8 Required Information On Food Packaging Labels
When shopping for packed food, customers rely on food labels as the primary means of information. The information on the packing label must be readable, with high-quality printing.
It should not be obscured or disrupted by any text or pictorial representation that could hide correct product ingredient information. This allows the customers to make well-informed decisions and gives them assurance about the quality of the product.
All countries have laws governing the information that must be disclosed on food labels.
Typically, a label contains the following information: the product’s name, the manufacturer’s name and address, net weight, serving size, ingredient list, and per-serving nutrition information. Read on to know more details required.
Food Labeling Requirement In The US
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) controls labeling for most packaged food goods in the United States. However, the US Department of Agriculture governs meat, poultry, and other meat-containing products (USDA).
The Food and Drug Administration also regulates the use of particular claims for various types of information, usually health-related.
Claims like “100% organic,” “fat-free,” “low calorie,” and so on must adhere to FDA and USDA regulations or fulfill the strict standards of regulatory organizations that issue labels with specific claims.
For example, if you wish to include details about organic components on your product’s label, you must meet the US Department of Agriculture’s rules.
One serving of the product must not have more than 40 calories to be a “low calorie” product. Besides that, there are plenty of other standards to follow when it comes to appropriate labeling.
In a nutshell, it is critical for firms to label their products properly. It’s the key to avoiding legal problems and building a relationship of trust with your customers.
Food Product Label Checklist
In order to ensure compliance with FDA and USDA regulations, your product packaging should contain the following information:
1. Expiration Date
Nearly every packed food product has an expiration date that informs the buyer whether the product is consumable or not.
This should not be mistaken with the sell-by date, which tells customers when a product should be removed from the shelf but can still be properly stored and consumed at home.
In fact, some products need to mention either of these dates. So, it would be wise to learn about the USDA’s guidelines regarding the same, depending on your product.
2. Name Of The Food Product
As you may already know, brand and product name are two different things. The name of the food product is a legally specified label item that differs from the product’s brand.
It does not mean that the brand name should not be on the packaging design. However, it must not hide the product name or overshadow it.
Similarly, the product’s artwork must be clearly displayed and unobscured. However, it must not cover the statement of identification, i.e., product name.
3. Special Storage Conditions
When food requires particular storage conditions, you should include the information on the label. You need to refrigerate some goods after opening to keep them safe to eat.
To avoid miscommunication, make any specific conditions explicit and visible on the product’s packaging. It is especially important for fresh food products and liquid items.
4. Nutritional Information
The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA), which amends the FD&C Act, mandates that most foods be labeled with nutrition information and that food labels containing nutrient content claims and specific health messages meet specified standards.
The amount of fat should all be included on a comprehensive nutrition label. For example, saturated fatty acids, carbs, sugars, vitamins, proteins, salts, and energy value.
If your product contains a high level of a valuable component, such as a vitamin, you might want to mention it somewhere other than the nutrition label. This ensures that it doesn’t disappear in the black and white blandness.
For this purpose, you may need to get in touch with a nutrition analysis service provider. As they can prepare the nutrition label according to the guidelines and regulations of the FDA.
They can also help with customized labeling information, including nutritional information in a variety of formats for all of your product sizes.
Additionally, nutritional scientists can help you prepare the shortest ingredient list possible, including the necessary allergen statements.
5. Ingredients’ List
The quantity of each constituent in a product determines its ranking. The first three ingredients usually account for the majority of the product’s content.
Some components, such as Inulin, a beneficial form of fiber derived from the chicory root, have very technical-sounding names. This can be intimidating to consumers.
Consumers’ concerns about consuming something hazardous will reduce by including “chicory root” in brackets following the ingredient’s technical name.
Apart from this, all other ingredients used in the food production process that can cause allergies or intolerance must be mentioned. It should be mentioned even in an altered form in the completed product.
List these ingredients separately from the standard ingredients list on the package under a “May include” section.
6. Name And Address Of The Product Manufacturer
People like to know where their food comes from; thus, including information about the product’s producer is crucial.
You can give your customers even more trust by including a customer service phone number.
7. Instructions for Use
Instructions are especially vital in situations where correct food use would be impossible without them. Some companies include detailed instructions on how to prepare the dish in the usual manner.
They also include recommendations on how to incorporate the product into another recipe. It will ensure that your target audience enjoys the product in the best possible way.
Label food for infants and toddlers, medical purposes, and adults on special diets accordingly. It should have a summary of any potential risks connected with improper consumption.
8. Quantity (Net)
The net amount on a label indicates how much of a commodity is in a package and you should print this accurately.
This is usually near the bottom of the package’s front.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to immersive retail experience, it’s critical to present reliable product information on a product’s packaging consistently.
It will aid in developing a brand’s image. This will also ensure that you protect your brand from any potential legal difficulties.