Capitol Hill Location

Prime Label is conveniently located off Pennsylvania Avenue, just 2 miles from the USDA on the Eastern Market metro line.

536 7th Street SE,
Washington DC 20003

Phone: 202.546.3333
Fax: 202.543.4337
Email: labels@primelabel.com

Who We Are

Prime Label Consultants (PLC) has been helping companies navigate food labeling since 1972. PLC food technologists have daily interaction with government regulators from our offices on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. We are a full service food label consulting business with over 3500 clients worldwide.

  • PLC is an industry leader in food label compliance, nutrition, training & software.
  • PLC's clients include over half of the top 100 food companies in the US.
  • PLC's Food Technologists review both FDA & USDA labels and boast a 95% approval rate at the USDA (compared with a 63% industry average).
  • We are available by phone, webinar, or on-site for label development, review, approval, consulting & auditing solutions.
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PLC History

Prime Label Consultants was started in 1972 by Elizabeth Bechtold, then a stay-at-home mother with three young children in a Washington, DC suburb.  It all began when a relative, who owned a meat company in Minnesota, asked her to take some labels which needed regulatory approval, to the USDA offices in DC, a mere 8 miles from her home.  Ever the opportunist, Elizabeth quickly realized that there was a business opportunity in providing this service to other food companies.  In 1992, Elizabeth was honored by the Small Business Association as Entrepreneur of the Year, featured on the cover of their magazine. Forty-four years and counting, Prime Label is one of the most successful and trusted names in food labeling.

Elizabeth’s daughter, Christina, took over the business in 2012, after getting degrees from Princeton and Stanford Graduate School of Business, followed by a successful career in Silicon Valley’s high-tech industry. Prime Label now has three core business areas:  Label consulting; label compliance software; and an annual conference for food labeling professionals.  Each of these business segments is independently  well regarded and successful, but jointly, have created a highly reputed and trusted Prime Label brand.

The Label Consulting business has grown significantly since 1972.  PLC’s first “official” customer was Fairmont Foods in San Leandro, CA, and Elizabeth remembers driving to their offices in her 1931 Model A Coupe.  A big step for the company occurred in 1988, when Elizabeth decided to hire food technologists to provide more technical expertise to food company customers as they submitted their labels for compliance reviews.  This additional value soon became a big competitive differentiator for Prime Label, and the company grew quickly.  Her second Food Technologist hire, Rosalyn Murphy-Jenkins, is now the Director of Labeling and Program Delivery Staff (LPDS) at the USDA, and many other food science alumni are scattered through government and industry. In addition, PLC has created Internship programs with various universities to funnel young food scientist talent into the business. Today, the company has served over 3,500 food company customers, and in recent years, has processed about 10% of the annual volume of labels approved by the USDA.

Prime Label’s Food Label Conference was started in 1989, at the urging of a PLC partner, who suggested that the industry needed a place for food regulators and industry managers for information exchange.  This proved to be a great idea, as the Conference attracted over 100 attendees in its first two-day event.  Since then, the conference has expanded to become a four-day event, including two additional days of training classes.  Approaching its 28th year, the Conference has maintained its core mission as a place of information exchange and education for food label professionals and regulators. Today, PLC has expanded its training offerings beyond the conference and offers several labeling courses for both Regulatory and Marketing professionals.

Prime Label’s software technology for creating compliant food labels is called EZ Form, and was first intended to simplify the application & record keeping process for USDA labels.  EZ Form added a Nutrition Navigator in 1992, to automate the new FDA nutrition labeling laws. Going much further than simply supplying data in a formatted box, EZ Form provides serving & claims calculators, in addition to many other compliance expert wizards.  Fred Mosher, as it's chief developer, has encyclopedic insight into nutrition labeling nuances. Today, it’s used by many of the largest food companies in creating their labels with confidence.

