Your Labels Have to Be Right – The Government is Watching!
As label producers, we are always working hard to make our labels attractive to consumers. We want our products to pop off the shelf into the consumer’s shopping cart. Noticing our products is nice, but purchasing is better – great labels help! But, besides shelf appeal, we also need to follow correct regulatory guidelines.
For regulated products like alcohol, cannabis, food and nutraceuticals, following the correct regulatory guidelines is almost as important as having shelf appeal – if we want our business to be viable in the long run.
The Tax and Trade Bureau really is out to help people follow correct regulatory guidelines. Earlier this year, Demaris Brown came to the Oregon Wine Symposium and offered a great technical presentation. Learn more about her presentation – including a link to her slides – by clicking here. Besides travelling presentations like that, the government also does random sampling to ensure that labels are compliant. According to a recent article on the legal blog lexology, the findings of a recent audit weren’t great:
The TTB sampled 450 products and found that 152 of those products were non-compliant. The most common deficiency for malt beverages and wine was that the information on the label did not match the approved COLA due to changes that were not allowable revisions.
This isn’t a very good statement about our industry if over 33% of labels aren’t correct – we can help!
Correct Regulatory Guidelines – This Information is Mandatory
Besides the mismatch with the COLA (certificate of label approval) the next most common error was actually failing to put an element of mandatory information on the label. This varies by product – see the slides in the link above for a very good breakdown of requirements for wine labels. If any of these items are missing, your labels are out of compliance. This is bad news for the producer, the distributor, and the consumer that could be prevented from drinking your great products.
Work with Experts – Trust but Verify
Working with experts is smart. Rose City Label prints for nearly 150 different alcoholic beverage producers – we can provide experience and examples to help. Your winemaker, graphic designer, business advisors, and attorney should also be able to advise with parts of the process. You, however, ultimately have to double check all the facts. If you are the owner of a bonded facility making an alcoholic beverage, the buck stops with you. In many cases your name is on the product, so your personal reputation is on the line. Take the time to do it right.
Don’t Rush It – Get References – Enjoy the Journey
Being in a rush is a bad thing for many reasons. Launching a new business or a new product is always exciting and stressful, but make it better for yourself by taking the time to do it right. Talk to your peers to get references to reputable service providers. Interview people and get a feel for the people you will be working with. Make sure you enjoy the journey! Hopefully this new product is a passion – something special that you were called to put into the world. Take the time to do it right, call us for help, and enjoy the process.