The Price Gun Shop Blog

An in-depth blog about price guns and labelling

  • Lynx C Price Gun Review

    See in store

    Summary

    The Lynx C pricing gun is both sturdy and reliable, and we recommend it for high-usage environments.

    It's our most expensive single-line price gun, so what makes it so attractive when compared to other models?

    Let's find out.


    Build Quality

    Lynx price guns are manufactured in the EU, with a build quality you'd expect of western manufacturing standards.

    The machine feels strong due to a thicker plastic body and is much more resilient to drops and knocks than rival price guns.

    It uses the same label feed system as the reliable Sato Kendo 26, using cuts in the backing paper between each label. Though unlike the Kendo 26, the Lynx has some modifications to the label feed process which makes loading and operation the most reliable of any of its rivals.

    A feature of the Lynx is a wide, clear path to load the labels through the main body. The dust cover ensures your labels and the machine don't get dirty in a dusty environment. The cover is translucent so you can see at a glance how many labels you have left on the reel.

    The ink replacement system is standard for most price guns, flipping out from the front of the machine. The Lynx pricing gun is supplied with a plastic tool to aid replacing the inks so you don't get any ink on your hands, though it is a little fiddly when compared to Sato's Kendo models.

    It's worth noting that the print bands themselves are very smooth and adjust reliably. This is often the falling point of guns that get a lot of use as dust/dirt builds up inside the mechanism and ends up jamming the bands. This is almost unheard of in Lynx labelling guns.

    The print position is simple to adjust, there's a screw in the bottom of the gun which moves a plate. Usually this is obscured beneath the backing paper of your labels, but you can simply punch through with your screwdriver to adjust the plate.


    Lynx C6 Band Layout
    Lynx C8 Band Layout

    Band Layouts

    This model features two popular layouts, a six digit version or an eight digit version. The six digit band characters are larger, but can only show prices up to £99.99 or dates in short format 010416. The eight digit layout allows for prices up to £999.99p and can show either full dates 01042016 or easier to read short dates 01 04 16.

    Lynx do offer customised layouts are available, though they will incur a much higher price. For example a Lynx C10 uses 10 bands, but costs £5 more than the C6 or C8 models.

    This also for letters to be used alongside numbers or other information. There's far more customisation in the bands than can be easily shown here, so contact a merchant for more advice on customising the bands.


    Print Examples

    ct4 label priced by a lynx C8

    To the right you can see an example of the C8 8 digit gun printing a price on the popular "wavy edge" 26x12mm label.

    ct4 label priced by a lynx C6

    The text is of a higher quality than other rivals, though the difference isn't much it's easily seen in a side-by-side comparison.

    The next label is the same as the above, but using the C6 6 digit gun instead.

    ct4 label short-dated by a lynx C8

    To the right you can see an example of the C8 8 digit gun printing a date on the popular "wavy edge" 26x12mm label.

    ct4 label full-dated by a lynx C8

    You can get the C8 to print the year in full as seen on the left, but it can look cramped.

     


    Summary

    What we like

    • Robust plastic frame.
    • Smooth print adjustment.
    • Excellent print quality.
    • Obvious focus on resilience for heavy-duty use.
    • Uses the popular 26x12mm label, either rectangular or "wavy".

    What we didn't like

    • Ink replacement is a little fiddly even with the use of the tool.
    • Adjusting the print position through the backing paper is not easy.
  • Sato Nor Gun/Label Identification

    Sato Nor pricing guns have two different models, the 2/9 and the 3/9. Out of these two, both models can be designed to take two different sized labels: Nor B and Nor D. This short guide will help you tell the difference between the two.

    2/9 Labels with their distinct castellated shape Castellated Nor Labels

    Label Type

    Nor labels are easily identified by their castellated shape. When looking at the labels on the reel, the side edges will look like the top of a castle's walls.

    To find which size label you have (B or D), measure the full width and height of the label at the widest point. Make sure to include the tabs in your measurements.

    2_9 B reel Nor B reel
      • Nor B labels are 25mm x 14mm. They come on a yellow reel with 1250 labels.
    2_9 D reel Nor D reel
    • Nor D labels are 24mm x 11mm. They come on a purple reel with 1500 labels.