Prime Label continues to be an innovator in the food compliance industry, even after 44 years.  Today, interest in food labeling is an ever-higher priority with consumers, regulators and food companies. The industry is buffeted by rapidly changing new food technologies, increasingly competitive food claims and, not surprisingly, growing consumer activism.  In this very fluid environment, regulators and food companies have a difficult task finding the right balance between safe, abundant and nutritious food products which consumers can trust.   Prime Label is positioned well to help companies traverse this fast-moving landscape.  Led by CEO, Christina Bechtold, with a technology and business background, and by General Manager, Dr. Jesse Zuehlke, PhD. In food science and engineering management, Prime Label and its staff are looking forward to revolutionizing how industry automates and ensures compliance in this rapidly changing world.  Nothing less than maintaining the faith and trust in America's food supply is at stake.

Our Team

Christina Bechtold

CEO

Christina started at Prime Label as an 8 year old, writing advertising copy and sorting paperclips. In the four decades since, she has been instrumental in the strategic direction of the company, including recently expanding PLC’s service offerings to develop management consulting strategies for the food industry. Her prior experience includes heading up strategy and marketing at BEA Systems, the fastest software startup to reach $1 Billion in annual revenues. She also developed new services and strategies for Sun Microsystems, and assisted in the creation of the Center for Global Development, a Washington DC economics think-tank involved in global debt relief. Christina holds an A.B. from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jesse Zuehlke, PhD

General Manager

Jesse oversees business operations and strategic plan implementation at Prime Label Consultants, while continuing to remain engaged as a principal consultant with many ongoing projects. In a former position with the firm, Jesse functioned as a specialist in FDA label regulations and education development. He previously spent time as a Program Manager with the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute directing translational research programs in nutrition science. Jesse holds a PhD in Food Science and Masters in Engineering Management from Washington State University and a BS in Microbiology from Michigan State University.

Fred Mosher

Director of Software Development

Fred is an independent computer contractor specializing in custom software design for the PC market. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in Applied Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland. Fred began his career in computers in 1983 and has designed software for inventory control, customer database management, purchase order processing, job cost tracking and analysis, billing, and financial bookkeeping. Fred joined Prime Label Consultants in 1991 and has been designing expert versions of EZForm ever since. Through his work implementing the new nutrition regulations, he has become a leading expert in the field of nutrient content claims and nutrition panel design.

Melody Tilford

Operations Manager

Melody joined Prime Label in 2014 as an intern, and is now our conference coordinator and the head of our menu labeling division. She holds Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Purdue University, is pursuing an R.D., and is currently seeking a Masters in Public Administration from Penn State University. Melody has previous legislative experience working for the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Lisa Weller

Management Consultant & Sr. Food Technologist

Lisa recently joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016 as a Senior Food Technologist, and is based in Seattle, WA. Lisa previously worked as a Program Manager at Amazon.com, focusing in on global food safety and regulatory compliance programs. She has also worked in regulatory compliance pertaining to dried meat products, specialty crops sanitation, and investigational new drugs. Lisa holds a Master of Science in Food Science and Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University.

Caitlin Diederich, MS RDN LDN

Managing Consultant

Caitlin joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016 as a Managing Consultant, based in Chicagoland. Caitlin previously led Topco's Regulatory and Nutrition team, which was responsible for compliance of over 20,000 private label products. She provided guidance related to nutrition labeling, regulatory developments, marketing and on-pack communication, in addition to working cross functionally to support various aspects of packaging development and quality assurance processes. In her past experience as a public relations professional, Caitlin’s expertise played an important role for many nutrition-related client programs, ranging from commodity groups to quick serve restaurants. Caitlin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Benedictine University.

Celia Yau

Senior Food Technologist

Celia joined Prime Label Consultants in 2002.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Alberta.  In addition to playing a major role in expediting USDA label approvals, Celia consults with clients on problem labels and provides technical support on labeling issues.

Callie Kambanis

Food Technologist

Callie joined Prime Label Consultants in 2013 as an intern, and became a Food Technologist upon graduating from University of Maryland in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences. She specializes in USDA label review, consultation, and training.

Michelle Lee

Food Technologist

Michelle joined Prime Label Consultants in 2014.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech, and has previously worked as a HACCP Quality Assurance Technician. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Computer Science.

