Regulations not only influence copy, but packaging design elements as well.

By: Ian Schofield

Supporters of the failed Proposition 37, a ballot initiative in California that would have mandated the labeling of genetically engineered foods but lost at the polls earlier this month, have already started collecting signatures to take a similar program to Washington state next year. This is just another reminder of how the desire for more stringent labeling requirements is ever-present and will continue to influence the look and feel of consumer packaged goods. Elongated nutrition labels, allergen warnings and manufacturing disclaimers are just some of the existing requirements that consumer packaged goods manufacturers must face when working towards getting a product to market. Regulations like these not only influence copy, but packaging design elements as well. With the ever-shrinking label real estate that exists once all mandates have been met, manufacturers are then tasked with trying to figure out how to make those design changes work across a platform of packaging in different languages, sizes, and substrates, without impacting the time it takes to get the product on shelf.  

Beyond having a quality product, the way that consumers typically connect with a brand is via the packaging. Finding a way to marry the copy and look of mandated label alterations with the overall image of your brand is becoming an increasingly difficult and time-consuming task. Each new legislation causes major repercussions across the entire packaging process, leaving many brand owners struggling to get products with updated packaging on the shelves under tight deadlines. With government involvement in package design at an all-time high, companies cannot afford to waste any time adhering to these regulations and they certainly cannot afford a costly error. With the pressure to deliver both the government mandate associated with your product and the brand promise in one place, each new industry standard enacted essentially results in a new product launch for the brand manager. Regardless of whether or not the actual goods are new to the market or you are simply updating the packaging, the resources needed to execute packaging changes both large and small are the same. In order to stay competitive when regulatory updates are compounding your packaging process companies need a system that provides complete visibility and control over every stage of the packaging development process.

Packaging launch software can help streamline the design to print process by eliminating burdensome bottlenecks that are commonplace in the world of packaging, those that are exclusive to your industry, as well as those unique to your company. The new breed of packaging launch software can help you eliminate the pain points that your company encounters throughout the packaging process, replacing them with an end-to-end solution that saves both money and time while being practical, scalable and adaptable.   

A company’s most valuable assets are its time and money, because after all, time IS money. When faced with the challenge of incorporating a new regulation into the fabric of your product’s packaging process, the list of tasks that need to be performed grows, which means more of your team’s time will need to be carved out to accommodate the change, instead of keeping focus on the bottom line. Packaging launch software can help abbreviate an elongated packaging “to-do” list into a no-fuss solution for compliance. By providing complete visibility of the process from design to print via a centralized portal, brand managers can see the complete picture of how the change will affect the current process, allowing them the opportunity to prioritize tasks and plan more efficiently. Perhaps the greatest time-saver that consumer packaged goods companies can benefit from by utilizing such software is the ability to assign role-based access to all members of the team to view, edit and comment on changes in one depository removing duplicate versions, minimizing errors and eliminating instances of rework. Getting your product to market on schedule and compliant.  

With the time it takes to complete the packaging process reduced, companies can expect a growth in items produced without the costly increase of headcount. The time it takes to get to market will decrease when reworks and artwork iterations are reduced and authorizations are conducted in real-time. Beating your competition to market while avoiding non-compliance fees can only increase your bottom line.   

With competition growing in the CPG space, the vulnerabilities of current high-volume production will continue to be more visible. Companies need to be able to rely on technologies that are intuitive and capable of handling growth. As packaging environments continue to get more complex, packaging launch software can help streamline your packaging process and all associated legislations, whether your churning out 100 lines or 25,000 lines a year. The ability to accommodate such growth in production is a necessity as legislation will only continue to make the process all the more complex.  

And growth doesn’t just reflect the number of lines produced, but also the evolution of your brand. What is an excellent decision for other brands competing in your market is not necessarily going to be a fit for your brand. Packaging launch software provides a unique solution that can evolve with your company, not change it into a cookie-cutter image of what everyone else is doing. These solutions can be set to fit your product, your team, your procedures, your regulations…your brand.

While many of the processes in use in the consumer packaged goods industry boast some impressive stats, what all companies want is a system that is easy to use. Packaging launch software helps take a convoluted process and make it practical and intuitive. At the end of the day, when legislations are being handed down, you don’t want your whole team at a stand-still, waiting on lengthy approval processes to get their individual portions completed, you want a minimal-click system that keeps the process moving seamlessly, no matter how many new callouts or warnings are required on your product’s packaging.   

Ian Schofield is Sales & Marketing Director for Sun Branding Solutions, which provides turnkey packaging launch solutions for brand owners and private label retailers from creative design through to legal sign-off, global color management and print. Sun Branding Solutions can be found at