“This was a true, amazing example of teamwork between the customer, the end user, Acucote and Discount Labels to really pull this off.”
Marketing Director, Discount Labels
One day in 1965, Fred Conway, a volunteer fireman in southern Indiana, showed up to a fire and saw that a truck from the wrong company had been summoned. This was in the days before 911 centralized phone dispatch, and each emergency service had its own phone number. It was easy for consumers to make mistakes when numbers had to be memorized or kept handy. Fred saw the need for a label that could be placed on a telephone with room for all the emergency service numbers and with this vision in mind, he created Discount Labels in his basement. As the business grew and labeling opportunities expanded, his son-in-law went on the road in a Winnebago to set up a distributor base across the United States. 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, 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 (e.g. 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 them 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 their 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
After close collaboration with Discount Label, testing in-house and with external labs, Acucote delivered a final construction of 5.5 mil matte clear non topcoated (NTC) vinyl with H802 adhesive and an 8-point liner. The label construction conformed with 21 CFR 175.105 (FDA indirect food contact), 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 8 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.”
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.”
Marketing Communications Manager