The Real Reason for Industry-Wide Price Increases in Paper

The Real Reason for Industry-Wide Price Increases in Paper

The current market conditions have caused a flurry of price increases across the printing industry. Here are just a handful of statements from our vendors in recent months:

“The price increase is due to several market conditions outside of our control. These conditions include escalating commodity pricing of raw materials, increasing freight costs, as well as the continued effects of nationwide inflation and labor shortages.”

“These adjustments are necessary to offset continuing increases in the cost of paper.”

“Inflation has accelerated in the wake of recent mill closure announcements.”

“To ensure the continuity of supply, we will adjust prices for any shipments.”

“Paper mills capacity reductions (mill closures) and diversion of mill capacity to non-PSL markets have created an extremely tight domestic supply situation for paper face and liner materials critical to our industry.”

“Extremely high raw material and indirect costs are causing continued inflation, especially on paper products.”

These are just a few lines from six letters we received from various suppliers across the paper industry. The message is coming through loud and clear: global inflationary pressure, demand for paper, and shortages due to mill closures are causing industry-wide price increases.

Even though we’re following suit with price increases, Rose City Label is in a fortunate position for the following reasons:

  1. We have a high inventory of various label materials, giving us tons of flexibility with producing labels for our clients.
  2. We have strong relationships with our vendors that go back decades. Even with the volatility in the paper industry, we feel great about having the ability to acquire paper materials needed to serve our clients.
  3. We have the capability for high-capacity label printing thanks to our new press, meaning that we can produce the jobs for you faster and in higher quantities than ever before!

As always, we appreciate your understanding during these challenging times. We remain committed to serving you whether you need wine, beer, or specialized product labels! 

Ready for us to tackle your next label job? Get a quote here

State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press

State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press

State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press

This machine is a massive upgrade to our digital department.  We will be able to help more people with more high-quality digital labels than ever.  This machine provides the most sustainable digital label platform.  Here are a few of the highlights.

Better Image Quality

Because of the improved laser writing head, the image resolution is better than ever.  This means brighter, more vibrant colors, crisp text, and even more precise color matching.  State of the Art Label Printing – HP 6900 Press

Double Print Speed

At nearly 100 feet per minute, this press rivals traditional print speed. No setup and virtually no waste mean faster delivery for customers.

More Efficient Press Layout

Besides the faster speed, the press is more efficient.  This is a web press with labels delivered in rolls, but the images are transferred to the material in pages (called ‘frames’ in HP lingo).  This press has more than double the page size of the previous machine.  Maximum label size is now 12″x 38″.  More importantly, we can fit more labels of any size into this frame size which means less waste, faster printing, and better results for customers.

Better Color Consistency

Rather than just measuring ink density during the run, this press actually sees color and corrects itself on the fly!  With ‘Continuous Color Calibration’ the machine constantly makes micro adjustments during the print run to keep the tightest color in the industry.  This also improves run to run color consistency.  Repeat orders with exact color matching are easier than ever.

Sustainable Platform

The inks on the press are formed by a mixture of pigment (the consistency of toothpaste) and imaging oil to carry the color.  Previously, this imaging oil was flushed from the press and discarded.  Now, the press recycles its own oil!  Rather than doing an ‘oil change’ periodically, only a small amount of oil is added to the system as needed.

Fluorescent and Metallic Silver Ink

For the first time, true specialty inks are available on a digital press.  This adds to our very wide 7C color gamut to add distinctive color to your label.

More Powerful Variable Data

Want a unique number, barcode, or QR code on each label?  We can do that faster and more accurately than ever.  With a huge computing power upgrade, variable data jobs that previously took hours (and cost more) are now instantaneous.

Supportable for the Future

Built on the latest technology, this press will be supported for many years.  With parts, service, and training readily available, you have a reliable, consistent source for all your labels.

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

TLMI Calvin Frost Environmental Leadership Award

Rose City Label Recognized with TLMI Environmental Leadership Award for 2018

Rose City Label won the Environmental Leadership Award at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the top label printers in America.  This Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to one printer and one supplier based on judging Environmental Leadership Awardthe association environmental community.  The award recognizes specific programs, demonstrated results, and a cultural commitment to the environment.  We are very honored to join the list of past winners and we will never stop on our eco-friendly journey.  This year, the awards were renamed in honor of Calvin Frost – a true environmental leader in the printing industry.  There is nothing better than a cold frosty beer from our customer in the commemorative ‘Frosty 2018’ mug.

Results Matter

Trying hard and having commitment are important, but for the TLMI Environmental Leadership Award, results matter:

  1. Five Year Water Reduction of 47%
  2. Five Year Natural Gas Reduction of 43%
  3. Small reductions in Garbage and Electricity as well

All measures are indexed to manufacturing output as our business has grown considerably in the past 5 years.  Complete details and annual graphs of these measures can be found in this blog post.