    Gun Model

    Nor guns come in two models, the current 3/9 model, and the older 2/9 model. The 2/9 has been discontinued since 2009 so if you're still using one you must look after it well.

    Nor 2/9 Price GunNor 2/9 Price Gun

    2/9

    The 2/9 model should have a large plastic sticker on the top, usually blue with red writing reading NOR Systems 2/9.

    If this is missing the machine is identified by the following features:

    The gun has a large black wheel on the side to alter the print. This is done by either turning the wheel, or pressing it into the body of the gun and turning the wheel. The print characters are usually covered by a piece of clear plastic, though this can be removed. The characters themselves are usually black text on white plastic bands.

    Waste backing paper from the gun is ejected from the rear of the gun above the handle, which has no guard.

    The ink is a flat sponge pad in a plastic tray which slides inside the gun after opening it up.

    2/9 D Machine

    The 2/9 model takes D labels if the interior parts are black.

    2/9 B Machine

    The 2/9 model takes B labels if the interior parts are red/white.

    Nor 3/9 Price GunNor 3/9 Price Gun

    3/9

    The 3/9 model should have a circular plastic sticker on the side, usually black with silver writing reading NOR 3/9.

    If this is missing, the machine is identified by the following features:

    There's no tapered nose like the 2/9. The gun has a small black wheel on the side which is pulled out to change which band you are altering. The print characters are not covered by plastic.

    Waste backing paper from the gun is ejected from the bottom of the gun below the handle which has a guard.

    The ink is a sponge cylinder on a plastic reel which slides into a small hole at the side of the gun.

    3/9 D Machine

    The 3/9 model takes D labels if the dust cover is black.

    3/9 B Machine

    The 3/9 model takes B labels if the dust cover is red.

  • Getting the Most Out of Your Printer

    Maintain your printer to save money

    Thermal Transfer printers are very useful to manufacturers and retailers alike. You can produce high quality labels and media at a fast and economical rate. The printers themselves however are not immune to wear and tear, and this article will help you to extend the life of your printer. Less repairs and replacements means cheaper running costs and more profit!

    Hopefully you're already cleaning your printer as advised when you first purchased it. If not, here's some things you can routinely do to reduce wear and increase the print quality.



    transfer example


    Cleaning

    Clean your print-head regularly. Most printers are advised to be cleaned with alcohol - normally available as pre-soaked disposable wipes. These will come in small paper sachets and are one use. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the print-head every time you replace a carbon ribbon, though this can vary on model and ribbon quality/length.

    As the printer runs, small particles of dust and carbon can get deposited on the print head itself and become stuck during heating. This reduces the heat transferring from the print head to the carbon ribbon and so reduces the print quality. A potential solution to this is simply turning up the heat on the printer but this is strongly discouraged. As you'll see below, having a higher heat than necessary will wear out the printer faster.

    Printers in dusty environments will suffer from this greater, especially if a large volume of printing is being performed each day.

    Instead, if the print quality drops from what you're used to, give the print head a good clean and try printing again.


    Setting the heat

    thermo_up_down

    As the printer runs, the print head melts the ink on the carbon ribbon, and transfers it to the label/media. Depending on the area of ink transferred and the speed of the printer, the heat may need to be adjusted. Too low a heat doesn't melt the ink enough so it won't transfer. This results in broken and incomplete print. Too high and you risk not only a bleed effect on the transfer, but you'll wear out the print head much faster.

    To set the heat correctly, first set the desired speed for your printer. Try and keep the speed as low as possible for your requirements. Bear in mind that the faster you run the machine, the more heat you'll need and the faster the print-head will wear out!

    Once you have set the speed, set the heat to the lowest setting. Print off a few items and check the quality. If it's not satisfactory, turn the heat up by a small amount and print again. Repeat this until the print quality is ideal.

    Remember, if the print quality drops during use, don't just turn up the heat but clean the printer first. This will prolong the life of the printer saving you money.


    Dust Cover

    Always use a dust cover where you can to prevent dust settling on the labels before printing. This will not only reduce the amount of dust entering the machine to clog up the print head, but also reduce the required heat to stick the ink to the label or media saving you time and money.


    Carbon Ribbon Quality

    Carbon_Ribbons_4_trans

    Carbon ribbons are not made equally. Even if you remove the variation between wax, resin and wax-resin hybrid ribbons. There are many variants of wax and resin that have specialities for certain applications. They also come in different qualities.

