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Text Comparison in CPG Industry

April 15, 2020

How to keep  up with CPG’s labeling standards 

When asked about the labeling challenges faced by CPGs today, Don Earl, President of Overnight Labels replied, “The biggest thing is speed to market, and reacting quickly. That is a struggle because there is more regulation than there used to be. Lead time is squandered in a testing, legal, compliance review, ensuring all nutrition facts are accurate, etc. So then by the time that’s done, the customer needs it out asap. They promise a time to get the product on the shelf and compliance makes it difficult to meet that timing. Ideally, we would like 2-3 weeks lead time, depending on the complexity of a run, but with the changing landscape, we can do it in far less time, to help our customers out”

It doesn’t matter the number of eyes you’ve hired to proofread your labels. Thousands of recall notices throughout the year prove that CPG labels are not immune to human error. 

The issue is that there’s no standardization of inputs

CPGs has no standardized format for labeling and printing. Which means each company has its own formats. However, there is a common pattern across most of these briefs. They are in one of these formats:

  1. In the form of a 2 column table in a Word Document. The first column has the names of the sections (e.g. Ingredients, Nutrition, Manufacturing address, etc.). The second column has the text against these section titles which the designer will use to cut-and-paste into the artwork.
  2. In the form of a 2 column Excel Document. It’s very similar to the Word Document described in 1, but managed as an Excel file.
  3. In the form of a Word Document with H1, H2 or H3 headings for the section names. The text within each heading is used by the designer for creating the label.
  4. There are of course variations of the above used by many companies

As a result, it’s possible to overlook even the most basic requirements.

1. Undisclosed Allergens

Either the company doesn’t list the allergens contained in the product or it doesn’t display the allergens prominently

Who’s affected? FDA and the person you made sick, Twitter

What will it cost you?

  1. An immediate recall of products.
  2. Your loyal customers
  3. Lawsuits
  4. Fines
  5. Brand destruction
2. No statement of Identity

The FDA requires you to declare what the product is. So a Heinz label must clarify that its Tomato ketchup sauce and Nutella must describe itself as a Hazelnut Spread

Who’s affected? FDA, major retailers who don’t want to be held accountable for carrying a product that is potentially misleading

What will it cost you?

  1. Major retailers may refuse to carry your product
  2. Drop in revenue since there’s no clarity for the customer
3. Undeclared Ingredients

  • Your supplier made changes in the raw materials you purchase without your knowledge. 
  • You didn’t conduct a supplier-verification exam. 
  • You must have changed the supplier for some reason and there could have been changes in the raw materials but they aren’t reflected in the label.
  • You didn’t want to spend money on reflecting the changes on a new label because its more expensive so you decided to continue using the old labels until they last

Who’s affected?

Your customers – they don’t like being lied to, especially if it’s about what they eat, Twitter

What will it cost you?

  1. Your loyal customers
  2. Lawsuits
  3. Fines
  4. Brand destruction

Further more there can be inconsistencies in 

  • text formats, 
  • multiple addresses of marketing, distribution and manufacturing, 
  • incorrectly stating the flavors,
  • mislabeling the net quantities,
  • Not sticking to the mandated norms on your nutrition panel
  • Not translating foreign language on the label into English
  • Not using the common names of ingredients

Companies are increasingly depending on sophisticated AI tools to reduce their chances of recall and achieve 100% compliance and in turn increasing their speed-to-market. Our Smart Checklist feature helps you conform to compliance norms, detects presence of allergens and searches for inconsistencies on your product’s label. It sharply reduces your chances to encounter litigations and eliminates rework costs.

ManageArtworks is a Packaging Artwork Management Software that helps regulated industries like Pharmaceuticals and CPG to ensure regulatory compliance of their pack labels. It connects all stakeholders into an automated workflow, empowers users with sophisticated proofing tools including Text Comparison tools that reduce errors and speed up the process and gives complete transparency to the entire process with approval request tracking, audit trails and dashboards.

ManageArtworks is available as a ready to use cloud product or as a configurable on premise solution.

Click here to know more.

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