Brent St. Amant

Food Technologist

Brent joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science from Utah State University. Brent previously worked at the Grocery Manufacturers Association where he analyzed food products for their Claims Program.

Emily Connors

Food Technologist

Emily joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech. Emily previously worked as a Shelf Life Validation Coordinator and Nutritional Label Analyst at Taylor Farms. She is responsible for label review and nutrition analysis for Prime Label clients to establish compliance with USDA and FDA regulations.

Taylor Hart

Food Technologist

Taylor joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Bachelor of Science in Food and Environmental Nutrition from The University of Akron. Since joining the Prime Label team, Taylor has been a key in working on claims substantiation and review of enterprise labeling.

Bridget Maloy

Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator

Bridget joined Prime Label in 2016 as a Human Resources and Administrative Coordinator. She's a graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland and worked as an intern on Capitol Hill before joining PLC. Besides handling administrative tasks, Bridget also helps coordinate HR projects and our annual Food Labeling Conference.

Nadia Bechtold

Retail Program Coordinator

Nadia joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016 as a Retail Program Coordinator. She worked as a General Manager at a small medical aesthetics facility before joining the team. Nadia graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

David Schnorbus

Food Technologist Intern

David joined Prime Label Consultants in 2016. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences and minor in Food Science and Technology. He completed the Advanced Biomedical Sciences Certificate Program at George Mason University and Georgetown University in May 2016. At Prime Label David assists in USDA services and label review.

Elizabeth Bechtold

Founder & Chairwoman Emeritus of the Board

Elizabeth founded Prime Label Consultants in 1972 and grew it into the premier label consulting firm in the nation's capital.  Her innovations — including the first ever labeling conference, first software and first training certification program — have helped thousands of food industry members keep up with a never-ending flow of regulatory change and have helped shape the future of food labeling.

Careers

Prime Label is hiring! Headquartered in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood of Washington DC, PLC is a dynamic and exciting workplace and offers competitive salary and benefits. Check below for our current opportunities and contact us today for more information.

Food Technologist I

Prime Label Consultants is looking for a Food Technologist I to join our team, providing technical expertise and client guidance for a broad range of label consulting services.

Successful candidate must hold a Bachelor's degree in food science or a related field and have some years of work experience; familiarity with or keen interest in food labeling and/or nutrition; exceptional attention to mathematic and scientific detail; highly organized, with excellent communication skills and the ability to manage multiple projects while meeting deadlines; and proficiency in Excel, Word and other office software.

In this position you will:

Prime Label is looking for a born problem solver who enjoys interacting with people. The ideal person takes great pleasure in making sure all the details are in the right place. He or she should possess good phone presence and be comfortable performing a high level of client service.

Conveniently located in Washington, DC, on the Metro, Prime Label is the leading consulting firm for USDA food labeling, and is also known for its certification training, expert software systems and annual food regulatory conference. Since our founding over 40 years ago, our mission has been to help food companies navigate the intricacies of US regulations & requirements for food labels and provide a healthy, positive environment for employees.

Our employees enjoy competitive salaries and benefits. If this sounds like the job for you:

Food Service need not apply

Food Technologist II

Prime Label Consultants (PLC), a specialized firm with focused expertise in U.S. consumable product label compliance, nutrition labeling, and technology, is recruiting a self-motivated experienced Food Technologist with food label regulatory experience and exceptional organizational skills, analytical thinking and communication ability.

Essential Responsibilities:

The ideal candidate will have:

Other qualifications:

The successful incumbent will have a strong understanding of FDA, USDA, and other related regulatory bodies regarding rules in food and nutrition labeling and should be competent in label review and compliance. The individual will be self-motivated and able to recognize and generate deliverables to the firm in a consistent and quality-centric manner.

PLC maintains a successful brand and wide client and contact network, a portion of this position will entail maintaining those relationships and generating actionable projects from recognized customer needs.  Entrepreneurism and innovation will be highly valued in this position. A degree of travel may be required.

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location: Washington, DC

Required education: Master's