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!

Keeping an Eye on Sugar During the Holiday Season

Apple Pie Blondes

The holiday season is a time to get together and share a meal with family and friends. While there are a variety of foods served during this time of year, sweets and sugar are often some of the most prevalent menu items. Stay healthy and happy this season by reading your nutrition labels and keeping an eye on sugar intake.

Monitoring Sugar Intake

Do you know what one of the most dangerous and over consumed ingredients in our diets is? If you guessed “sugar” you guessed correctly! While sugar is perhaps one of the most delicious ingredients in our food and we love to eat sweets, too much sugar can be bad for us.

According to the Obesity Action Coalition, Americans drink more than 500 cans of soda every year, and one can of soda contains 10 tsp. of sugar. If you are the average American drinking 500 cans of soda a year you are taking in 52lbs. of sugar a year just from soft drinks. This is an extremely high sugar consumption considering the fact that men should consume no more than 9tsp. of sugar a day and women should consume no more than 6tsp.
Too much sugar can have a negative impact on our body leading to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, tooth decay and even heart disease. It is important to become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and what we are allowing our children to put into theirs so we can avoid health risks. In order to monitor sugar consumption we can read our food packaging labels and train ourselves to look at the nutrition value food is providing our bodies. While it is important to monitor calories, looking at sugar content is vital as well! Did you know that whether you are on the run or eating out, restaurants are legally required to provide you with the nutritional information to make healthy choices?

It is important to monitor sugar because it is in everything ranging from fast food, beverages, frozen food and so much more. Looking at nutrition labels is an excellent way to make sure we are not over consuming this ingredient. When we reach our limit we need to stop!

Nutrition Labels for Healthy Decisions

Nutrition Labels tell you about the nutrition of a particular product and include the following:

  1. Serving Size
  2. Number of Servings in the Package
  3. Calories per Serving
  4. Sugar per Serving
  5. Amount of Various Nutrients in the Product

Reading and understanding nutrition labels can help you make healthier food decisions, maintain a healthier weight and make sure you are consuming the right nutrients. If you are confused by labels consider reading our blog post “Confused by Labels?” which breaks down what you need to know about serving size, calories and vitamins and nutrients.

With the holidays right around the corner, let’s get started on understanding nutritional labels so we can have a happy healthy holiday season.

Evaluating Labels on Fresh Produce

Fresh Produces

October 24, 2015 is Food Day, a day that inspires many to change the way they interact with food. Food Day is also a good time to get inspired and take a look at what you are really eating. This year Food Day has the theme “Toward a Greener Diet.” Part of a green diet is consuming foods such as fresh produce. When consuming produce we often consider different kinds of fruits and vegetables, but it is also important to take a look at the labels on these products as well.

Food packaging labels on fresh produce have transformed the market over the last decade. Consuming quality food and keeping it safe from the time you receive it until you serve it is important. Often times, fresh products present special challenges in comparison to other food products. One of the key elements of maintaining quality is to be careful with the food from handling during the harvest until when it is served.

Grading and Standards

Did you know that few of the fresh produce items sold in the United States are actually graded? The USDA has established “grade standards,” which can be used to help make good decisions. In fact, most grade standards are Federal. However, some states have their own standards that have been established for certain produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables purchased under state standards generally do not have “U.S.” in the name of the grade according to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

Shelf Life

To buy fresh produce and use it in a timely way, you want to know:

  1. What the vendor says its shelf life is
  2. How many days it has spent in transit to a distributor
  3. How long the distributor has kept it in storage

This allows you to determine the remaining shelf life before purchasing.

Every piece of fruit has a sticker and every vegetable has a scanning label, but did you know the numbers on these are codes provide information about the produce? The codes consist of 4 or 5 numbers and identify whether the produce is organic, grown with petroleum-based fertilizers or contain pesticides.

If a number is 4 digits it means the produce was grown in depleted soil and contains poisons. If the number is 5 digits and the first digit is 8 it means the produce is genetically modified. Genetically modified is when it contains genes not put there by nature. If the number is 5 digits and the first digit is 9 it means the produce has organic standard, but is not as strict as some produced by the serious organic farmer.

If you’re interested in finding out more about PLU numbers, simply go to the IFPS website, which provides the PLU database online. In addition to this, Natural News has more information about PLU labels.

Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015 Recap

EPI Labelers recently returned from Pack Expo 2015. This year’s event was the 20th anniversary and broke attendance records with 29,000 attendees, a 4 percent increase over 2014.

The event consisted of free seminars throughout the show floor and was packed with attendees. One of the popular topics at the event was the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is the biggest reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years and was signed into law on January 4, 2011. On September 10, 2015 the preventive controls final rules were announced, with many businesses compliance dates beginning in September 2016.

While at Pack Expo we got to catch up with Bosch Packaging, a partner of ours. They told attendees that it is important to select equipment with hygienic designs to meet the new FSMA standards. FSMA’s new regulatory and enforcement powers nearly affect every link in the food supply chain and are important for packaging companies to be ready to battle against the food contamination issues.