Small Things that Every Business Can Apply

Besides these dramatic results, the committee was impressed with the programs and projects the company has championed.  These include:

  1. Encouraging employee bicycle commuting
  2. Providing excess pallets for employee home garden projects
  3. Recycling pallet wrap at the local supermarket
  4. Giving away excess pallets on Craigslist for local projects
  5. Shipping via direct courier service whenever possible
  6. Reusing items in the press room during production runs

More about these innovative programs can be found at these two blog posts click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.

Make Conscious Choices

The final area called out by the judges in this award was a leadership commitment to the environment. This philosophy is baked into the business so deeply that an employee recently lobbied for an electric car charging station – she knew it would align with our values (and with her new car), but also would provide marketing value and would contribute to this award criteria.  All team members know we are focused on the environment.  Some additional major indicators:

  1. Conversion to 100% wind power – read more here
  2. Water wash printing plates – among the first on the West Coast to adopt this system – read more here
  3. Monthly review of eco-metrics along with financial performance

Honoring the Label Eco-Legend – Calvin Frost

Environmental Leadership AwardThis award was particularly important to us since it was renamed in honor of our longtime friend and vendor, Calvin Frost.  Calvin has been the voice of the sustainability movement for decades and his message is finally being heard far and wide in the industry.  Calvin’s company, Channelled Resources, is basically one big recycling business.   For over 40 years, the company has inspected and salvaged potentially damaged product.  This stock would be destined for the landfill if his company didn’t take the time to sort and save the (large percentage) of this material.

Winning this award any year would be great, but to the first ever ‘Frosty’ award winner is even better!

Thank You – Call Us Today

We are ready to help others become more ‘green’.  Any success we have is a team effort and we want to help you on your journey.  Are you just getting started? Or need some pro-level tips?  Please call us today.  If you buy labels, that is fantastic, but we will help any business with a true desire to learn and grow in their eco-journey.  Cheers!

Digital Printing: Greater Options for Wine Labels

Digital Printing: Greater Options for Wine Labels

With over 600 wineries in Oregon, it’s safe to say that we love our local wines here in the Willamette Valley and the surrounding regions. It’s also safe to say that the competition has become greater as the region’s reputation has grown among wine enthusiasts.

Wine lovers visiting your tasting room can use all their senses to select their favorite variety and vintage. However, most consumers have only their eyes to go by. This makes an eye-catching, durable label one of the best things you can do for your bottles. (On the outside, at least.)


Choosing a Stock for Wine Labels

Textured paper is a classic choice for labeling wine bottles. A bit of texture gives consumers a way to literally feel the passion and effort that’s gone into your product. Wine lovers like to use all their senses, so choosing a textured stock makes perfect sense.

Water resistance is also a concern, particularly for wines that are best served chilled. Thankfully, we’ve got years of experience with coatings and adhesives that will hold up even to an evening of being plunged in and out of an ice bucket.


Digital Printing for Wine Labels

Historically, the setup costs associated with producing a new label has left wineries with a choice: order new plates each year, or find some less efficient (and less attractive) way to distinguish one year’s bottling from previous harvests. Thankfully, our high-quality digital presses make changing the vintage (or any data on your label) as easy as typing it on a keyboard.

Skipping the setup costs and delay each year translates to real savings for any winery, large or small. Additionally, digital printing allows us to greatly reduce lead times. A new line, a logo change, adding a QR code, even a full redesign no longer means waiting months for delivery of your finished labels.


Wine Labels for Special Events

Does your winery produce special bottlings for weddings, openings, retreats and other special events? Imagine being able to offer a custom, personalized label as a value-added service. With digital wine label printing, we can produce as few or as many as you need, at a price point you’ll find attractive. We relish the opportunity to help you delight your customers.

New Rules for Food & Beverage Labels

New Rules for Food & Beverage Labels

Just last month, the FDA finalized its new requirements for the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods and beverages. This is good news for consumers, who can use the updated layout and information to make better-informed food choices. The new label design is easier to read and understand while retaining the iconic look people have come to recognize.

Nearly all food and beverage manufacturers will need to adjust their labeling within the next two to three years in order to comply with the new requirements for FDA Nutrition Facts labels. Food and beverage producers with annual sales totaling $10 million or more will have until July 26, 2018 to comply. Those with sales of less than $10 million annually will have until July 26, 2019 to bring their labels into compliance.

Changes to Nutrition Facts Labeling

Some of the FDA’s changes are meant to make certain data stand out, such as using large, bold type for serving size and calorie count. The updated Nutrition Facts label is easier to read, understand and scan.

