consuming there is an increased emphasis placed on traceability. Food manufacturers have a huge responsibility when it comes to how their brands are perceived by the consumer. According to an article in Food Safety News, “Consumers want transparency on labels more than anything else,” said Dr. David Acheson, former chief medical officer for both the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).

As our culture shifts toward consuming better food and living a healthier lifestyle, consumers want to know more about the food they are eating. This means, the more ingredients contained in food, the more complex it will be to meet the consumer demand for transparency.

The Future of Food Labeling

What does this increased transparency mean for the future of food labeling? It would be beneficial for the food industry to explore new ways of delivering the information that consumers seek. With all of the information the consumer is asking to know about the products they are buying, it can be difficult to include everything on a product’s label. Thanks to the SmartLabel initiative, food companies have options like bar codes or QR codes that link to more detailed information about ingredients for the consumer who wants all the details. This tool will provide information such as nutrition, ingredients, allergens and more!

As food labeling continues to evolve, there are no doubts that better food labeling will allow for more informed decisions.

Transparency in Labeling

If there were transparency in labeling, would we be able to track food better? Will labeling companies need to continue meeting consumer requirements? Will what consumers perceive on labels impact purchasing decisions?

At the end of the day the consumer wants what the consumer wants. According to Mintel’s Global Consumer Trends for 2015, “Twenty-two percent of US grocery consumers would like to see improved labeling on packaging to help them easily identify healthier food products, and less than 38 percent trust what companies say on labels.” Aside from what the government requires on labels, do food companies need to give the consumer more? Many believe “yes”. Companies are concerned about the individual and want to know what the consumer thinks and feels so they can make solid purchasing decisions that will have a greater impact on the bottom line.

Transparency is providing the shopper/consumer with the information they need to make better choices for their family. Own your product and be upfront with the consumer. It is our goal to help our customers by offering a labeler that fits into your production line to help do just that.

New Dietary Guidelines

Dietary Guidelines

Did you know the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Department first issued dietary guidelines back in 1980? These guidelines are updated every five years, and the norm has always been for Americans to consume more fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and low-fat foods. These guidelines affect foods chosen for the school lunch program and help shape national food assistance programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.


New Sugar Cut Backs

This year, the dietary guidelines suggest you cut back on sugar, specifically to limit added sugars to 10% of your daily calories. Let me just say, “WOW!” For those of us who love our sugar this is hard to swallow. Cakes, cookies and pastries will take a hit if most Americans abide by the new guidelines. In addition to this, the guidelines urge that at least half of the grains we eat be whole grains not refined and stripped of their essential nutrients. Refined grains amount to empty calories and are often times not much better than eating straight sugar. In addition to this, refined grains can quickly turn into sugar when digested. These changes will also affect Americans who consume soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. According to an article on npr.org, Americans have a large sugar habit, consuming 22 teaspoons a day. This means that many of us would have to cut our sugar intake in half.

The World Health Organization and other groups have given similar advice and have cited evidence that cutting back on sugar could lower one’s risk of obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

Limiting sugars will be easier to do once the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed label change requires food and beverage firms to disclose the amount of added sugar as a way to help track one’s intake. Since 2010, there has also been an overall recommendation to reduce saturated fat intake to less than 10% of your daily diet, a shift that could, in practice, require limiting the intake of red meat.

The dietary guidelines originally suggested teenage boys and men cut back on red meat. However, this was dropped to recommend men and boys reduce their overall intake of protein foods like meat, poultry, and eggs, and that they add more vegetables to their diets.

The dietary guidelines influence everything from the national school lunch program to the advice you get at the doctor’s office. Paying closer attention to food and beverage labels is important if you are following the recommended dietary guidelines, and reading food packaging labels can help you evaluate components such as the serving size, calories, and vitamins. For more information on evaluating labels check out our blog “Confused by Labels.”

Do you follow the dietary guidelines issued by the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Department? Stay tuned for more information on the change in labels!

The Rise of Single-Serve Food and Beverage Packaging

Labeling Single Serve Items

Single-serve food and beverage packaging continues to gain popularity as snack products and single servings of meals are becoming more prevalent in the food and beverage landscape. This packaging option offers convenience to individuals constantly on the go with packed schedules.

Let’s take a look at what single-serve food packaging is and what this trend means to consumers.

What Is It?

Single-serve food packaging is an innovative packaging solution that offers ready to eat single servings of food products. Snacks, drinks, and other food and beverage favorites are energizing consumers in a convenient way, and the demand for convenience with single-serve packaging is on the rise. This packaging allows consumers to stock up on their favorite snacks and meals and eat them on the go.

Why it Matters?

