A Glug of Oil

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How to Package and Label your own Food and Clothing Products

Many people today are turning their hobbies into ways to make money. The dream for many is to have a job that involves something they love and the internet has allowed more people than ever before to achieve this.

Fruit stall Borough Market London

Websites such as Etsy let individuals or partners create crafts and jewellery to sell online. Shopify has allowed many people to create their own online stores and sell clothing and other products, while cooks can sell their creations on many different platforms.

What may evade some of these entrepreneurs is the importance of labelling, packaging, and tags. You may know how to read a wine label but do you understand all the information that needs to appear on it.

There are strict laws surrounding labelling and anyone involved in selling food or clothing needs to understand them.

Here are some ideas and requirements for your labels

Packaging food items

Packaging has three purposes, one is to keep the product contained, another is to keep the product from damage, and the third is to communicate with the consumer.

If you are running a small food business from home you will likely be selling your products on the internet, local markets, and perhaps some retailers. All these ways of selling will require some level of transportation so the packaging must be tough enough to survive and arrive in excellent condition.

As a small business operator, you have probably already got this part solved, but how about the communication?

Where many people slip up isn’t with the product they are producing but with the marketing and legal aspects. The Food Standards Agency has strict guidelines on what must be included on the label or packaging.

Then there is the marketing side. Is your packaging attractive, and is it helping with your sales? There is a little trick you can use to make a product look that bit more special and increase sales. 

Adding hang tags to your food items

By attaching a hang tag where applicable to your products you can make them look even more professional. When you visit the supermarket you may visit the section with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if so then you may have noticed some of the up-market items have nice hang tags tied to their necks.

These tags, when created properly, can add a touch of class to a product. They also convey more information to a customer than a standard label can.

A hang tag or a swing tag is a simple piece of card that can be tied to a jar or bottle and it lets you present more information about your brand and product. It can be used in many innovative ways and when done properly will even influence sales. 

What should you include in your hang tags?

First, you should consider your products and your brand. What would you like your consumers to know about them?

If you are selling online then you will likely have a detailed description of your business and its values on the website. The product's ingredients will be listed and if you are only using organic produce then no doubt this will be on the website too. 

However, if you are selling through retailers or market stalls then you need to provide your consumers with as much information as possible.

A hang tag can be the key to you selling more, so careful consideration of what you include is necessary. Some of the items you might want to consider are below:

 • Provenance

Information about your carbon-footprint

Recipes

Serving suggestions

Information about how your ingredients were grown, and who by

Website address

Discounts

Consumers want to know more about what they are putting in their mouths than ever before, and the shoppers you are attracting will likely be keen to read exactly what is in the jar. 

Looking at those areas in more detail

To help you with ideas for your labelling and hang tags, here are some of those suggestions expanded upon. 

Provenance and the ingredients

Putting the source of your ingredients on the hang tag can be a big selling point. Locally grown or high quality sourced ingredients can help to sell your product. 

Carbon-footprint

Any information about how you are trying to be eco-friendly is worth including on the hang tag. Also, explain how you are lowering your carbon footprint and if there are any recycling options for your containers. 

Recipes and serving suggestions

One reason hang tags are so useful is that they allow extra space to put more information on than the standard labels do. It is not enough to know how to make wild garlic pesto put it in a jar, and sell it; include some extra information for your customers too and you will create some brand loyalty.

You can use the hang tag to give some ideas to your consumers in the way of serving suggestions and also recipes. Try putting different recipes on your tags so that they become collectable. 

Engaging with your customers and growing brand loyalty

By including your company's website and social media accounts either on the label or the hang tag, you are inviting your customers to interact with you. This may lead to more sales or it might mean that you get to engage with them more online.

Swapping ideas online, listening to any complaints or requests, and posting content, can grow your following and perhaps help you to expand your product line. 

How would selling clothing differ from food?

Selling food would require that you meet certain legal requirements and these would include registering as a food business before you could start to supply customers.

With clothing, many of the above suggestions will work though. Hang tags are a valuable way to promote an item, especially in a land-based retailer. Hang tags certainly lose a lot of their marketing value when they are attached to an item sold online, but in the high street, they can work wonders.

A good hang tag will stand out in retailers and help a customer recognise your brand on the shop floor. However, there are still other requirements that need to be met.

If you are selling your own garments then they will have to have clothing labels that contain the information required by the law. In the UK there must be a care label explaining how to clean, dry, and iron the garment.

 You may also have to include the following information:

 • Fibre content

Country of origin

Flammability

Size

Foreign languages

The label must contain the fibre content and any nightwear must contain a fire safety warning. Sizing is not a legal requirement and nor is country of origin, but you may find both are good ideas. 

Foreign languages may be required if you are planning to ship your clothes abroad. Checking with local laws in your shipping zones would be a good idea. 

Summary

Whether you are trying to launch your own range of sauces and dressings or fancy yourself the next Stella McCartney, labelling and packaging are important.

Hang tags are vital for helping to influence an individual into buying your product and in a large setting they can help you to stand out.

If you were selling at Winchester, the biggest farmer’s market in the UK then good labelling and tags will help to put your head and shoulders above some of the competition.

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