Pack Expo, Las Vages 2015, C-Wrap

Food and beverage brand owners have very little time left to get their operations in compliance with the new FSMA regulations. The first set of rules took effect August 30, 2015, with compliance required in 1-3 years based on one’s business.

We were happy to be a part of Pack Expo where we could talk, inspire others in our industry and learn more about future growth with other plant-level managers, engineers, brand managers and packaging designers! We look forward to seeing what next year’s event brings.

Millennials Setting Food Trends

Millennials

Are you a millennial? If you were born between 1982 and 2004 chances are you are. This generation is currently influencing many aspects of our economy, and the food industry is no different.

Millennials have different food priorities than previous generations and are focused on consuming foods that are good-for-you. This is causing manufacturers to think about the definition of “good for you” from the consumer side. In comparison to this young generation, older shoppers tend to believe good-for-you foods have lower calories and fat content, as well as less sodium and added sugars. Millennials are more interested in factors such as clean labels and easy-to-read ingredients. They want no artificial additives and like things such as functional packaging and on-the-go snack foods. In addition to this, they are interested in the story behind their food, particularly what is in their food and where it was made. Many brands and restaurants have started incorporating this information into their advertisements.

Mintel, a market intelligence agency, states “42 percent of millennial shoppers perceive private label store brands as more innovative than branded products.” They also report that “store brand shoppers are gravitating towards products that list ingredients they recognize, and feature prominent claims such as organic, low/no/reduced or made with natural ingredients.”

Millennials like clean labels and easy-to-read ingredients, and are judging food by its cover. They not only have a different definition of “good for you” then the older shoppers, they also eat differently. The millennial diet consists of smaller portions and does not include three big meals a day much like the baby boomer’s diet.

Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership for IRI states, “consumers can’t get enough of that protein filled, on-the-go snack and meal time replacement.” Millennials and Gen-Xers have more active lifestyles then those before supporting Viamari’s statement. An on-the-go snack option gives them the ability to refuel during breaks in their busy schedules.

According to trend watchers, “35 percent of Millennial meals are really snacks.”

Millennials have been labeled the “foodie generation” and will soon have the power to outspend the boomer generation, which is why so many manufactures are paying attention to the attitudes and behaviors millennials have toward food.

What do you look for in your food labels?

Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015

Pack Expo Las Vegas is the world’s largest packaging event of the year, and is just around the corner! This year Pack Expo and the Pharma Expo Trade Show will come together again to exhibit at the same time in Las Vegas, September 28-30, 2015. PMMI will be teaming up again with ISPE to offer this growing joint trade show event.

Visit us at Booth #C-3903

Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015

Register for Free

Why Attend?

This expo will feature a mix of learning and breakthrough technologies right at your fingertips. You will be able to interact with fellow professionals and see the latest technology breakthroughs firsthand. By attending Pack Expo, you may just gain the outside perspective needed to solve you organization’s problem.

How we can help!

Come visit EPI Labelers at Pack Expo, we will be in Booth #C-3903. Our salesman, engineers, and service techs will all be there to answer any questions you have related to labelers! Stop by to learn more and for a hands on experience. All of our machines are engineered for ease of use and reliability, and are designed to integrate into your specific packaging lines.

We will be featuring several of our top of the line labelers including:

    1. Bakery System
      Our Bakery Labeler is ideal for adding promotional and date labels to baked goods and breads.
    1. Core Series Print/Apply on BestPack Case Taper
      This labeler can accommodate top and panel labels for items such as barcodes and addresses.
    1. Core Series Tamp
      Our Core Series Labelers are ideal for wipe-on, blow on and Tamp/Blow applications.
    1. Core Series Wipe-On
      This product is part of our Core Series Labelers.
    1. C-Wrap System
      This system is designed for labeling clamshell containers.
    1. Top & Bottom System
      Our Top & Bottom Labeler is ideal for quick and accurate label placement on all of your packages.
    1. M-Series
      This high-speed labeler is ideal for streamlining your production process and will save you time and money.
    1. Flex-PacTM on a Matrix bag maker
      Our flexible packaging labelers are designed to meet your needs and can accommodate a variety of applications for pouches and bags.

We will also have our New Print & Apply Labeler featuring SATO’s newest printer, the S84ex. Our new labeler now has a mono-plate design requiring fewer parts for unwind and rewind assemblies and includes an updated, full color touchscreen. The new integrated touchscreen replaces the old turn style buttons and is packed with features for both the operator and maintenance personnel. Operators can quickly make adjustments for optimum performance, while maintenance personnel can easily troubleshoot without using any tools.

Our labeling equipment is the answer to easy and efficient workflow production for our clients’ industries, which include; snack food, bakery, confectionery, beverage, dairy, coffee, meat and poultry, pet food, frozen food, fabric, textile and general packaging. For a detailed product list and to learn more please visit http://epilabelers.com/.