Why does single-serve packaging matter? Single-serve packages have a variety of benefits for consumers including but not limited to:

  1. Convenience
  2. Freshness
  3. Dietary Awareness
  4. Waste Reduction

All of these factors have a major appeal to everyday consumers. Now more then ever individuals are placing importance on elements such as convenience and dietary awareness. Everyone ranging from busy families on the go to people dealing with the everyday chaos of life can take advantage of the handiness that single-serve products provide! Single-serve packaging provides portability and on-the-go functionality. In addition to this, with an emphasis being placed on leading healthier lifestyles, single-serve products provide the health and wellness many are looking for. Portion and calorie control are much easier for on-the-go consumers to calculate, which offers convenience.

According to Convenience Store News, “With one- or two- person households representing 61 percent of all U.S. households, packages sized to serve one or two people have become a big trend in packaging.” In addition to this, smaller-footprint stores are also influencing single-serve packaging. With the growth of smaller households this will continue to increase in popularity.

How does single-serve packaging align with 2016 packaging design trends? According to Packaging Innovation here are a few ways they connect:

  1. Convenience is a crucial factor in packaging
  2. Transparency is vital because consumers want to know everything about their product
  3. Small size packaging is expected to be popular in 2016
  4. Packaging will be catered to millennials
  5. Sustainable packaging will continue to be important

The Popularity of Single-Serve Packaging

Single-serve packaging will most likely increase in popularity with consumers wanting convenience, and portions that fit their needs, and food that can be consumed on the go with busy lifestyles. As millennials gain more buying power and have a greater say in the way products are manufactured and packaged they will undoubtedly want fresh and healthy foods that are contained in eco-friendly packaging.
Many believe reading foods labels when they shop is very important when it comes to their family’s health and wellness. With consumers analyzing labels and the FDA’s Nutrition Facts label guidelines in place, this may inspire even more single-serving packs.
With food packaging labels constantly evolving because of design style changes and social changes we can help with your labeling needs. Contact EPI Labelers, powered by Pro Mach, to get the best labeler application for you operation! Contact us today 717.235.8345 or email sales@epilabelers.com.

Pro Mach Acquires EPI Labelers to Continue Expansion of Labeling and Coding Business

EPI Labelers

Cincinnati, OH – Pro Mach, Inc., an industry-leading integrated packaging solutions company, announced today it has acquired EPI Labelers. The addition of EPI Labelers expands Pro Mach’s extensive labeling and coding product offering and complements existing capabilities in vertical form, fill, seal (VFFS) packaging equipment. Pro Mach completed the acquisition on January 28, 2016, and will continue to leverage the EPI brand and their current facility in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.

EPI Labelers is a dedicated manufacturer of high-quality labeling products for packaging and promotional needs. They are a trusted solution provider for many of the largest consumer snack food and bakery brands in the U.S., and their success is indicative of their market expertise. EPI has been developing standard and custom labeling solutions for more than 30 years and manufactures a wide range of tamp, blow-on, wipe-on, 2-panel, corner wrap, high-speed, and print and apply labeling solutions.

“We’re pleased to welcome the outstanding EPI Labelers team,” said Alan Shipman, Pro Mach’s Labeling & Coding Group President. “EPI strengthens our product offering in our labeling and coding business along with our existing ID Technology and Greydon brands, and provides our customers with the most comprehensive range of quality labeling and coding solutions.”

Instituting strong focus on customer needs has created a loyal customer base and a deep expertise in unique label machinery applications for EPI Labelers. In addition, Pro Mach’s integration with EPI will be particularly valuable to current customers needing additional products or service along the packaging line, including Pro Mach’s rapidly growing flexible packaging business.

The EPI Labelers team will join Pro Mach’s Labeling and Coding Group led by Shipman. Reporting to him will be Matt McLean, Vice President and General Manager.

“We’re excited about what EPI Labelers brings to Pro Mach and the opportunity to support both our current and future customers with new, innovative solutions,” said McLean. “Together, we have outstanding opportunities to expand our solutions in key markets and develop new products that complement Pro Mach’s existing lines.”

Pro Mach is a premier packaging and processing machinery manufacturer and integrated system provider, with nearly 30 equipment brands sold throughout the world. In addition to labeling and coding, Pro Mach manufactures and integrates solutions for bottling and capping, primary and secondary packaging, flexible packaging, end of line, and material handling. Pro Mach continues to grow rapidly with a global customer base and operations in North America and Europe.

To learn more about EPI Labelers, visit them on the web at www.EPILabelers.com.

About ID Technology

ID Technology designs, manufactures and integrates custom identification systems and is recognized as a leading single-source provider for labeling, coding and marking equipment, expertise, service and supplies. ID Technology is based in Fort Worth, Texas and operates 18 regional offices across the United States and Canada. For more information or to locate one of the ID Technology nationwide sales and service centers, call 888.438.3242 or visit our website at www.idtechnology.com.

