The CPG industry of the Consumer-Packaged Goods covers a wide array of products, making 45% of the current market and exceeding 2 trillion US dollars revenue in America only. These are products intended for everyday consumers. As the name suggests, packaging is a crucial part of the CPG industry. Packaging is not only essential for product shipping and shelf-life. It also enhances its usability and is crucial for customer safety. With the pandemic accelerating e-commerce, the CPG industry is undergoing massive innovations. Along with these changes, the industries also need to adapt to regulatory compliances. Brands also need to deal with unrealistic growth pressures to stay relevant.
Labeling errors in the CPG industry are common and can lead to expensive recalls, lawsuits, and losses for the company. Something as small as a simple typo, or missing information can have grave consequences, particularly if it endangers consumer safety. Hence, text proofing and comparison tools are indispensable for the CPG industry.
Text comparison tools can easily help you proof product packaging and label artworks texts. While the tool seems simple, the alternative, that is manual proofing, is an error-prone process.
Here is why.
During a product launch, brands often have to deal with multiple labels. For instance, something as simple as a box of cereal has different forms and sizes. For example, breakfast cereals like corn flakes come in both cardboard boxes and stand-up pouches. They also come in other forms of flexible packaging. When launching a new variant of this product, the information should be consistent across every type of packaging. However, not every form of packaging can use the same layout because of space constraints. This requires recreating the parts of the packaging artwork where error can easily creep in.
Compliance issues not only change with time but also with the region. For example, alcoholic products need to abide by the regulatory compliance of the region they are being sold in. The regulatory information must always be up to date, irrespective of any form of labeling changes such as rebranding or name change.
Some information should remain consistent even across different products. These include the company's HQ address, customer care information, details regarding the brand, their contact information, and so on.
Brands must meet deadlines when it comes to product launches. Brands must meet their Go-to-market (GTM) targets for a successful product launch. When developing labeling artworks under pressure, label reviewers can often overlook small but crucial errors.
Brands are under constant pressure to minimize overhead costs and maximize profits. Often label design takes place under constrained budgets where the brand and the design team need to collaborate and build labels with limited resources.
The CPG industry lacks a standard format for labeling. While there exist extensive regulatory guidelines, each brand has its labeling format. Although this gives brands creative freedom, it also makes reviewing and correcting labels a challenging task. With a dedicated text comparison tool for labels, this task becomes easier. They are available as a part of your labelling management software and can integrate into your existing workflow. Here are some of the areas where such a tool can help.
Typographic errors are the most common form of labeling errors. They are often overlooked when one does manual proofing. Have a look at the image below and see if you can spot the error.
Typographical errors can often make an authentic product look like a counterfeit one. With a simple text comparison tool, errors like these can be easily eliminated during the proofing process.
Text comparison tools can help compare ingredients lists between different SKUs. A large cereal box and flexible packaging will have different formats but must contain the same information. While a simple PDF comparison tool cannot help in this case, a text comparison tool can simplify the workflow and ensure that the information across different packaging formats is consistent.
Another common error includes errors with units. This could be the amount of a certain ingredient in the product, temperature units, or more. Units are often decided by the region where the product is marketed and the standards in that region. For example, for temperature, the Asia Pacific region uses Celsius while Fahrenheit is more common in the US and Canada. A text comparison tool can help address these mistakes.
A similar error includes the date format. Dates are important as they indicate if products are fit for consumption or not. If the manufacturer does not stick to the standardized date format in the region, it can wrongfully indicate that a product has expired. Alternatively, it can also indicate that an expired product is still fresh for consumption. Such errors are harmful to both the brand and consumers. Having a standard template and a tool to compare it with can take care of these errors.
Undisclosed allergens can lead to immediate product recalls and extensive losses for the company. They can also harm the brand reputation. With undisclosed ingredients such as added sugars or flavoring agents, the issue is similar. It can lead to extensive fines from regulatory bodies as well as lawsuits.
A text comparison tool can seem like a trivial feature but can help extensively with label and artwork proofing. How crucial is this for your workflow? Let us know in the comments below.