Optimizing Photo Paper Sticker Label for Cost Reduction

nibs sticker labels

I used clear stand-up pouch plus photo paper sticker as packing material and label for the launch of our Crunchy Cacoa Nibs. See thru pouch so every customer can see what is inside in real time, no guessing game. It is like the product itself is taking part in label design.

Photo paper sticker is a quick and cheap way to produce product labels. Print few (using inkjet printer) for initial test and revise as the product sells. Get suggestions from customers, friends and from your very own observation. It entails small wastage in case of mistake and urgent revision.

After few months, the product is no yet comparable to hotcake in terms of sales but the movement is noticeable. I thought I should inspect few elements to reduce production cost and increase income a bit.

One aspect I looked into was the photo sticker label. First, I set the A4 size paper to produce eight labels. A paper cost 7 pesos each so each label was 0.875 peso.

I used Microsoft PowerPoint for the first design. The output was eight labels with big borders on four side, about 3/4 of an inch. Borders cut out and assembled could still fit another two useful labels. Sadly, PowerPoint is not customizable enough to minimize borders. I never expected too much cause its primary purpose is slide presentation, not paper design.

I switched application to Adobe Illustrator. It is a bit unfriendly but I have no worries as I have used it before for calling card and logo design. With it, I reduced the border to minimum, less than half cm on each four sides. Then I trimmed the label a bit and was able to fit 12 labels. And, the new label cost is now 0.583 peso each.

nibs sticker labels

In the end, I generated a 0.292 savings per label. It is not much but will sure matter when number multiplies.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Waxed Paper Cup, Before and Current

My first use of waxed paper cup was not a nice experience. Maybe it was just coincidence. I got low quality cup for hot coffee.

I got one wax paper cup with red and white vertical stripe design. Then filled it with hot steaming coffee from percolator. After a while, my skin became hot and unable to resist the increasing temperature. I placed it in hot platform and waited few minutes before holding it again. I must held it firmly to prevent it from falling, but the required pressure was enough deforming the brim.

While enjoying coffee, I felt an oily substance sticking to my lips. I inspected the hot beverage and found strange floating matter. The hot liquid was melting the wax coating. Wax is less dense than water so it floated and were sticking to my lips. What a nice waxed coffee! It was not enjoyable after all.

This coming November, all disposable sando bags, styrofor lunch boxes and cups will be out of circulation in whole province of Cavite. A provincial ordinance banning such products will be implemented. Merchants are starting to replace the first with reusable bags and the latter with paper cups, the waxed paper cups.

I really prefer using the styrofor cup when buying any hot beverage. It is sturdy, heat resistant and does not impart any off-flavor to hot coffee or tea. However, with the up-coming ordinance. I sure cannot get away from waxed paper cups.

Waxed paper cup, the present evaluation. There was a great improvement in this technology. No floating wax on my last cup. I was able to hold it firmly without hurting my skin. The current material is good heat insulator. It was also strong enough to withstand hand pressure.

paper cups

torn paper cup

Great! I hope there is no residual wax migration to any beverage type, hot or cold. I wish it is really biodegradable and helps lessen environmental waste problem.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

The Paper Beneath Every Siopao

I love siopao. I love it that I often forgot to remove the thin piece of paper beneath. The paper is thin, tasteless and looks like a part of the bread. The color is semi transparent white. It really mimics the siopao color and texture.

siopao parchment paper

How many of you have eaten the piece of paper? Frankly, I thought the paper was really edible. Way back, during my elementary years, a classmate gave me a soft candy. I removed the outer plastic wrapper. Another piece of packaging was covering the candy. I was about to peel it off when he said, “no need to remove, that paper is edible”. I did what he said and ate the candy with the paper intact.

Actually, the paper is a parchment paper or bakery paper. It is cellulose type – edible but not digestible. It is made by passing paper pulp in bath of sulfuric acid or zinc chloride. It is used to prevent sticking of siopao to steamer surface. It should be removed before eating.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Using Carton as Inner Packaging

Carton is often used as outer packaging material or secondary package. It is hard enough to take the shape of rectangle, square, cylinder, octagon or pyramid.

It provides easy stacking option. Stack height depend on size and wall thickness.  Bigger size and thicker walling allow higher stacking.

Carton is more presentable than laminated foil. I personally prefer a pack of Toblerone over Cadbury. It’s not about the taste difference. It is about the packaging difference. Toblerone box design is more elegant.

Carton cannot provide a barrier against oxygen, dust and microbes but provides a good protection against mechanical damage. A banana chips in polyethylene bag is likely to crumble during storage, transport and selling. Packing it in a carton box will provide better protection.

There are instances when a carton becomes the inner part of the whole package. Like this one:

carton and laminated foil dual package

The package contains four soft biscuits lined in a U-shaped carton tray. Carton benefits were ripped off but it can still provide the main function. That is to protect the soft biscuits from mechanical damage.

The technique works on certain degree but I think it is not as effective as the traditional. It is done to reduce packaging cost. The label is printed directly on laminated foil and the carton sized is reduced to more than half.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.

Cooking Egg on A Piece of Paper

One of the Boy Scouts training is cooking with improvised materials. Cooking rice on a fresh piece of large bamboo. Wrapping eggs in a wet newspaper and broiling. Cooking eggs on a piece of paper instead of frying pan.

I personally witnessed the last cooking style but never got a hands on experience. Mom never allowed me to become a Boy Scout.

Cooking eggs on a piece of paper seems impossible. The paper is thin. The heat from flame or ember will burn it. Or, the moisture from egg will sip through making it weak and break afterward. Either of the two will make the egg go to waste.

It is possible with the use of Star Margarine.

This is how it is done.

1) Get a piece of clean paper. Fold the four sides upward to form a paper tray enough to hold a single egg content. Two eggs in on paper tray is not recommended.

paper tray

2) Get a star margarine. Apply a thin coating coating on paper. Paper should be covered completely.

3) Improvise a material to hold the paper tray. It could be a small bamboo or wooden tray similar to a grill. It should have a 12 inches handle. Soak it with water and rinse before use.

4) Prepare a small wood fire.

5) Break egg on paper tray. Place the tray on wooden grill. Then bring it on top of wood fire. The flame should barely touch the tray. Moved the grill continuously from left to right and vice versa to prevent paper from burning.

The eggs should be cooked within 10 to 15 minutes, depending on heat and cook’s expertise. Burning paper is normal for the first timer.

cooked egg on paper tray

The margarine will be absorbed by the paper tray making it water resistant and burn resistant. It will not prevent the egg from sticking to paper. Scrape the cooked egg gently to avoid eating pieces of paper.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.