As the decade comes to a close, we’re looking back on some of our favorite labeling trends of the 2010s. Here’s what we loved over the last 10 years:
- Sustainable packaging — Lush Cosmetics has been a leader in the sustainable packaging movement, offering what it calls “naked” packaging, thinner plastic bottles and packaging, sustainable deliveries, and incentives for recycling.
- Animated labels — Augmented reality, apps, and QR codes help bring animated labels to life. The 19 Crimes label app allowed wine lovers to point the app at a bottle of 19 Crimes wine to see characters come to life before their eyes. This was a clever way to engage customers. More than 500,000 downloads of the app were reported soon after the animated labels debuted in early 2018.
- Food safety — We all can agree that food shouldn’t make us sick, but sometimes it does. Last year’s E. coli breakouts in romaine lettuce prompted the FDA to require harvest dates and regions on food produce labels.
- Smart labels — It seems everything is “smart” these days, and that includes labels. Over the last decade, consumers have been scanning barcodes with their smartphones to get more information about products such as nutrition information. SmartLabel™ takes this to a new level with product-specific landing pages containing additional information such as nutritional information, ingredients, allergens, third-party certifications, social compliance programs, usage instructions, advisories and safe handling instructions, company/brand information, and more.
- RFID label printing — Another type of smart label is an RFID or NFC label. RFID and NFC labels contain embedded chips that allow the labels to communicate with a nearby reader. These have been around for a long time, but until recently weren’t practical for small business. That has changed with the emergence of RFID inkjet color label printers like the Primera RX500. RFID color label printers allow you to print and encode color RFID labels in a single operation. Now small businesses can print asset and tracking labels as well as interactive NFC labels that link to a specific web page, launch a YouTube video, or play a song.
From social responsibility and food safety to animating product labels, the last ten years have shown us that there’s more to a label than meets the eye.