With the bevy of options available at a typical grocery store, a packaged good has about three to five seconds to capture the attention of a consumer, before that shopper moves on to the next product. Clearly, processors need packages with eye-catching designs that capture attention while still providing the information that will convince shoppers to drop the product in their shopping cart.

Moore Brothers Design and Label Agency has specialized in helping small processors put together a winning brand image, from package design and logos to marketing materials, all while ensuring USDA compliance. The company has a special affinity for the meat industry, as the principals of the company, Rex and Charlie Moore, were the developers of the Maverick Ranch brand. When they licensed that brand to two other companies in 2009, they started Moore Brothers to capitalize on their expertise in brand development, marketing and brokerage.

Packaging has to do more than look good, of course. USDA labeling requirements require information such as nutrition facts panels, ingredient statements and more. Stephanie Harmon, USDA label compliance services for Moore Brothers, notes that two of the most common problems she sees are labels that are missing the required regulatory information and label designs that do not adequately convey the features and benefits of the product. Getting the regulatory aspect correct is particularly critical, because USDA approval can take anywhere from two to four weeks and requires an application, a compliant label and claim support pieces.

“If your label is incorrect or is missing required information, or if you fail to provide all necessary support pieces, USDA can send the rejected label back and require you to correct it,” Harmon says. “Resubmitting labels can be costly and time-consuming, especially when your consumers are waiting on the product to be released.”

Harmon says that finding the balance between good design and regulatory compliance is a challenge that the company welcomes. In one recent example, the company was tasked with creating a company image, product labeling and packaging for a new company called Montana Mountain Bison. The company already had a logo in place, but needed branding and marketing help.

“We created a brand image and complete family of labels for ground bison, bison steaks, bison burgers and bison franks,” Harmon says. “We also developed the content for those labels and obtained USDA approval for all of them.”

Moore Brothers also developed a sales presentation and handouts for professional sales calls, attending some sales calls with Montana Mountain Bison. All totaled, it completed all the projects in six weeks — four of which were spent getting USDA approval.

One of the most recent labeling developments is the advent of front-of-package nutritional information. While adding those new elements can create design challenges as well, Harmon says that it can be beneficial for the meat industry.

“The ultimate goal of front-of-pack nutrition labeling is to help consumers make healthier food choices and prevent diet-related health problems,” she explains. “There is an abundant amount of nutritious meat choices that the meat industry can promote with front-of-pack labeling as well as other nutrition claim options. We are experts at bringing this to light.”