ID Technology is powered by Pro Mach, a Cincinnati, Ohio based provider of integrated packaging and processing products and solutions for food, beverage, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and other diverse companies. Through multiple brands, Pro Mach provides product packaging and processing equipment, PMMI certified training, installation, parts, and service in Bottling & Capping, Primary Packaging, Flexible Packaging, Material Handling, Identification & Tracking, and End of Line Packaging.

For more information about Pro Mach visit www.ProMachInc.com.

Media Contact:

Hilary Gaines

817-624-6839

2016 GMO Label Law Update

2015 GMOs Label Law Update

2015 was a year filled with updates about trends with GMO labeling. In fact, if you have been following the news related to GMOs, you may be aware of the developments at the end of 2015 regarding possible legislation where it would not be required for states to have companies share products that contain GMOs. The GMO labeling portion of the spending bill did not go through.

The state of Vermont, which passed a law in 2014 requiring GMO labeling to take effect this summer, was very happy with the outcome of this bill. According to the article “Congress doesn’t block GMO label law,” Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said, “This is a victory for Vermont consumers. Our GMO labeling law is about giving them the right to know what is in their food. It is ridiculous that some in Congress want to prevent Vermont from granting to its citizens that right. I want to thank the best congressional delegation in America for having Vermont’s back on this issue in D.C.”

Are GMO’s Safe?

Food industries still say that food containing GMO ingredients are safe, and the Food and Drug Administration has also declared GMO ingredients to be safe and has not supported mandated labeling.

In December the FDA decided to approve the sale of genetically engineered salmon, and feels that this salmon doesn’t need to have any special labeling. This decision has been countered with a negative public response because individuals want to know what they are buying. Will the failure to label GMO salmon hurt the industry?

Does mandatory labeling of “GMO” foods add cost to food production?

Many are against GMO labeling because of cost. There are a variety of factors that are used to calculate the cost of labeling including:

  1. The cost of printing new labels.
  2. Determining what needs to be printed on the label.
  3. The cost of all foods and ingredients. This will increase when mandatory labeling laws are passed, and all manufactures will have to decide if they will be GMO-free or carry the mandatory GMO label.
  4. The addition of separate handling and processing facilities.
  5. The cost of formulating new products and the inevitable fight for supermarket shelves.

According to the blog “The Foodie Farmer”, farmers pick what they grow based on their soil and many grow 3-4 different varieties of products such as corn. If GMO labeling were to pass, huge additions would be needed both on and off the farm. This blogger believes it would take billions of dollars in infrastructure for grain segregation.

A Look at the Future of GMO Labeling

A few companies have started to take sides with this debate. Campbell Soup Co. recently took a stand and announced support of mandatory labeling regarding GMO ingredients. Vermont may be the first to find out what mandatory GMO labeling will mean for manufactures and consumers.  We will continue to keep you posted on this trend and what it means for the food and labeling industries!

GMO Update 101: The Latest Developments in GMO Labeling

GMO

Should it be mandatory to label genetically modified foods (GMO)? We have been keeping up with all of the GMO updates over the past few months and have recent news to share regarding these possible changes.

Food Industry

As the end of 2015 approaches, there is a potential change regarding GMOs on the horizon. The food industry wishes for GMO labeling to be voluntary, and there is currently a spending bill on the table that may have an impact the labeling. States would not be required to have companies disclose products that contain GMOs if the bill becomes a law.

Similar legislation was passed earlier this year, as detailed in our “Anti-GMO Labeling Law is passed by U.S. House” article. The Senate has not yet acted on this legislation, and many food companies and farm groups want Congress to step in. As of right now, Vermont would be the first state to require GMO labels next summer.

According to the article “Food Industry Pushing Halt to GMO Labeling by End of Year,” Claire Parker of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food said, “What’s at stake for farmers and consumers without action is that American farmers and food companies will be faced with uncertainty.”

Many of the country’s largest food companies say GMO foods are safe and that labels would be misleading. They believe that the cost of GMO labeling will be passed onto the consumer.

According to the FDA, the GMOs on the market now are safe. In regards to the federal government’s stand on this issue, they do not support mandatory labels.

Supporters

Those in support of the labeling believe that the consumer has the right to know what is in their foods and what they are consuming. In addition to this, these supporters would like to work with the FDA to have a federal mandatory label.

Supporters of labeling are using television ads that are centered around the FDA’s recent approval of genetically modified salmon. There has been a large amount of press coverage around this recent decision.