    Using a low-quality carbon ribbon can be great for short-term savings, but in the long run they will create extra wear on your printer: Small parts of the ribbon breaking off increasing the amount of dust inside the machine or really budget ribbons can rub or scratch the print-head as it passes, dramatically reducing it's usable life.


    Ribbon Width

    carbon overprint 1Incorrect
    carbon overprint 2Correct

    Ensure you have a sufficiently wide ribbon to cover the label.

    If you use a ribbon that is thinner than the label width, the print-head will be exposed during printing. This greatly increases the wear and tear on the print-head and reduces it's lifespan.

    For the examples illustrated to the right, if you're printing artwork that is 45mm wide onto a 55mm wide label, use a 75mm wide ribbon and not a 50mm wide ribbon.

    The ribbon itself acts as a barrier to protects the print head from the labels and their adhesive. It might seem wasteful to use such a large ribbon for the label but there are lots of sizes of ribbons available.


    Summary

    Perhaps the greatest benefit of following these tips is not the money you'll save in repairs but the time you'll save in fixing problems, from bad print quality to "dirty" labels.

    Labels are an important part of product packaging, especially if it's something the end-customer will see. Fixing your label print quality without affecting cost, and you'll reap the benefits.

  • Kendo 26 Price Gun Review

    See in store

    Summary

    Manufactured by Sato, this price gun is light and well made, but don't let the low cost trick you into thinking it's low quality.

    As far as we're concerned, this is the price gun which all budget label gun manufacturers try to beat, but none ever really do.

    Here's why.


    Build Quality

    The Kendo is a model which has been created building on 50 years of experience in making hand labellers. It's light plastic design makes it easy to use, but resilient to being knocked around in normal use.

    It features a label feed system using cuts in the backing paper between each label. The label feed rarely fails once loaded correctly.

    With a wide open channel to feed the labels through, loading the machine is relatively easy. There's a clever plastic flap that prevents the labels from being fed into the wrong part of the gun when opened, that secures them in place when closed.

    There's also an intuitive plastic tab that prevents the reel from dropping off the spool when you tip the gun whilst loading.

    The ink replacement system is quick and clean, requiring a single lever to be pressed and the ink drops out without needing to handle. This is very fast and clean, unlike handling other label gun inks and staining your fingers.

    The print heads are simple to adjust, just two screws on the side. There's even handy markers to help you align the print head accurately without having to guess.



    Band Layouts
    Band Layouts


    Band Layouts

    This model features two popular layouts, a six digit version or an eight digit version. The six digit band characters are larger, but can only show prices up to £99.99 or dates in short format 010416. The eight digit layout allows for prices up to £999.99p and can show either full dates 01042016 or easier to read short dates 01 04 16.

    As this is a Sato machine, customised layouts are available, though they will incur a higher price they can be as many as ten digits long. This allows for long batch numbers or other information. There's far more customisation in the bands than can be easily shown here, so contact a merchant for more advice on customising the bands.

    Alternate Layout

    An alternate model is specifically made for dating, and prints the month in three letters along with the day and year. An attractive alternative if you are only going to be printing dates. You can see an example of this below.


    Print Examples

    kendo 26 ct4 example 1

    To the right you can see an example of the 8 digit gun printing a price on the popular "wavy edge" 26x12mm label.

    kendo 26 ct4 example 2

    The text is clear and easy to read without being too sharp.

    The next label is the same as the above, but using the 6 digit gun instead.

    kendo 26 ct4 example 3

    The third image is the alternate layout date gun as mentioned above, printed on a rectangular 26x12mm label instead.



    Summary

    What we like

    • Light yet resilient polycarbonate body.
    • Easy to adjust printhead.
    • Quick and clean ink replacement.
    • Clever quality of life features for simple everyday use
    • Uses the popular 26x12mm label, either rectangular or "wavy".
    • Lots of alternative band layouts available on request.

    What we didn't like

    • You can't see the label poking out the front of the label gun so it's hard to place correctly without practice.
  • When Google Doesn't Work

    Google is not perfect?

    In the beginning there was not much in the way of searching, aside from asking Jeeves... and then Google created their search engine and there was much rejoicing.

    However, no system is perfect and how we interact with Google search is a good example.

