Look at any bottle and it's covered with logos, symbols, codes, and information. Some of the content is for marketing purposes, but quite a bit of the material is also for regulatory compliance, providing consumers with the necessary information needed to make a decision about what to consume in a wine or similar. Product packaging is important as every square inch on a beverage container is valuable real estate for both advertising as well as meeting government requirements on necessary information display.
While big corporate players have large offices dedicated entirely to figuring out the correct mix of packaging and labeling, that’s not usually the case for startups and small businesses in the food industry. So, it’s critical to understand from the start what exactly needs to be on a beverage label and what’s left for discretion.
First and foremost, the labeling has to include all the information necessary to understand what is included in the beverage in terms of ingredients. For example, it’s not enough to say a beverage is soda water, flavoring, and sweetener. It has to have all of the individual ingredients identified clearly enough to identify them as a possible concern. Allergies are the big concern. If it turns out someone is allergic to peach fruit, simply saying the given wine contains fruit juice is not enough. The person might drink it with such a general term. If the given wine includes peaches, that needs to be identified as well as every other fruit and so on. In some cases, known allergens have to be clearly identified, maybe even bolded to avoid any lack of awareness on the part of the consumer.
Since wine includes alcohol, the content amount and percentage need to be clearly displayed so the consumer knows how much is in a bottle. This is a standard industry requirement, and alcoholic drinks are tested to confirm their labeling. It also impacts how the beverage can be sold. Over a certain alcohol content level, the beverage must be sold in a controlled fashion. This is why beer and wine are sold in most grocery stores and spirits are only sold in certain types of stores with the appropriate licensing. Without clear labeling, it’s not possible for retail venues to know how and what to stock, so the level labeling is required.
One of the most common parts of labeling food products is the nutritional value chart. This provided both the nutritional components of the drink as well as all of the storing and handling details that affect its lifespan as well as when the drink can be expected to be expired and no longer ideal to consume. For safety purposes, many manufacturers also include the barcode and batch identifier for a drink production run, just in case it needs to be recalled for some reason. Having a batch number makes it far easier to identify a problem mix and remove it versus taking every related container off the shelves arbitrarily.
Also, it’s important to list the contents in the order of the amount included. So, the ingredients with the greatest proportion should be first, and those with the least listed last.
Understanding how a beverage should be stored, used, consumed, and treated makes a big difference in its safety. If it should be refrigerated and kept at cool temperature, that should be clearly stated. If the contents are under pressure, a warning should be included defining proper opening as well. Safety counts more than marketing pizzaz and looks, so if you must choose between the two, opt for safety warnings. Not having them could make you liable for product warranty by failing to include a clear safety notice for the average consumer.
It never hurts to include your contact information and help resources on your product package. Believe it or not, people do utilize these resources, especially today if they can be reached on the Internet. A simple website address and email can do wonders in providing a communication channel with customers and alleviating concerns before they turn into a bigger issue. Not to mention, happy customers oftentimes provide testimonials, which can be useful for future marketing if they give permission (don’t forget to ask!).
To sell a product in the wine market requires a number of challenges to be met simultaneously with labeling, and there are lots of different options for beverage labels possible. Quadra Flex can help, providing clients expertise in meeting both compliance requirements as well as valuable marketing targets and communication. Call us to find out more; you'll be amazed at what's possible!
Look at any bottle and it's covered with logos, symbols, codes, and information. Some of the content is for marketing purposes, providing consumers with the necessary information.