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Distinguishing Your Egg Brand from Shell to Shelf

Distinguishing your brand is essential to sales and growth, and that’s even truer for the humble egg. In theory, consumers know that all eggs aren’t equal — some are conventional eggs; some are cage-free eggs; some are organic eggs; some are Omega-enriched eggs – but in practice, any two eggs of the same size and variety are hard to tell apart. Making your eggs stand out isn’t easy but if you can do it, it puts you ahead of your competition.

So how do you make your eggs stand out in the egg aisle of a supermarket?

Believe it or not, it simply takes non-toxic printing inks!

Direct and indirect food contact inks, as well as edible inks can make both the packaging and the eggs themselves stand out from the flock of competitors in the aisle. These non-toxic inks are designed specifically for printing on eggshells and their packaging, allowing food manufacturers to highlight everything from logos to brand names and detailed messaging.

Effectively using these non-toxic inks will raise the visibility of the products while educating consumers on the specific selling points of your eggs.

Regulatory Compliant Food Contact Printing Inks

There are three types of specially designed non-toxic inks to help you brand your food and inform consumers of product information:

  • Indirect Food Contact Inks (IFCs) — These inks are used on the outside of packaging materials that might come in contact with food, such as cartons, boxes, or bags. For this reason, IFCs are also manufactured from FDA and EU compliant components. Safety is always top of mind in our No-Tox Products.
  • Direct Food Contact Inks (DFCs) — These non-toxic inks are used when it is reasonable to assume that the printing ink will come in direct physical contact with the food, in this case the egg. Printing used on the inside of an egg carton is one example. Another relates to packaging materials that are nested, as egg cartons are frequently stacked one on top of another. The inside of one carton is in contact with the printed outside of the next carton while stacked, meaning the printing ink in question could come into physical contact with the egg. Therefore, the use of non-toxic DFC inks are imperative for food safety and compliance with current health standards.
  • Edimark® Edible Inks — These edible non-toxic inks are designed to be printed directly – and safely - on food. Egg packagers can use these to put logos and words directly on the shell of the egg. This is another eye-catching marketing opportunity to improve consumers’ response to your eggs.

Each of these inks meets all FDA food additive regulation requirements. All materials used in each of the inks described above, such as pigments, driers, additives, etc. must be approved by the FDA as compliant for direct food contact applications. Colorcon’s No-Tox printing inks meet all of the FDA requirements.

IFC & DFC for Food Packaging Marketing

Printing on food packaging is the first thing consumers see when deciding which eggs to purchase. Using IFC and DFC inks provides opportunities for egg packagers to make use of both the outside of the packaging and the inside of the egg cartons to reinforce their marketing messages. You can:

  • Present the Facts — Nutritional contents of the eggs, the date they were packaged, the sell-by or use-by dates, and the code for the farm they came from. While much of this information is required by law, packagers can choose to emphasize facts that set their brand apart. For example, if one of your selling points is that your eggs are exceptionally fresh, having been packaged locally and shipped quickly, you might want to emphasize the “Packaged On” date— whether by printing it in larger letters, placing it in a highly visible location, or using a different color ink to make it stand out.
  • Highlight Selling Points — Printing on packaging is essentially the only way to emphasize what makes your product the one to buy. If the chickens were raised using sustainable farming methods, fed a special diet, or are free range, say so and know you’re saying it with non-toxic, FDA and EU compliant inks (which is yet another selling point for consumers who are increasingly health, safety, and eco-conscious!)

IFCs will do your selling on the outside of the carton and DFCs will do it on the inside of the carton. You may not have thought of this but you can build your brand further using the inside of the packaging! DFCs are manufactured to be safe inside the packaging where they have a reasonable chance of coming in physical contact with the egg. Your marketing people will be egg-static with the added surface for building your brand.

  • Showcase Recycling Info — Egg cartons come in a variety of materials, some of which can be recycled easily; others can only be recycled in specific ways, and still others that cannot be recycled at all.

Tell your customers how best to recycle or dispose of your packaging. Environmentally concerned consumers want to know. They will also appreciate that the information you’re supplying is written with non-toxic IFC inks on the outside of the package and non-toxic DFC inks on the inside.

The beauty of IFCs and DFCs is that they're designed for multiple types of packaging surfaces, so you can use them to spotlight any information you want your customers to know. You can ensure your strongest selling points are front and center, by carefully choosing where to print each fact, what color ink to use, and how large the typeface or image is.

Eggshell Printing with Edimark® Edible Inks

Edible inks expand your marketing options even further. Now you can ink a brand name or logo right on the shell of the eggs themselves without toxicity concerns.

  • Draw Attention to ‘You’re Getting What You Paid For’ — Provide your customers with peace of mind by confirming egg sourcing with logos and farm names right on the product, not just the packaging.
  • Choose Contrasting Colors — By choosing edible ink colors that contrast with the carton’s IFC ink (or DFC if on the inside packaging), you can make the eggs “pop” and seem more fun and appealing to consumers.
  • Emphasize Messaging — If you use multiple IFC colors on the outside packaging, with a particular color for the most important selling points, you can use the same Edimark® edible ink color on the eggs. This keeps those selling points fresh in your customers’ minds when they crack their eggs.
  • Spotlight Marketing Features — Use images that represent particular features of your eggs, for instance, environmental sustainability. While you addressed it on your outside packaging with IDF, you can reinforce the message on the egg itself with edible ink.

No matter what your egg branding strategy is currently, knowing that you have more options than you might have thought to brand a simple product like eggs is the first step in developing brand awareness and growing market share. Colorcon can help you increase your visibility with No-Tox ink products, which are approved by the USDA Voluntary Shell Egg Grading Program.

Contact us to learn more about Indirect and direct food contact inks for food packaging and edible food contact inks for printing on food and confectionery products.

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