Other changes include:

  • Changes to required nutrients listed
  • Gram amounts of certain nutrients in addition to daily value percentage
  • Updated daily values
  • New footnote detailing the meaning of “daily value”

New Data on Nutrition Facts Labels

In addition to these changes, the new nutrition label includes some data not previously mandated. Several reputable groups, including the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, recommend decreasing our intake of added sugars. For that reason, the FDA now requires “added sugars” to be listed in addition to “total sugars” in food and beverage labeling.

Updated Serving Size

Perhaps the most long-overdue change in the Nutrition Facts label is an update to serving size, to more accurately reflect the amounts people actually consume. In the past, serving size was an arbitrary amount, left up to the manufacturer to decide. This led to unrealistic “serving” sizes such as one-third of a muffin or 1.6 “servings” of soda in a bottle. Additionally, Americans tend to consume more in one sitting than they did several decades ago, when the Nutrition Facts label was first introduced.

Additionally, since package sizes affect the amounts people eat or drink, packages that are between one and two servings are to be labeled as a single serving. For certain package sizes, manufacturers will have to provide “dual column” labels to indicate the amount of calories and nutrients on both a per serving and per package/per unit basis. With dual-column labels available, people will be able to easily compare the calories and nutrients they are getting if they choose to consume one serving or the entire package at one time.

Are Your Custom Product Labels in Compliance?

If the FDA requires your product to bear a Nutrition Facts Label, let us help you prepare for the required changes. Don’t wait until the deadline is approaching—these food and beverage label changes are already proving popular with consumers.
The sooner you shift to the new nutrition label format, the more likely your customers are to recognize you as a company that cares about their health and well-being.

Supercharge Your Marketing Strategy with QR Coded Labels

Supercharge Your Marketing Strategy with QR Coded Labels

Now that nearly everyone carries a smartphone, QR codes are becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool. Savvy consumers often scan QR codes in the store before deciding to purchase an item. This makes them an excellent tool for guiding potential customers toward the decision to purchase your product.

What Are QR Codes?

QR is short for “quick response.” These are small, square, two-dimensional barcodes, which can be read by traditional barcode scanners and by smartphone apps. Today, nearly every smartphone has an app that will scan QR Codes, read hyperlinks, and bring the user directly to any web location you choose.

Including a QR code on your product label can turn your packaging into a dynamic, flexible, perpetual marketing tool. The code can point to a web page you can update as often as you’d like, effectively providing your current and potential customers with whatever information you wish them to have. The possibilities are as limitless as the Internet itself. You can link the code to anything you like, including:

  • Customer review sites such as Yelp or Google
  • Online magazine article or review featuring your product
  • Food pairing suggestions
  • Any page you like (or a new page you set up for this purpose) on your existing website

Your QR Code is Free!

The best part? The code costs literally nothing. Unlike UPC symbols, which can become costly, you can generate a unique QRC at no expense using free tools available online. If you prefer, we’d happily create one for you based on the URL you provide.

Including your QRC on a new label design adds nothing to the cost of your product labels, meaning you can take advantage of this technology at no expense. We can add a QR code to an existing digital label at no charge as well. For labels printed on a conventional press, there’s a small fee for setting up a new printing plate, just like any other change in label design.

QR Codes on Food Labels

By including a QRC on your custom food or beverage label, you can give your customers—and potential customers who may be standing in a store considering what product to purchase—an array of rich online content. This could include:

  • Online coupons or other promotions
  • Seasonal or monthly recipes
  • Contact information

Imagine having the opportunity to provide a wealth of valuable information and gently persuasive marketing copy in a square inch of space in the corner of your custom food label. It’s easy to see why QR codes are becoming increasingly popular not just with marketers, but with consumers as well.

QR Codes for Personal Care Labels

Portland loves its small-batch, eco-friendly personal care products. Green cosmetics and other health and beauty products face particularly stiff competition in the Pacific Northwest. With all the green skincare lines and other natural personal care products competing for shelf space, it’s a safe bet that many of your potential customers pick up several products and read the labels before making a purchase decision. With a QR code, you can send any smartphone user to read testimonials, view videos or see a list of complimentary products in your line—right there in the store.

Private Label Beer, Wine or Spirits

Do you provide private label libations for weddings and other special events? How’s this for a value-added service? Include a QR code that can point to:

  • A slide show for attendees to discuss
  • A YouTube video of a newlywed couple thanking wedding guests for attending
  • A web page that updates for annual or other repeating events
  • Literally any Internet content the event host desires

Rose City Label Can Help

QR codes on your custom product labels are an easy, convenient means of bringing consumers to the website of your choosing. They are becoming more widely recognized and popular every day. Many consumers, once they discover them, scan nearly every code they see in a store. A single, static code offers unlimited marketing opportunities, as you can update the page it leads to as often as you care to.
Can you afford not to employ this emerging, increasingly popular marketing tool? Talk to us today about including a QR code as part of every label in your product line.