Tea Product Labels & Planning: Tricks of the Trade

I had the opportunity to be one of the speakers at the 2021 World Tea Conference & Expo last month. It was my first time attending the show, and I have to say I was very impressed. Obviously, it was great to be back in Las Vegas around a big crowd again, but this conference certainly had a unique spark to it that I have not seen with other industry trade shows in years.

Attendees were hungry for more business-related information, and they were excited to network with one another once again. In fact, the attendee questions that were asked during my presentation were spot-on given the crazy times we’re all experiencing today.

Being from the label printing industry, I presented “best practices” about planning your product labels for tea producers and their co-manufacturers. The name of the presentation was called “Product Label Planning in the New Era,” in which I discussed some of the most common label issues that I see in the field, and how the label industry typically helps resolve those problems.

At the end of the presentation, I shared a few interesting, new marketing trends and ideas that I have been noticing from several of my beverage label customers related to tea, coffee, craft beer and CBD-infused blends. After my presentation, I opened-up the discussion for questions.

Below are just four of the key areas that I covered in the presentation – and discussed in-depth with attendees – that are worth mentioning:

1. Lead Times and Quality Control – I took a poll of the audience to find out some of their most common problems they were experiencing from their current label suppliers. Their answers: Lead-times and quality control issues seemed to be the major concerns about their labels.

The audience also indicated they are starting to see some supply chain disruption related to their bottles, lids, containers and ingredients, which will sometimes delay their own production times.

If your tea business continually notices increasing lead-times from your label supplier, start preparing for (temperature controlled) warehouse space for your product labels, or you can request to have labels produced in advance from your label supplier and have them shipped that day to help avoid further production delays.

2. Design & Development of Product Labels – Another important topic at World Tea 2021 included understanding how to plan the design and development of your product labels. Most brands know their product label is the “face” of their product at the POS, but typically marketing talent and their production teams do not communicate enough together to design “efficient” labels.

Cost of label material used, speed of production line factors, and planning scalability for future retail growth is often overlooked. It’s important to understand your company’s scalability limits. Meaning, know how your entire production team can adapt to increasing demand without taking excessive financial risk. Try to find your own production “efficiencies” with your label supplier.

3. Maximizing Efficiency – Knowing how to maximize efficiency when reordering your product labels and managing your inventory (no matter how small or large of a business you own or operate) is key. Depending on how strict your branding guidelines are, being flexible enough to slightly adjust your label sizes for your initial SKU order can be a huge cost saver on the long-term. Your ongoing reorders would remain that adjusted size, so you will still have ongoing brand consistency at the POS.

What’s more, as you begin to increase label order quantities, it can greatly affect how your products are produced. Maximizing the width of the label supplier’s printing presses is essential. And having the flexibility to adjust your label size to fit the best production width is a key part of developing a strong relationship with your label supplier.

4. Building a Backup Strategy Around Future Supply Chain Disruptions – Being prepared for supply chain disruption is key in today’s economy. Don’t rely on JIT (Just in Time) delivery, but instead try to allocate at least one to two production runs in your inventory. Also, stay proactive by testing a backup label material during slow production times, so that you aren’t rushed at the time when you are faced with a fast-track delivery deadline. Not testing alternative materials on your production equipment in advance always backfires at the worst times.

Another key point during the presentation was about a new innovation that label suppliers have recently started using called online artwork approval systems. This browser-based technology has been around for several years, where you receive an email link to click-to-view and approve your label artwork via a web browser.

And now recent developments are allowing label printing companies to offer a lot more value-added services behind the product labels they produce. For example, the company I represent, Label Solutions Inc., released its new customized ProofPRO artwork approval system to accommodate for either a simple one-person approval process, or to allow the primary approver to easily request additional individuals to be part of the approval process for different areas of the label – such as branding guidelines, regulatory compliance, language translation, etc. This new format can be used for more complex product label designs, rebranding multiple product SKUs at the same time, and/or to expedite M&A (Merger & Acquisition) transition between two company brands.

