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  1. #1
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    Custom Bags vs. Stock Bags with Primera Labels

    Hello Forum,

    Our coffee company Quantum Bean Coffee is on the verge of expanding to internet sales and with that comes the FDA inspection as well as bag and label approval. The process is becoming quite cumbersome. We are, at this point, between ordering custom made bags from Roastar and ordering a nice label printer (Primera LX900) to handle our labels.
    Im looking for anyone who has experience with either of these options. Im leaning right now toward buying the really nice label printer as it gives us great flexibility as we add new coffees to our menu, or make changes in tasting notes or roast degree.
    The obvious downside is the cost of the label printer and putting your faith into a few thousand dollar machine. Anyone know roasters who are using these Primera label printers? Are they worth the $$$
    What about Roaster? Anyone have any experience working with this company?
    If we end up going with the Custom bags printed by Roaster- it seems like you would need a designer just to layout your bags. I was hoping to pick a color and throw up our logo along with the necessary information for the FDA label approval (net weight, address, etc.) but after a few hours of playing with it, it seems we would need a graphic designer just to get something to work with. After a few hours I just want to throw the towel in and purchase the label printer and go that route. Not that its going to be that much easier in terms of design but I feel like I could design a few simple labels fairly easy compared to a Coffee Bag.
    Any recommendations at this point are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    QBC

  2. #2
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    Packaging is a giant pain in the neck. I've been in the tea business (in one capacity or another) for eight years, and I've had a Primera LX 400 and currently own a Vivo! Color Label printer. I have used stock packaging with labels, and custom packaging, and custom packaging with labels. One thing you might consider is getting your packages foil-stamped with your logo and any basic information you can include with all of your coffees, and then printing labels with the specific details. Foil-stamping can be considerably cheaper than custom-printed packaging (especially if you can source from overseas--alibaba is your friend).

    As for the printer, they are all ridiculously expensive, and you need to take into account the continued costs of printing. My LX 400 had ink cartridges that cost about $50/pop and made maybe 2-300 labels. It adds up fast. Now I have a Vivo laser label printer that I managed to get an amazing deal on (they are like $20k new), and I can refill the toner myself. Sometimes I think if I didn't have that printer, I might have outsourced labels by now. I know I don't use my printer as much as I could. Maybe we could work something out--you buy some toner and the labels you need, design them, and I could print them for you. Not looking to make money at it, but we all had to start somewhere. Just a thought.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2015
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    I'm in a similar situation.

    I'm curious, what makes you think that just selling over the internet brings you under FDA labeling regulations? As far as I know it's based on sales volume. Under 500K/yr retail sales and you're exempt.

    quicklabel.com/blog/2011/01/small-businesses-are-exempt-from-many-fda-food-labeling-rules/

    Sorry, I haven't hit my required 5 posts to get a link posted.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by almico View Post
    I'm curious, what makes you think that just selling over the internet brings you under FDA labeling regulations? As far as I know it's based on sales volume. Under 500K/yr retail sales and you're exempt.

    quicklabel.com/blog/2011/01/small-businesses-are-exempt-from-many-fda-food-labeling-rules/
    It's worth pointing out that while the FDA might not require it, that doesn't necessarily mean it's not something that you want to do, particularly if you plan on offering your products wholesale to retailers, or through third-party marketplaces like Amazon. It pays for even startups to start on the right foot. [ETA: Free advice from someone who didn't start off on the right foot.]
    Last edited by Zoomdweebie; 07-04-2015 at 04:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    Here that.

    As far as I can tell you need:

    Front:
    What it is - i.e 100% Arabica Coffee
    How it is - Whole bean or ground
    Weight - Imperial and metric? or one or the other?

    Next useable panel to the right (rear in my case) name and address of the "manufacturer".

    I think that is it. Coffee is exempt from nutritional data

  6. #6
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    Thanks folks for the replies. @Zoomdweebie: I'll keep that thought in mind and I appreciate the offer. @Almico: Thanks for that link. I had no idea this was the case. Also as many hoops as they make you jump through, I like the idea of starting on the right foot and not having to rework things once you pass your FDA inspection. I think you are exactly right on the contents of the label and this is how I am trying to set mine up as we speak. I am leaning heavily toward outsourcing the labels and using stock bags. My search continues for the right labeling company. I will update the forum once we settle on something.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantumbeancoffee View Post
    Thanks folks for the replies. @Zoomdweebie: I'll keep that thought in mind and I appreciate the offer. @Almico: Thanks for that link. I had no idea this was the case. Also as many hoops as they make you jump through, I like the idea of starting on the right foot and not having to rework things once you pass your FDA inspection. I think you are exactly right on the contents of the label and this is how I am trying to set mine up as we speak. I am leaning heavily toward outsourcing the labels and using stock bags. My search continues for the right labeling company. I will update the forum once we settle on something.
    Message me or email me (frank [at] southernboyteas (dot) com). Especially if you can work with a 3.5"x4.5" label (what we use). We might be able to work something out.

  8. #8
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    Has anyone priced custom bags from Pacific or other places... I'm know the minimums are high but looking at Roastar's prices until you get large volume prices are fairly high as well.

    Anyone with experience of purchasing bags through Alibiba?

  9. #9
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    I buy my bags from plasticbagsforyou.com. They're just stand-up zip pouches (old school, I know), but they're easy for applying labels and stickers.

    Last April at the SCCA, they had a booth and I met the lady I work with. She showed me a classy option, hot stamp printing, which I may change over to after my current stock of labels runs out. The stamp has an initial cost of $150, and then each bag is an extra 16cents. My current front label is ~20cents, so it's something to think about, and the stamping looks more modern.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Thanks Peter.. I will consider that.. I'm really debating on making the investment in full custom bags and simply applying a varietal label... but the hot stamp may be a nice happy medium.

 

 
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