    Let's set the scene: It's summer and it's hot, your kids want to play outside and have a water fight. As a nice present for the summer holidays you decide to get them each a toy.

    You type into Google "Water Guns" and you get an assorted amount of relevant sites for you to browse. "Thanks again Google, you've saved me a lot of time", you think as you click the most promising link.

    Step into the other side of Google

    Now for some role-reversal.

    You've just set up your own shop selling water guns for kids and have just launched your brand new website, full of your selection of water guns, painstakingly filled with high quality images, lengthy descriptions and clear pricing.

    How could it not do well?

    The first month after launch you review what people are typing into Google to end up on your site, and are surprised to see:
    Colt 45 Gun
    Submachine Gun
    Water Cooled Gatling Gun
    Waterproof Guns

    This is a good example of how Google doesn't work all the time, at least for your water gun business.  Though I suppose your water guns are waterproof, else they'd be in the same category as Self-peeling Labels and Chocolate Teapots.

    Touché Google.

    A Wake Up Call

    Moving on from those small frustrations, you spot another group of entries:
    Good price on water guns
    Low price water gun
    Where can I buy water guns for a cheap price?

    This is exactly what you're looking for people to type in to get to your site.  Your customer will be taken from Google search to your website and have a good chance of buying something.

    You take this moment to perform a celebratory fist-pump when you almost fall off your chair, and you're back in the office of your price gun shop, having dozed off on your lunch.  In-front of you on your screen you realise with utter defeat that people who search for all the above terms are all going to your website.

    It's then I realise this should be something to blog about.

    We sell Price Guns, Google. "Low Price - Price Guns".  Not "Low Price Guns".

    Final Thoughts

    Spare a thought for firearms websites, who are surprised to learn they get visitors looking for "Price Guns", "Water Guns" and "Spud Guns".

    ... and no, despite popular demand from Google searches, we don't have the sheet music for Jessie J's song "Price Tag".

  • Picking the Right Price Gun Label for You

    Contents

    1. Summary
    2. Machine Print
    3. Number of Lines
    4. Pre-print
    5. Adhesive
    6. Label Material
    7. Examples

    Summary

    One of the most common problems our customers have is not knowing which label type they need. The solution is easy if you follow the steps below.


    Machine Print
    What your gun prints on your label

    It's important to first decide what you want your label gun to print on the label. Think about what you are going to be labelling and note what the label is going to show. This is what you can change for each label you eject from the gun. We'll refer to this as Machine Print

    This could be simply the price e.g. £99.99

    Date information such as best beforeuse by or manufactured on e.g. 01/01/2015

    Perhaps a stock numberbatch number or identifying code e.g. AZ123456

    Industry specific information such as beef traceability or tracking info.

    Nothing is actually a viable option. Perhaps you just want to attach a label which has your brand, or contact information. In this case you'll have this information pre-printed rather than printed by your gun. We'll cover this later.


    How many lines are needed
    One, two, three or more?

    Now you've thought about the machine print you want to display, the number of lines on the label you need are how many pieces of information you need. If you want to show just the price then you only need a one line label. If you wanted to show the batch number and best before you need a two line label.

    Try to use as few lines as you can, because the cost of both the labels and the guns will increase as you need more lines.

    Label guns and labels generally have a maximum of three lines, anyone who needs more than this should look at label printers instead.


    Pre-print
    What the labels have on them before they go through the gun

    So we now know what machine print we need, and how many lines we require. The third step is deciding is what the labels should have pre-printed on them. This serves two functions:

    • Explains to the reader what the machine print means.
    • Alters the style of the label, including branding.

    Explaining the machine print

    The primary reason to use pre-printed labels is to have a way of explaining what the machine print means. Without it, we could read a date on a label, but not know whether it was the use by date or the date of manufacture.

    one line label showing the price doesn't need any pre-print. This is because the price is usually printed with a currency symbol by the gun.

    one line label showing a date needs to have the date explained. This could be for a use by date label on food, or a date of manufacture date on perishable goods.

    two line label showing a batch number and a price might need some pre-printed text to explain that it's a batch number, but if you're only using it in-house, then you'll know what it means without having to display it. As the price currency symbol would be printed by the gun, you could actually use a plain label for this, saving you some money, at the expense of confusing some readers.

    three line label showing batch number, date of manufacture and a price would probably need some clarification to explain what each part meant. You may even want to consider using a label printer instead to make your labels clearer and smarter.

