Are You Underestimating The Power Of Labels?

More Labelling In Your Life Than You Realise

Labels are an essential part of modern life. In fact, the humble label is arguably the glue that is holding modern society together. Here are some key scenarios where labels have made life easier and better for everyone:

  • Washing Instructions on clothes – A savior for students and men everywhere, ensuring clothes make it out of the wash unshrunk and retaining their full colour.
  • Alcohol content in drinks – Going to buy a bottle of wine and realising the volume was less than 10% and swiftly going back to change the bottle; we’ve all done it!
  • Name Labels at B2B events – “Oh hi, you’re….” Forgetting names is a common issue at these events and it saves the embarrassment of having to openly admit you did indeed forget the name of who you’re talking too.
  • Use by labels replacing best before on packaging – Studies showed that in the UK alone, we were throwing away millions of pounds of consumable food because of the best before label – the use by provides a better guideline on when food is safe to eat and is set on saving us money on the food bill.

A Brief History of Time Food Labelling

Whilst this may not become a reference of academic study, there are some interesting facts in the history of food labelling. It all started in the early 13th Century; the King of England proclaimed the first food regulation which stated bakers could not mix ground peas and beans into bread dough. Since then governments have been regulating the production and manufacturing of food to ensure the end consumer knows what they are buying and eating. Today, manufacturers; supermarkets; and food producers are highly regulated and must display certain information to ensure shoppers are well informed on any dietary and health issues in what they are purchasing.

Labels Have Made Millionaire’s

Arthur Fry, known widely for his invention of the Post-It Note, was the co-creator of a product that was born out of a failed idea by another scientist; Spencer Silver. Silver was a scientist who set out to create a strong adhesive. He ended up developing a high quality; low tack adhesive that he couldn’t find a use for. Arthur Fry requested a sample of this adhesive and after trialing different ideas, coated it onto a piece of paper to use as a bookmark. He then extended this out to the Post-It Note. This was a product that has evolved into over 4,000 different variations and is now sold in over 100 countries, generating the company millions of pounds.

Labels – What Does The Future Hold?

Labels have undergone decades upon decades of refinement; colourful paper labels for example have been used to identify products since the early 1880’s. In modern society, labels are used to differentiate; to inform; and; also to instruct. As we enter the digital era here are some of our predictions for the future of labelling:

  • Online Receipts – It’s not a new concept but with companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint it’s an idea more and more will adopt in the future. Purchases made by mobile phones with Apple or Android pay may one day download and archive receipts so you can monitor your online banking and manage refunds and returns all from one application.
  • QR Codes on labels – Companies want to get so much information on labels they sometimes don’t have the space. QR (Quick Response) codes allow you to create a code or picture that can be scanned and then takes you to a webpage. Food manufacturers will adopt this more and more as the amount of dietary information they have to provide increases.