How to use tomorrow’s labelling regulations as your competitive advantage today

There are some Canadian packaging and labelling regulations on the horizon that are going to significantly disrupt the natural health products industry. These regulations were supposed to have been released this past spring but have been delayed because of – you guessed it – the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the major changes being proposed in the regulations is the requirement that “essential risk information to be presented in a standardized format, with minimum font size and black-on-white contrast, making it easier to read, understand and compare similar self-care products, such as non-prescription drugs, on store shelves.” Translation: all the critical information on the label consumers need to read such as directions/dosage, medical and non-medical ingredients, and cautions have to appear in five-point type.

This change is welcome news for a large segment of natural health products users, especially the elderly and soon-to-be elderly. Currently, many of us have to squint to read the tiny print on labels or find a creative workaround such as using a magnifying glass or taking a picture and zooming in on the type.

For these customers, five-point type is high-five news. But it puts a lot of pressure on natural health products brands. Space is already at a premium on these labels, especially in Canada with all the information needing to be presented in both English and French. What are our options? We could just switch to larger bottles, but that’s a huge waste of resources: more plastic, more weight, bigger cartons and less product being shipped per truckload. The other option is to start printing on peel-away labels.

Given Bellwyck’s commitment to sustainability, innovation and an unwavering desire to save our clients money and time, our recommendation is to make the switch to peel-away labels. And thanks to our Mark Andy Digital Series HD Hybrid Press – the only one in Western Canada – making the switch today is easy. The press features true one-pass hybrid printing with flexo units and expanded gamut digital, offers unlimited colours, unparalleled image definition and offers a slew of cutting-edge features including the most opaque white in the industry printed in one pass.

The Mark Andy is also a revelation because, as a digital press, our clients don’t need to purchase printing plates; the unit allows us to go straight to producing the die-line. This capability saves our clients thousands of dollars per SKU in up-front costs alone.

“We’ve been preparing for these new natural health products labelling regulations for years,” said Jay Allen​, Business Development Manager with Bellwyck. “Our professional recommendation is to make the switch now. With the current regulations still in effect, peel-away labels with larger type represent a competitive advantage. If you’re a customer comparing two bottles of pills, one in each hand, which one would you pick: the one you can read or the one you can’t? Our experience with the larger natural health products manufacturers we work with is that being proactive is far better than being reactive. Plus, as we’ve all learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply issues can happen at any time. By making the switch now, you can insure yourself against another disruption in the supply chain.”

If any of the above information impacts your business, contact jallen@bellwyck.com right away and we can help you prepare early for tomorrow’s natural health products labelling regulations reality today.

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