These online artwork approval systems are also ideal for tea producers when they have the need to quickly expand into new retail territories and/or scale up their private label business as they work with their own customers’ branding guidelines. What’s more, these artwork approval systems can be applied to larger wide-format signage such as retail promotional signage, tradeshow banners, food truck signage, and fleet signage.

Rob Freeman is the vice president of revenue operations at Label Solutions, Inc., where they specialize in producing product labels for various industries, including the food and beverage, health and wellness and nutraceutical markets, among others. Freeman manages Label Solutions’ marketing, business development and customer service departments, as well as their key accounts in North America. With over 20+ years of proven success in consultative sales, channel management, and technical writing for various industries, Freeman offers leadership experience to help guide manufacturers, marketing firms and businesses to develop creative “solution-based” strategies that help accelerate sales and improve brand loyalty. Label Solutions, Inc. is a certified WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) based in Missouri. To learn more about the company, visit EasyLabeling.com.

Label Solutions Recaps the World Tea Expo 2021

Questex hosted the World Tea Conference + Expo, the world’s leading specialty tea event, in Las Vegas from June 28 to 30, and the show was a HUGE success!

Rob Freeman, our very own vice president of revenue operations, was honored to give a presentation about tricks of the trade for tea product labels and planning for stakeholders in the tea industry.

The event was co-located with Nightclub & Bar Show [which is evolving to Bar & Restaurant Expo], and the combined events attracted more than 8,700 attendees. Programs ranged from in-depth educational sessions and workshops to tastings and new product demonstrations for the tea industry. Everyone took advantage of many networking opportunities over the three-day event.

Related Post: Get the Right Labels to Show Off Your Tea Products

Thank You, Questex!

Questex, a major bar and restaurant industry group, welcomed tea enthusiasts and tea industry stakeholders from all over the world to Las Vegas.

Tim McLucas, vice president of Bar & Restaurant Group, Questex, said, “We’re delighted that we were able to gather and welcome the global tea industry to Las Vegas after a challenging year. It was exciting to see the tea community reunite face-to-face. Their eagerness for being back to business – and their enthusiasm for seeing industry friends and colleagues – was profound. We look forward to evolving the World Tea Conference + Expo for next year’s event, where there will be more unique opportunities and experiences to engage, interact and conduct business. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s program a resounding success.”

Our Reaction to Such a Wonderful Event

Rob Freeman, vice president of revenue operations at Label Solutions, Inc., an attendee and speaker, noted, “There was a lot of excitement at the World Tea Conference + Expo this year. What a fantastic event! Business owners and suppliers alike were there to do some serious networking. I was impressed with the audience’s high-caliber questions that were asked during my presentation. Given the latest trends, the tea Industry still has the potential for serious future growth. I definitely want to be part of this show next year.”

Related Post: Label Solutions Is Heading to the World Tea Expo! See Us There!

Label Solutions Looks Forward to Serving You!

Label Solutions is proud to serve the tea industry. Do you need labels for your tea packaging? We can help you with beautiful labels that exemplify your brand while adhering properly to meet your exact specifications. Contact Label Solutions or call 1.800.299.9200 for more information.

If you would like, you can download Rob Freeman’s presentation to the World Tea Expo here [Add the presentation here.] He discusses product label planning in the new era. It’s a free copy of the Label Presentation at WTE 2021.

We look forward to attending the World Tea Expo March 21 to 23, 2022, in Las Vegas! See you there!

Get the Right Labels to Show Off Your Tea Products

Having the right type of packaging and labels for your packaged tea product is vital for success. But what are some of the essential elements of tea labels? Here are several you should consider carefully as you design your labels for production.

