From these humble beginnings, Discount Labels has grown into one of the country’s largest short-run label printing companies. Purchased by Cenveo World Limited in 2006, the company manufactures labels in New Albany, IN, USA, employing 500 individuals in a 200,000 square foot facility and utilizing 70 conventional and digital presses and seven ABG Digicon finishers.
Discount Labels sells through qualified label resellers such as converters, contract packagers, promotional products companies. Key verticals include the food, beverage, healthcare, automotive, cannabis, beer, wine and spirits sectors.
In April 2018, Discount Labels’ customer Zagwear approached the company with a challenging application. They needed to produce several million augmented reality “decals” for one of the world’s largest cereal producers for a promotional tie-in to the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” movie. Each decal was individually wrapped and had to withstand insertion into boxes of cereal. Six different designs were created so that consumers could collect a set from various cereals. The lead time was tight, and because the finished label was inserted into cereal boxes, the application had to undergo multiple inspections and pass strict FDA requirements. Batch traceability was critical in the event of a recall any time down the line.
Discount Labels turned to its substrate partner Acucote for help. They needed a construction with a clear, flexible facestock and ultra-removable adhesive that could be applied to a variety of surfaces, remove cleanly and then be reapplied to other surfaces. The application also demanded a stiff, printable liner to help with layflat, weight and printability so that the decals wouldn’t be folded or bent in handling. Acucote went to work immediately, modifying the construction’s caliper numerous times by using face sheet and liner changes until they found the perfect weight for their customer’s gravity-feed distribution equipment. This maximized Zagwear’s distribution line speed and prevented misfeeds.
After close collaboration with Discount Labels, testing in-house and with external labs, Acucote delivered a final construction of 5.5 mil matte clear non top-coated (NTC) vinyl with H802 adhesive and an 8-point liner. The label construction conformed with 21 CFR 175.105 (FDA indirect food contact), and was Prop 65-compliant and toxicologist-certified to demonstrate that the adhesive was safe for use.
The cereal company launched a very successful campaign, with the Spider-Man decals inserted into approximately eight million specially-marked boxes of various cereals. They were sold coast-to-coast at 10,000 retailers and the promotion was supported by national television advertisements.
According to Debbi Ulmer, marketing director, Discount Labels, “This was a case of all hands on deck. Everyone got involved. It was a true, amazing example of teamwork between our customer, Zagwear; the end user, Acucote; and Discount Labels to really pull this off. It was a huge endeavor and something that we’re very proud of.”
Melissa Walsh-Harton, marketing communications manager, Acucote, adds, “Our Application Development Team (ADT) understood the performance characteristics needed by Discount Labels. Our technical team worked with our in-house lab and the customer’s lab to do the testing, provide pre-production samples and quickly deliver a high-quality pressure-sensitive construction. The Acucote ADT is composed of seasoned industry technical and applications specialists who support our customers by providing application solutions for the most demanding labeling challenges; challenges like the one brought to us by Discount Labels.”