Food labels: Food label printing in South Africa

Whether you’re needing pressure-sensitive food labels (PSL) for food, condiments, dairy, meat or fresh produce, they all need to attract the

consumer’s attention in the store and deliver relevant information as well as being compliant with all food label safety measurements.

Selecting durable substrates for printing food labels

Food labels need to look inviting in your fridge, freezer or on the shelf. Food label images cannot afford to fade, bleed or smudge under environmental conditions such as moisture, temperature and sunlight.

Key to the performance of the label is the substrate selected. The self-adhesive label presses at Lebone Paarl Labels accommodate extensive ranges of coated and uncoated papers, foils and films. Coated papers have a smooth, non-textured finish and repel liquids better than uncoated stocks, making them more suitable for food products. Film such as polypropylene and polyethylene are heat and chemical resistant and are usually waterproof.

Polyethylene (PE) Food Labels

A tough, stretchy plastic film that is both water and temperature resistant. It is produced more optically clear than polypropylene and it is commonly used at Lebone Paarl Labels for the production of food product labels.

Polypropylene (PP) Food labels

It is similar to polyethylene plastic film but is stronger and more rigid. It has a higher temperature and is also chemically resistant. It is tear-proof, waterproof and is resistant to fading. Lebone Paarl Labels uses Polypropylene (PP) in different variations of thickness for the printing of retail packaging labels in South Africa.

Choosing quality guaranteed food labels

A high-quality label must instil trust in consumers in order to show that all food label regulations are being followed and that the food products they are buying are of high quality. Embracing rapid advancements in technology ensures that Lebone Paarl Labels can deliver uncompromised quality food labels, faster and more efficiently.

Pressure-sensitive labels are inspected according to stringent international standards and food label regulations enforcing 100% High resolution food label inspections.

Lebone Paarl Labels has installed the Tubescan digital strobe ++ for 100% label inspection detection of all print defects and accurate counting of clients’ labels. This is applied to every label printed at Lebone Paarl Labels to ensure our customers enjoy 100% satisfaction.

Lebone Paarl Labels is FSSC 22000, ISO 9001 and Mellow Colour ISO 12647

SABS Pressure Sensitive Food Labels
SABS Certified Pressure Sensitive Food Labels
Mellow Colour Pressure Sensitive Food Labels

Printing options for food labels

Lebone Paarl Labels offers the versatility of both modern UV flexo and Digital printing finishing from its label printing operation in Paarl Cape Town.

UV flexo self-adhesive food labels

Lebone Paarl Labels’ fleet of UV flexo presses combines a blend excellent print quality, high productivity and flexibility. They are ideally suited for longer print runs of commercial food and beverage labels. Printing can be done on a wide variety of substrates and finishing such as laminating, embossing, foiling and die-cutting. This can be done inline in a single pass.

Digitally printed food labels

In digital printing, images are printed directly onto a substrate from electronic data without printing plates. It’s ideally suited but not limited to shorter print runs and labels requiring variable elements. Lebone Paarl Labels’ modern HP Indigo digital press offers flexible high-resolution printing of up to 7 colours that matches gravure printing. HP ElectroInk includes silver for metallic finishes and white for sleeves.

Digital label printing allows for variable printing of unique elements such as text, images, barcodes, numbers and security features. This method of label printing allows easier food label reading and gives the customer the ability to display food label requirements and other food label nutrition information. Individually unique labels can also be created for maximum customer interactivity with HP Smartstream Mosaic and Collage. The inline spectrophotometer eliminates manual colour calibrations and adjustments for perfect colour from the first label to the last one off the press.

Special Finishes for Food Labels

Special finishes such as foiling, high built varnish, embossing, debossing and die-cutting can be added in one pass to digitally printed labels on Lebone Paarl Labels’ versatile Abg Digicon finishing line.

Food label regulations

In South Africa, there are stringent safety regulations regarding the manufacturing and labelling of food to protect the consumer. One consideration in the production of food labels is the migration of substances from the labels to the packed foods.

To avoid contamination of food, food packaging enterprises are responsible for ensuring that any substances that transfer into the packaged food are safe for consumer health.  Migration occurs faster at higher temperatures with fatty foods being more prone to contamination than dry foods.

Lebone Paarl Labels offers the printing of pressure-sensitive labels using low migration inks for the food and beverage industries. These low odour and low taint inks are fast curing, foil blockable and have good adhesion across a wide range of substrates.

They are designed to dramatically reduce migration of chemicals from the ink printed on the packaging.

Food label Printing Requirements

A clean, simple design is very effective as it inspires trust, is easier to read and doesn’t overwhelm the consumer. Using food label templates allows you to build and design labels quicker. Consumers often assume that the quality reflected on the label is representative of the quality found within the container. Using quality materials for food labels, indicate a commitment to overall quality and an understanding of food label requirements.

Adding a feature on the labels can assist in eliminating counterfeiting and false advertising, whilst enabling supply chain track & trace for product authentication for brands. This may include variable images, text, numbers, barcodes, or colours onto the labels for distribution and warehouse tracking, security features, nutrional analysis or for personalised marketing campaigns. A QR ‘quick response’ code of a unique combination of printed black and white squares on a label, is also used for storing URLs or other information for reading by a smartphone camera.  This method of label printing allows for interactive packaging. It is often used to launch a website, send a text message, enter into a competition, downloading a file, and other marketing applications.

Many modern consumers are aware of the nutritional benefits of packaged food and the environmental impact of packaging. Using a more responsibly produced substrate for your labels can contribute to building a credible brand and customer loyalty. Lebone Paarl Labels’ offers a range of sustainably produced substrates, including a “TreeFree” paper option produced from sugar cane bagasse. Food label regulations ensure the terminology used on food labels is correct and easily understood. Popular phrasing used in the food industry relating to health benefits include ‘all-natural’, ‘free-range’, ‘organic’, ‘ethically sourced’, ‘gluten-free’, ‘sugar-free’ and ‘grass-fed’.

Finding a food label printer in Cape Town, Western Cape

Lebone Paarl Labels are packaging suppliers located in Paarl and is perfectly situated to print, finish and supply food labels throughout the Western Cape. They also service many clients across South Africa including the main centres of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Bloemfontein.

What does it cost to print food labels?

The cost of food label printing depends on the volume of labels that need to be printed, as well as the type of substrate, printing and finishing processes used. For a free quote, please contact Lebone Paarl Labels at