Versatile sizes

Whether you prefer wrap-around labels for tins, large rectangular labels covering the front of pouches or intricate tea boxes that feature several different labels on all sides, the options are nearly endless. Choosing a size that best fits your packaging shouldn’t be an issue, but you’ll want to make sure all the important product details are visible and that your branding is exactly what you want it to be.

Beautiful fonts and typeface settings

Labels for your packaged tea products can also feature a variety of gorgeous fonts and typeface settings to achieve the look you’re after. However, you’ll want to make sure your brand name and all other details are easy to read, so it’s advised that you don’t choose more than two different fonts when creating your labels.

Striking illustrations and images

When it comes to tea packaging, your labels can include images and illustrations that conjure feelings of comfort, further adding to the description of each type of plant or tea. Or, you can stick with one particular label image that defines your brand. Either way, a striking image is a great way to make your labels and product stand out from competitors.

A variety of materials

Labels for your packaged tea products can be made with several different materials, depending on your packaging needs. For example, if your package is opaque or plain, you might choose an elaborate label design printed on a white label with many vivid colors to brighten it up. Or, you may choose a clear label to let the tea leaves show through. You can also coat your labels with a gloss or matte-over laminate as a final finishing touch to keep them shiny. Regardless, we always recommend BOPP labels made from long-wearing plastic film and are waterproof, smudge-free, and heat-resistant.

Need labels for your packaged tea products? 

Do you need quality labels for your packaged tea products? Contact Label Solutions online or call toll-free 1-800-299-9200 to partner with us for your next production run.

Label Solutions Is Heading to the World Tea Expo! See Us There!

The team here at Label Solutions is proud to announce that we are attending North America’s most extraordinary gathering of the specialty tea industry: The World Tea Conference & Expo! Scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on June 28th-30th, we’ll join other professionals to explore the latest tea trends, distribution channels, and fresh ideas with three full days of buying, selling, networking, and education.

Rob Freeman, Vice President of Revenue Operations of Label Solutions, is proud to host a workshop entitled "Product Label Planning in the New Era."

Join Rob as he talks about some of the most common food & beverage product label issues the industry is experiencing today, and what you can do to prepare for Supply Chain disruption, plan for better label production efficiency, and improving your inventory cycles. Look for his bonus "new trends" marketing segment too.


  • Taking your Product Label to the next level
  • Creating your new product label more efficiently
  • Help to avoid Supply Chain delays

What Is the World Tea Conference & Expo?

The World Tea Conference & Expo is known as the “hub” of the North American specialty tea market. With the $8 billion U.S. tea industry expected to grow to an additional $11 billion, Label Solutions is proud to be a part of the specialty and premium tea market, which holds about 60% of the market share today.

In addition to Label Solutions, attendees of the World Tea Conference & Expo can also take advantage of an even bigger exhibit hall floor this year, which will feature a variety of complementary products and solutions, including:

  • Spirits, beer, and wine
  • Glassware
  • Technology/POS
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Security and insurance
  • Apparel
  • Media apps
  • Cannabis-infused products
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Decor and furnishings

Why is Label Solutions attending the World Tea Conference & Expo?

At Label Solutions, we are excited to join many other business professionals, including tea shop owners, distributors, retailers, specialty grocers, and more, at this one-of-a-kind event. More than 30% of the attendees only exhibit at this single event, so it’s genuinely an exclusive opportunity to network and consolidate the purchasing process.

Come and see Rob to get some tips on your tea labeling!

Benefits of attending the World Tea Conference & Expo

At the World Tea Conference & Expo, the professionals at Label Solutions eagerly anticipate learning about new developments and trends in the specialty tea industry while meeting suppliers, owners, and operators. We’re excited to provide solutions specific to these companies’ needs, help vendors achieve sustainability goals with their labeling, and network with specialty tea producers and manufacturers.

We hope to see you at this fantastic event! As always, we are here to help you achieve your labeling goals and meet the needs of your specific product, so please contact Label Solutions online or call toll-free 1-800-299-9200 to partner with us.