    Altering the style of a label

    Now you have all the functional parts of your label planned, you may want to add that personal touch. This could be a simple colour scheme, a company logo or simple artwork. This will depend on the products you are selling and your target customers. Don't underestimate how much brand association is worth. Permanent labels will be on the product until the packaging is disposed of, and peelable labels are often removed by customers after purchase, giving you the focus of their attention on your label.

    Colour schemes can vary greatly. The cheapest option is to just change the colour of the pre-printed text, so your "best before" would be pre-printed in red, or green, or any other colour you want.

    You can also change the label colour, to great effect. You can have any colour you can think of, including fluorescent - though these cost a little more than standard colours.

    Combine both printed colour and label colour to match your company's brand colours for additional affect, or really draw customers in to a great offer with a bright and contrasting combination.

    Company logos and artwork can be made to specification. Just remember that the label you are having designed is quite small, so any image you use should be clear and understandable at a glance. Simple borders or watermark style designs can add a unique twist to your label. Come up with some ideas and ask the supplier for proofs of your designs, so you can see exactly how your labels will look before you order them. This combines your passion and creativity with the manufacturer's knowledge and experience.

    Depending on manufacturer and label type (see below) you may also be able to choose a finish such as gloss, satin or matt. This explains how reflective the label is, from gloss being the shiniest to matt being the dullest.


    Adhesive
    Make your labels stick

    We now know what our label will show, but now we need to decide which adhesive is supplied with the label. Typically there are three variants.

    • Permanent adhesive doesn't want to be removed shortly after being applied. When you try to remove a permanent adhered label, you will leave behind the back of the label. Ideally used for labels which the customer will not need to remove, such as showing date information. This also makes permanent adhesive ideal for preventing fraudsters from transferring labels between products.
    • Peelable adhesive can be removed from most surfaces easily, even after being on the product for a long period of time. They do come off in one go and don't damage the label, leaving very little if any glue behind. This is ideal for showing the price on items which would be purchased as gifts where the customer would want to remove it without evidence after purchase. Peelable labels last just as long on products as permanent labels do, they are just easier to remove.
    • Freezer adhesive are somewhere between permanent and peelable at room temperature, but their true strength is their use in fridges and freezers. Below a certain temperature the adhesive hardens and becomes permanent, where normal label adhesive would become unreliable. Manufacturer specifications vary for which temperatures are suitable, so check with the individual supplier.

    Label Material
    Go outdoors!

    For most cases, a paper label is suitable, but there is an alternative. Plasticised outdoor labels are weatherproof. Use these if you're going to be displaying the labels outdoors. They come with a specialised adhesive for resisting the elements.

    Just be sure to use UV-resistant inks in your gun to stop the gun ink from fading in the sunshine.


    Examples

    Let's give some real life examples now:

    The High Street Shop

    I am about to open a retail shop, and want to price each item. Most of my goods could be bought as gifts, so I need the labels to be removable.

    The person above only needs one line of machine print. As they are only showing a price, there doesn't need to be any pre-printed text, and the labels need to be removable for customer's gifts, so this example best suits a 1 line plain label with peelable adhesive.

    Packaged Food Retailer

    I am self-employed making sandwiches and selling them myself. I already have stickers showing their prices, but I need a new label to show the use by date on the packaging.

    In this example, the customer only needs one line of machine print - the use by date. To best show what this date means to the customer, they should add a line of pre-print - use by. As the packaging will be discarded after opening and the chance of the item being a gift is low, a permanent adhesive suits this scenario best.

    The best label for the sandwich maker is a 1 line label, pre-printed use by and using permanent adhesive.

    Factory Shop

    I run a family owned warehouse which produces goods. We're about to open a small shop on the premises, but need to control our stock. We use an internal numbering system to identify our goods, and need to show the best before date too, as the goods are perishable. I'm concerned about unscrupulous customers swapping the labels around and deceive us.

    The Factory Shop owner needs to show both a date and a number, meaning that the machine print requires two lines. To ensure they are clear, the owner decides to use two lines of pre-print on the label to explain what the date and batch number mean, in this case batch no and best before.

