Why Your Product Labels Must Be Accurate
The consequences of mislabeling product labels can be severe for both consumers and businesses. Consumers may suffer from health issues, allergic reactions, or dissatisfaction with a product or an entire brand if they buy a product that does not match its label. Further, manufacturers may face legal actions, fines, reputational damage, or loss of customers if they misrepresent their products or fail to comply with labeling regulations – intentionally or inadvertently.
Some quick examples of mislabeling product labels include the following:
- A food product’s label says the product contains “all natural” ingredients when in fact, it does include synthetic preservative.
- The “sell by” or “use by” information on a food product label is incorrect.
- A product is labeled as something it is not, such as a synthetic leather product labeled as “genuine leather.”
- The product label does not include required warnings.
- Some ingredients in the product are not listed.
- Weight and other measurements are inaccurate.
- The label has typos, misspellings, even grammar issues that can mislead a consumer or purchaser.
Let’s take a closer look at what can happen if your product label is not accurate:
In the United States, a major manufacturer of baby food products has faced several lawsuits over the years due to misleading product labels or an incomplete disclosure of product ingredients. While some of these lawsuits were eventually dismissed, the company still had to spend millions defending itself. Further, this has had a considerable impact on the sales of their baby food products. Today, to regain the trust of mothers worldwide, the manufacturer has been spending even more millions to restore its brand’s image.
Many users have sued a major marketer of African American men’s and women’s hair care products because one or more of their products did not mention it included an ingredient potentially causing a severe allergic reaction. According to one news story, these products contain “hair relaxers or hair straighteners [to] force curly hair to lay flat. These products contain potent chemicals that attack the natural protein structure of the hair.
In most cases, these chemicals are not fully identified or disclosed on the product labels.” (Italics added). Lawyers estimate the final settlement of one class action lawsuit will be in the range of $300,000 to $1,750,000 per person impacted by the product -costing the country multiple millions of dollars.
Increased Production Costs
According to a survey conducted by Packaging World magazine between June and August of 2019, 80% of the 200 participating manufacturers reported having products with incorrect labels at least once a year. The survey also revealed that:
– 52% of the manufacturers had to close their production lines for a minimum of one month whenever mislabeling issues occurred.
– 26% of the manufacturers faced mislabeling problems during production as frequently as once a week.
– 30% of the manufacturers estimated that between 1% to 10% of their final products are later discovered to be mislabeled.
Avoiding the Losses
The losses in dollars and damage to a company’s can last for years to come. However, this can be avoided with the help of the printing experts at GENflex Labeling Solutions. We recommend taking preventive measures, such as those listed below:
Print the labels last. This allows extra time to double-check product ingredients and ensure the accuracy of the label before it is applied to the products.
Avoid miscommunications. Miscommunications between the product manufacturer/label manufacturer happen all too often. Make sure all parties are clear about what is to be listed on the label before label production begins.
Work with an established label manufacturer. An experienced label manufacturer like GENflex Labeling Solutions, which has been in business for nearly a century, knows what information should be included on a product label, including regulatory requirements. A new label manufacturer may not be aware of these requirements.
Data validation. Data validation on a product label involves verifying that the information on the label is accurate, complete, and formatted correctly. For instance, data validation would include things such as ensuring the format of dates and phone numbers on a product label are correct.
Cloud-based proofing. Work with a label manufacturer that provides their clients with cloud-based proofing system. This allows them to preview their proofs, make edits, annotate, or amend as needed in the comfort of their homes or offices prior to production. Further, the system ensures all stakeholders are fully aware of the approval/editing process each step of the way.
Here’s the takeaway.
Labels can play a pivotal role in promoting a product and improving sales and profits for a company. One crucial aspect of product labeling, however, is accuracy. It is essential to supply consumers and buyers with precise information that helps them make informed purchasing decisions.
GENflex Labeling Solutions has been a leading provider of packaging and labeling solutions for over 90 years. We are dedicated to helping your brand and your products succeed. Discover more about General Paper Company here.