The Food and Beverage Label

Shopping cart speeding down a long aisle

Getting it Right is a Matter of Survival, But Not for the Reasons You May Think

Remember when milk was in jugs, dried foods were in boxes or bags, and your favorite brand of beverage was found only in a can or bottle?

My, how things have changed.

To succeed in today’s environment, food and beverage brands have come up with innovative ways to package and present their products. Many have revamped the traditional can or bottle and implemented containers that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, materials and colors. Even ethically responsible and environmentally friendly packaging is finding solid niche.

But you’d be wrong if you thought it was just the “coolness” factor that is causing many food and beverage manufacturers to change bottle shapes and materials. It isn’t just about “slotting fees”, shelf space design or that customer “grab factor” that is driving many food processors to rethink the box and label. Change is being driven by a shift in the way consumers think and live and how retailers are responding. Packages, containers, bottles and their labels now are center stage in the fight for product survival like never before. This time the battle is on three fronts: competitive, consumer and retailer trends.

"Change is being driven by a shift in the way consumers think and live - and how retailers are responding."

Consider the following:

  • Center aisle sales are slipping, while store perimeter sales, which cater to consumers of all ages who want “fresher”, “healthier”, “good for you” and “convenient”, are on the rise.1 Even if your product is lucky enough to be placed in the hot perimeter area, you’ve got to catch a consumer’s interest while that person is likely, and more recently, in a mad dash to get in and get out of the store while quickly finding something nutritious. If your product placement is on a center aisle you’re in the realm of the slower shopper, but now it must catch their attention while they have the time to look at all of the competing brands and variations.
  • Product competition has always been there…but now it’s growing again. According to the USDA Economic Research Service2, the number of new food and beverage product introductions, which had been on the decline since the Great Recession, has suddenly resurged to almost pre-recession levels. This means you’re going head to head with more competing SKUs.
  • And in the retailer offices, it’s not enough for your product to be good. You’ve got to fight for the continual right just to be seen on the shelf. The typical aisle is now made up of a varied mix of boutique, local and smaller company offerings near the top, “bullet zone” sellers at sight level and cheaper store brands near the bottom, and through UPC tracking, grocery stores know which items are paying their bills. Top revenue/margin producers are the items that are invited to remain on the shelf. The package and label must sell the product.


So for the food and beverage industry, the bottle, box, bag, carton and accompanying labels have all gone through a transformation to remain relevant to everyone; the health conscious consumer, the discriminating center-aisler and the profit-per-square-inch thinking retailer. Transforming the packaging, message and label impact are the way once stellar-selling products now survive and how the lucky 10% of new products3 live to see another day.


Fortunately for the food and beverage producer, Gamse has kept up to date with the latest container types and materials. There’s not a container we can’t wrap or cover with crystal clear imaging and color regardless of the substrate needed, from the lid to the base. Our spend on technology is second to none, just so you can have the latest in consumer appeal and keep your presence on the retailer’s shelf.

If you already have a food label or beverage label design, our team can produce and help you implement the right label to fit your manufacturing process quickly and efficiently. If you need a little creative assistance, Gamse designers will go the extra mile in covering that twisted bottle, odd shaped lid or plastic wrap.

Food and beverage producers, distributors and manufacturers are up against the wall. They have limited time to capture the attention of the health-conscious, “fast in and out” shopper who just runs around the perimeter of the store, limited shelf space and a growing number of competitors in the center aisle, and low tolerance from retailers for under-performing items. The package and a Gamse label has become, for many, their survival kit in a tough retail world.