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AM Labels Limited is an award-winning supplier of complete labelling solutions, including manufacturing and warehouse automation, robotics, barcoding and RFID systems. Longstanding relationships with leading printer manufacturers – such as Epson, Afinia and OKI – have given AM Labels a strong understanding of the current climate.

Having showcased a variety of technology at the Food & Drink Expo and Making Pharmaceuticals in April 2023, they’re well placed to assess the impact of Natasha’s Law and what labelling trends we should be looking out for.

“While cost is an extremely important factor, it’s also important that the labelling equipment businesses invest in is suitable for the application,” said AM Labels Limited managing director, Tony Mariani.

“Whether it’s handheld devices, compact desktop printers or large industrial units, it should offer futureproofing benefits that can support companies in adapting and evolving their operations, should requirements change. Software is a key aspect to this, as it needs to be flexible and adjustable to enable companies to adapt when required – in order for them to keep up with any variations to demand or the supply chain.”


While it’s impossible to definitively predict the future, certain patterns are emerging. “In recent months, we have experienced an increase in demand for labelling solutions from businesses that are preparing, packaging and labelling food on the premises in which it’s being sold,” confirmed Mariani.

“We anticipate this demand will continue to grow for the remainder of 2023, with companies requiring straightforward solutions that enable them to print labels that comply with existing regulations, while providing the flexibility to adapt to any future legislation. We also predict additional regulation changes in the coming years, to further protect businesses and their customers.”

Sustainability is also growing in popularity, with a demand for environmentally friendly materials and solutions.

“However, it can be a confusing topic for many companies, especially when there is conflicting information,” said Mariani. “For those organisations, we highlight the benefits of linerless labels, which eliminate liner waste and are a similar price to conventional alternatives. And while processes can be more complicated for businesses, there are a wide range of cost-effective solutions.”


While Hawkhurst Breadshed responded on the front foot to Natasha’s Law, it hasn’t been straightforward for everyone.

“We have supported a great deal of businesses in overhauling their labelling operations,” said Mariani. “Mandatory calorie labelling was also introduced in April 2022, requiring businesses to display calorie counts clearly and prominently at the point of choice, such as on menus, labels and delivery platforms. This caused additional uncertainty for many; particularly small or independently run companies.

“But the industry is robust, even bouncing back from recent supply chain issues, as well as difficulties and delays caused by the pandemic. For example, material supply is now getting back to normal and price increases have levelled off. Furthermore, hardware supply – including printers and scanners – has also improved and lead times have reduced substantially.”

In order to stay ahead of this ever-changing curve, the technical support team at AM Labels recently underwent training to become an approved Epson service partner for selected colour label printers. They’ve also relocated to new premises over twice the size of their previous facility, with a state-of-the-art Technical Experience Centre opened earlier this year.

“In addition to our comprehensive portfolio and the excellent customer service that we provide, we offer a range of services that differentiates us from our competitors. For example, we have a talented in-house software development team that is experienced in creating bespoke software solutions for the food and drink industry. We work with businesses large and small to create custom packages that meet their needs, including cost-effective, specialise software, enabling companies to update product, ingredient and allergen databases with ease.”

AM Labels is focusing on enhancing its portfolio through expansion, including label applicators, print and apply, and automation equipment. It’s investing in two brand new products from Afinia – the DLP-2200 digital label press and x350 digital roll-to-roll press. The Afinia DLF-220S digital label finisher inline and Epson C6500 colour label printer have also been added.

It appears that in the increasingly tricky world of labelling, flexibility is a key watchword.