    As there is a chance of label swapping being a problem, permanent adhesive is recommended. Unless the shop owner decides that his customers will want to gift their products, he should choose a two line label, pre-printed with batch no and use by using a permanent adhesive.

    I'd also like to colour the label after my company's brand colours - blue and red. I don't know whether it would look better with a blue label and red text, or the other way around, what can I do?

    For custom options like colour schemes, it is best to contact the supplier of the label and ask them to supply a selection of proofs. This way you can see exactly what the labels will look like before you buy.

    Gardening Retailer

    I run a large garden store selling plants, ornaments and accessories. Most of my stock is kept outside, and I am fed up with my labels washing off. If I can find a label that'll resist the weather, can it show our company logo on the label as well as the price? We use the image of a rising sun, I can send you a picture if you want.

    The gardening retailer only needs to display a price in their machine print so they only need a one line label but if they want artwork shown on the label, they may be better off using a two line label. The best course of action to follow would be to send the supplier the artwork and ask for some proofs made. Then a decision can be made between different layouts and styles.

    As the labels are being used outside, outdoor labels are highly advised to stop them from washing off, and don't forget to use UV resistant ink in the gun to stop the price from fading. There's a lot going on here, so discussing specification with the supplier is the best option to combine their knowledge and the retailer's design.

  • Fluorescent Labels on the Web

    You go shopping for a high visibility jacket

    You know? The type workmen wear while five of them watch one guy dig a hole.

    They're bright yellow, sometimes red or orange. Advertised as fluorescent or day-glow. Sometimes arguably called neon.

    You find a website with your jacket, and take a look at the picture, except it looks dull. Flat. You've seen camouflage jackets looking brighter than the jacket in the image.


    Why doesn't fluorescence work on computer images?

    To put it simply, your computer screen doesn't show colours in the same way that a physical object does. It can't show the difference between a strong yellow and a neon yellow.

    Fluorescent colours look dull, metallic colours look flat.

    Of course this is frustrating when trying to sell a fluorescent or metallic item on a website. We recently added fluorescent labels to our web store, but the pictures don't do the product justice.


    The workaround

    Photographs can work well in showing these colours.  Our brain can interpret the fluorescent colours by using the whole picture.  Especially if there is a familiar object in the image, such as a person wearing the jacket.

    Sorry to disappoint you, there's no photo of me covered in neon labels.

    We took an alternative solution, and can post samples of our fluorescent labels to customers in the post.  It's not ideal, but it works.

    Unlike the five jacket wearing workmen "supervising".

  • Judo 26 Food Labelling Gun Review

    See in store

    Summary

    Manufactured by Sato, this gun uses the popular and reliable Judo model. A tried and tested build design, ink and label loading makes little changes from the other Judo models we already know and promote as one of our best sellers.


    Band Layouts


    Band Layouts

    This label gun has a couple of unique lines. The top band can show any one of pre-set phrases: DEFROSTED, READY, USE BY, OPENED, BAKED, REFRIGERATED, DISCARD, DECANTED, MANU DATE, PULL, COOKED, FROZEN, DISPLAY.

    The bottom line can show a date (with or without a time) a metric weight or a price.

    Alternate Layout

    An alternate model replaces the top row with another set of characters, identical to the bottom row. This is good if you need to show two different sets of data, such as a date/time on the top and a price on the bottom, but you would need a pre-printed label to show what the date/time means e.g. "Best Before"


    Print Examples

    Print Example

    To the right you can see an example of the gun printing a Defrosted date and time.

    The text is clear and contains a lot of data. It shows the date, am or pm and an exact time, to be as accurate as possible and reduce the chance for misreading.

    Below is a Use By date. Note how the dots have to be displayed when printing a full date.

    Print Example

    Both labels featured here are part of the Date Right labels range.




    Summary

    What we like

    • Made with food labelling in mind.
    • Top band phrases allow for many applications, saving money on buying different pre-printed labels.
    • Being able to show a time with a date on a single line.
    • Looks great with Date Right labels.

    What we didn't like

    • Lack of "Best Before" on the top band
    • Weight labelling seems like an afterthought
  • EU Law Changes to Nutrition Labelling

    Contents

    1. Summary
    2. Exempted Food and Drinks
    3. Nutrients
    4. Reference Intakes
    5. Nutrient Reference Values
    6. Closing Thoughts

    Summary

    The EU laws regulating the information on the back of foodstuffs is changing. This is because of EU Regulation No. 1169/2011.

