The manufacturers which supply their products to the retail sector are probably the major users of label printing. The retail sector is also a big user as often products and especially their prices are modified temporarily.
Products must be labelled but sometimes these labels are only adhered for a short period of time. Of course, the great majority of labels are for long term use. Just go to your wine cellar or pantry or laundry and you will see products that still have the initial labels printed by label printing companies or the actual manufacturers of the product.
However, retailers often want labels for short term use. Here are a few examples.
Barcode labels are printed by your grocery store and attached to your cold meat or fish before presenting these barcode labels together with your purchase at the checkout counter.
Labels are used to price products for a quick sale. Perishable products such as steak are often reduced for a quick sale and this is notified by a label on the plastic wrap plus, often but not always, an additional label for the alteration in price.
It is not only perishable products that use labels to discount their products. Book stores, music stores and DVD stores also indicate price reductions with labels. Labels are also used for similar special offers or prices for items such as new release DVDs. Other products may use labels to indicate special offers such as “Buy one get one free”.
It is not just retail outlets that use labels for temporary purposes. Packaging labels are also used for immediate use. Stamps, airmail stickers, warning labels, addressing details for mail and parcels are all examples of label printing for short term use.
Generally, label printing for temporary use is less expensive for two reasons. Firstly, it is read once or only a few times so it does not need to be appealing to the eye like labels do on a shelf with potentially thousands of customers viewing that product label.
Secondly, the label stock does not need to be durable because the labels are only for a single use and are not required for long term storage so you do not need to worry about fading colours which can happen over time following long exposure to ultra-violet light. In fact, most temporary label printing is done in black printing. Barcode labels are almost always black. Labels for special offers including discounts are often printed onto a fluorescent stock type so they stand out. Black text is normally sufficient for these fluorescent labels.