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Sometimes Our Labels Have Wrinkles - And That's OK! 😊

Sometimes Our Labels Have Wrinkles - And That's OK! 😊

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge advocate of paying attention to the most minor brand details. How does the brand feel when you hold it? What does the inside of the package look like when you take the brand out? What sound does it make when you open the box or package?

These may seem like small, innocuous details, but they matter. When brands struggle, sometimes it's due to something readily identifiable, but often it's "death by a thousand cuts." Tiny little things that continuously happen over time that at some point reach an inflection point where suddenly there is a collective "I don't recognize this brand anymore."

A core value that we have built into our company is one of sustainability. We hope to become zero waste at some point and only use ingredients that are sustainably grown and materials that are sustainably and responsibly created. That includes our grains, our serving cups, our packaging, and our labels, just to name a few.

In recycling, it's crucial to think about the primary material being put in the bin and any labels or stickers attached to it. Most recycling centers can remove many labels from the materials they process, but it's not an easy "yes/no" answer. Here's a good primer on what is recyclable versus not with labels.

https://www.crownlabels.co.uk/post/are-stickers-labels-recyclable

So we use paper-based labels because they can be removed through numerous processes (heat or liquid), and the ink and adhesive can be removed and captured. The drawback to paper labels? Moisture. When paper-based labels are exposed to moisture, they tend to wrinkle. Our labels are exposed to moisture just after cooking when the lids are applied and the product is still warm. They are also exposed when we are taking them out of the freezer to package and deliver. In their frozen state, condensation occurs as soon as they are removed and packaged for delivery.

Even though the insulated containers used during delivery keep them frozen, they are exposed to the more humid air, and thus, sometimes the labels wrinkle. The solution to this would be using laminated labels or plastic-based labels, but that is unacceptable. That means there's a good chance the container will be sent to the landfill if the recycling center can't quickly and safely remove the label.

So paper it is for us, even though the wrinkles in the label bother me. I actually look at it as a symbol of what we're doing, and I think our customers understand that as well. They would much rather see a few wrinkles in a label than know the packages they are using are going to a landfill.

Of course, with the advancements being made in plant-based coatings that are compostable, I'm confident we'll start seeing labels that are moisture-resistant and can be processed easily by recycling centers. And when we feel sure that can happen, you'll see beautiful, smooth labels on all of our products. 🙌

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