    How does this affect you?

    Effective Dates

    The provision of nutrition information is currently voluntary (unless a claim is made). From 13 December 2016, this will be mandatory for most pre-packed foods. This includes products sold through distance selling.

    If you are currently, optionally providing nutritional information to customers, you should already be conforming to the new format from 13 December 2014.


    Exempted Food and Drinks

    Except where other EU provisions apply, the following list of foods are exempt from mandatory nutrition information display:

    1. Unprocessed products that comprise a single ingredient or category of ingredients;
    2. Processed products which the only processing they have been subjected to is maturing and that comprise a single ingredient or category of ingredients;
    3. Waters intended for human consumption, including those where the only added ingredients are carbon dioxide and/or flavourings;
    4. A herb, a spice or mixtures thereof;
    5. Salt and salt substitutes;
    6. Table top sweeteners;
    7. Products covered by Directive 1999/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 February 1999 relating to coffee extracts and chicory extracts ( 1 ), whole or milled coffee beans and whole or milled decaffeinated coffee beans;
    8. Herbal and fruit infusions, tea, decaffeinated tea, instant or soluble tea or tea extract, decaffeinated instant or soluble tea or tea extract, which do not contain other added ingredients than flavourings which do not modify the nutritional value of the tea;
    9. Fermented vinegars and substitutes for vinegar, including those where the only added ingredients are flavourings;
    10. Flavourings;
    11. Food additives;
    12. Processing aids;
    13. Food enzymes;
    14. Gelatine;
    15. Jam setting compounds;
    16. Yeast;
    17. Chewing-gums;
    18. Food in packaging or containers the largest surface of which has an area of less than 25 cm2;
    19. Food, including handcrafted food, directly supplied by the manufacturer of small quantities of products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.

    EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, Annex V


    Nutrients

    Nutritional information will need to be shown per 100g or 100ml.

    The minimum font-size used in the nutritional information is 1.2mm x-height

    Information is displayed in a table with the numbers aligned, though a linear format is permitted if insufficient space.

    Where nutrients are not present or in negligible amounts, they may be mentioned in a separate sentence. See below for an example of this.

    Mandatory Nutrients

    The nutrients which much be included (except when the food or drink is exempt, see above) in the nutritional information are:

    • Energy in kilokoules (kJ) / and kilocalories (kcal)
    • Fat
      • of which saturates
    • Carbohydrate
      • of which sugars
    • Protein
    • Salt

    Food and Drink Federation, Mandatory Back of Pack Nutrition Labelling

    Optional Nutrients

    The mandatory information can be supplemented with the following optional nutrients: mono-unsaturates, polyunsaturates, polyols, starch and fibre, provided they follow the order below.

    Some vitamins and minerals may also be shown, providing they exist in a sufficient quantitiy. See the Vitamins section below for more information.

    Ordering

    When nutritional information is shown, it must be displayed in this order:

    • energy
    • fat
      • of which saturates,
      • of which mono-unsaturates,
      • of which polyunsaturates,
    • carbohydrate
      • of which sugars,
      • of which polyols,
      • of which starch,
    • fibre
    • protein
    • salt
    • vitamins and minerals

    EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, Annex XV

    Units

    The units of measurement to be used in the nutrition declaration for energy (kilojoules (kJ) and kilocalories (kcal)) and mass (grams (g), milligrams (mg) or micrograms (μg))

    Nutrition Information Examples


    Reference Intakes (RIs)
    Formerly Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs)

    Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are being replaced by Reference Intakes (RIs).

    Reference Intakes %RIs can be shown in the nutrition table per 100g/100ml and/or per portion/consumption unit.

    In addition, where %RIs are given the following statement is required in close proximity to it:

    Reference intake of an average adult (8400kJ/2000kcal)EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, Article 32.5

    The values of the reference intake is as follows:

    Nutritional information may be additionally displayed as a percentage of the reference intakes per 100g or 100ml, providing

    Energy or nutrient Reference intake
    Energy 8 400 kJ/2 000 kcal
    Total Fat 70 g
    Saturates 260 g
    Carbohydrate 260 g
    Sugars 90 g
    Protein 50 g
    Salt 6 g

    EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, Annex XIII, Part B

    Portion Indicator

    If information is provided per portion or consumption unit, this must be quantified in close proximity to nutrition declaration. For example:

    1.5L = 6 x 250ml servings.Food and Drink Federation, Mandatory Back of Pack Nutrition Labelling


    Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs)Formerly Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs)

    Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs) are being replaced by Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs).

