The Components of a Grocery Store Label and Why They’re Important

sustainable labelsEvery product has a label. Some even have two, or more. And, there are thousands of ways to customize labels, with considerations for everything from color, size and shape to sheen, adhesive and material.

A label that doesn’t stick correctly or that is unreadable is virtually useless. That’s why choosing the right labeling material matters, for marketing, for compliance and for your bottom line. So how do you create a label for grocery that will enhance a product and encourage shoppers to move more of that product from the shelf to their cart?

Every label has three main components—material, adhesive and top coat. By thinking carefully about how and where a product will be displayed, labels can be completely customized to fulfill every need and purpose.

Grocery Store Label Material

When it comes to choosing a labeling material, the options are plentiful, and the label’s application is the ultimate decision-maker.

  • Paper: Two popular paper options are Semi Gloss or Thermal Transfer labels. Thermal Transfer labels have a matte finish while Semi Gloss labels have a sheen, without being glossy. The choice between the two often comes down to the look and feel that you’re trying to create.
  • Synthetic Material: BOPP (Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene) is another popular type of labeling material. BOPP, which comes in both white and clear, is a synthetic, non-paper, tear-resistant material. It is also moisture-resistant, making it a good choice for packages and surfaces that might get wet.


A package that is stored in the freezer demands a different adhesive than a package that is displayed on a shelf or in a refrigerated case. A standard permanent adhesive is ideal for products stored at room temperature, while freezer grade is the right choice for frozen packages.

There’s also a removable adhesive. Some removable adhesives can be removed and replaced time after time, while some can only be removed once.

Related Article: Best Practices for Labels – Labeling Strategies to Move More Products from Shelf to Cart

Top Coat

A label’s top coat is also completely customizable to meet your meets. Lamination is a heavy-duty protection that can be applied to both Semi Gloss and BOPP labels. Another option is a UV coating.

Thermal Transfer labels do not require a top coat, as it would cancel out the material’s matte finish.

Your Labeling Partner

There’s a lot to take in, but we are here to help guide you through the process of creating labels that are customized for your needs. As part of our onboarding process with each customer, we learn about your labeling needs, then draw on our 30+ years of industry experience to recommend the right combination of components for your product and your packaging.