A Case for Both Sides

Food companies want the labeling of genetically modified foods to be voluntary. These companies believe the foods are safe and the labels would be misleading to consumers. In contrast to this, supporters want to know what their food is made up of and have a choice.

Do you think it should be mandatory for genetically modified foods (GMO) to be labeled? Stay tuned for more information about this trend!

Stand-up Pouch Market Experiences Large Growth

Stand-up Pouch

When buying your favorite foods, chances are you have purchased a product that is housed in a stand-up pouch. This form of food packaging has experienced growth along with the flexible packaging industry. How do stand-up packaging and flexible packaging fit together? Customers are looking for light weight, compact and sterilized packaging solutions, and stand-up pouches are replacing rigid packaging for many applications.

According to MarketsandMarkets, stand-up pouches are projected to reach USD 33.4 Billion by 2020. These pouches are already well established in developed countries, and are estimated to have a high growth rate in economies that are still developing such as those of China and India. This growth is expected to take place from 2015-2020.

An increased demand for packages that include features such as being light weight, resealable and having a lower cost has caused a demand for stand-up pouches. Consumers love everything about the stand-up pouch including:

  1. Zipper pouch
  2. Microwavable pouch
  3. Handles
  4. Tear Notch
  5. Pouring Spouts
  6. Peel-Off Lids

In addition to this, stand-up pouches have gained popularity with consumers because of their handiness of reclosure, size and barrier properties.

Manufactures have moved towards stand-up pouches because of all the features the pouches have to offer consumers. These pouches allow for great visual marketing and ease of use.

According to MarketsandMarkets.com, the stand-up pouches market is segmented in the following five categories:

  1. Round bottom
  2. K-style
  3. Plow bottom
  4. Flat bottom
  5. Other window bags and spout pouches

On the basis of application, the stand-up pouches market has been segmented as follows:

  1. Food & Beverages: Human food, Pet food, Beverages
  2. Non-Food: Healthcare, Personal & Homecare, Others (fertilizers, cement, paints, and coatings)
Eco Friendly

The need for sustainability and eco-friendly packaging is an increasing trend. Many manufacturers are choosing to use eco-friendly packaging material because of the consumer pushing for more eco-friendly products, and stand-up pouches offer a variety of ways to satisfy both consumers and manufacturers.

What do you look for in your flexible packaging? If you are a manufacturer and need help labeling your pouches contact us at sales@epilabelers.com or call 800-755-8344.

Front vs. Back Food Label Packaging, What You Need to Know

When shopping for your favorite foods, the placement of the label may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it is extremely important. There are a variety of label placements for products, but two of the most common are the front and back label. Read on to learn more about everything you need to know regarding front and back labeling so you can keep this in mind when searching for information related to the nutrients or ingredients of your favorite foods.

Front-of-Package Labeling

According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, front-of-package nutrition labeling systems were brought into the industry at the request of Michelle Obama in 2010. This form of labeling is easy to use and displays the key nutritional information on the front of food and beverage packages.

It is important that labeling is easy to read and understand so consumers are able to follow healthy diets consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and front-of-package labeling does just that. Nutrition information is often times used when making food-purchasing decisions, and selecting the right foods will improve dietary choices and result in a reduced risk of obesity and chronic diseases. In fact, America’s food and beverage manufacturers joined forces with retailers to develop and implement Facts Up Front, which is an initiative to provide Americans with critical nutrition

Package Labels

information about their favorite products including calories, nutrients and more.

Information related to calories and nutrients is important to the FDA as well. “Today, ready access to reliable information about the calorie and nutrient content of food is even more important, given the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases in the United States,” Dr. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, said in a letter to industry according to the FDA.

Back-of-Package Labeling

The Nutrition Facts label was introduced 20 years ago, and nutrition information in readable type is required on almost all packaged foods by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This information usually appears on the back of the package. In the past two years the FDA has issued 2 proposed rules and 1 supplemental proposed rule on updating the Nutrition Facts label. For more information on the proposed changes and how they may impact you, check out our blog “Will Clearer Food Labels, Make Healthier Choices Clearer?

    Nutrition facts often included on back-of-package labeling are:
  • “% Daily Value” — that shows what portion of the amount of daily recommended nutrients the product provides, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
  • Total fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Trans fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Fiber
  • Other nutrients
  • Serving size

Front and Back-of Package Labeling Together

According to The Journal of Consumer Affairs, a study was done on how the front and back of package labels influence consumer beliefs about health claims. The study revealed that combining the short health claims on the front and the full information on the back increases the consumers’ believability of the product’s health claims.

The next time you are shopping for your favorite snack food products make sure to keep an eye on the label whether it is on the front or back of the bag. It contains important information to keep you healthy while enjoying delicious foods!