    Vitamins must be declared per 100ml and the %NRV per 100ml provided.

    You can also provide the information per portion.

    Vitamins

    Vitamins and minerals may only be shown where they exist in a significant amount.

    If the product is a beverage, at least 7.5% of the vitamin's NRV must be present in 100 ml.

    If the product is not a beverage, at least 15% of the vitamin's NRV must be present in 100 g or 100 ml.

    If the product contains only one portion, at least 15% of the vitamin's NRV must be present in a single portion.

    Vitamin A (μg) 800
    Vitamin D (μg) 5
    Vitamin E (mg) 12
    Vitamin K (μg) 75
    Vitamin C (mg) 80
    Thiamin (mg) 1,1
    Riboflavin (mg) 1,4
    Niacin (mg) 16
    Vitamin B6 (mg) 1,4
    Folic acid (μg) 200
    Vitamin B12 (μg) 2,5
    Biotin (μg) 50
    Pantothenic acid (mg) 6
    Potassium (mg) 2 000
    Chloride (mg) 800
    Calcium (mg) 800
    Phosphorus (mg) 700
    Magnesium (mg) 375
    Iron (mg) 14
    Zinc (mg) 10
    Copper (mg) 1
    Manganese (mg) 2
    Fluoride (mg) 3,5
    Selenium(μg) 55
    Chromium (μg) 40
    Molybdenum (μg) 50
    Iodine (μg) 150

    EU Regulation No. 1169/2011, Annex XIII, Part A, I


    Vitamin Example


    Closing thoughts

    There is a lot of detail within the EU regulation changes, and this post only covers a few central points. If you are unsure or uncertain about the changes and how they affect you, seek professional advice.

    Disclaimer

    All information supplied should be used as a guide, and is as correct at the date of posting. All content provided is taken from the sources below, and edited for clarity except where quoted.

    The Price Gun Shop has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. The Price Gun Shop does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website.

    Sources

    EU Regulation No. 1169/2011. Retrieved 14/10/2015 from http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32011R1169

    Food and Drink Federation, Mandatory Back of Pack Nutrition Labelling. Retrieved 14/10/2015 from http://www.fdf.org.uk/events/FDF-FIR-Seminar-Poster-Back-of-Pack-Nutrition-Labelling.pdf

  • Self-peeling Labels and Chocolate Teapots


    Peelable Irony

    On introduction to the world of retail I came to realise the importance of labels.
    If you want to display a price you use a label.
    Best Before, Use By or Date of Manufacture? Use a label.
    Batch Number? Labels.

    You see where I'm going here.

    So a few months into my first retail job and after picking up hundreds of labels off the floor, I asked my manager why they fell off. The response? Unexpectedly defeatist.

    Well they're peelable labels so they keep peeling off.

    I couldn't help but laugh at the irony: You want adhesive labels to stick to something reliably, not fall off a short time later.

    These labels should be called self-peeling - that'd be much more apt.


    Chocolate Teapots

    Picking up another dozen labels from the floor I decided that peelable labels were an oxymoron. Like a chocolate teapot or a waterproof teabag. Completely useless with a serious flaw in their design.

    So why were they being used? - I asked.

    The permanent labels leave behind glue and paper when they're removed, which we have to scrape off when we change prices. Re-printing the labels is a lot faster than trying to scrape off that sticky gunk.

    So continually printing and replacing "self-peeling" labels was the cheaper option in their eyes. I wasn't happy that this was the best solution, though management seemed content with paying staff to spend hours every day re-printing labels that had fallen off.

    Was there no better solution?


    ...and then I saw the light

    It wasn't until months later that I finally found the source of the problem.

    When getting more label sheets from the stock room, I saw sunlight streaming in through the window onto the open carton.

    Written on the box:

    Peelable labels


    Store away from direct sunlight and heat


    Guaranteed for one year


    Date of purchase:  [5 years ago]

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