Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Food Labeling Guide

Ever wonder what's actually required on the outside of package of food sold in the US? The best resource is to check out the FDA's website on labeling and nutrition. Some text is in the form of requirements, other text is in the form of guidelines. A lot of the thinking for such "rules" is food safety and consumer protection. By having a more accurate description of the product, consumers are able to shop with greater confidence, particularly when comparison shopping. It's funny how marketers are smart to capture your focus and attention with colors, fonts, graphics and more. Whatever the design, the final product label should be consistent with the above regulations and guidelines for food labeling.

Within the FDA's site is a section Food Labeling Guide. I think the biggest mistake people make for packaging tea is probably not knowing about the very basics - General Food Labeling Requirements. That is, people forget the simple things such as ingredients, weight, manufacturer name & address. Note that the labeling requirements are specific when defining placement of this information on a food label.

Another good section to keep in mind is the food allergens statement. See the FDA's Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers.

Lastly, if you're going to be selling your product internationally, be sure to review labeling requirements of these other countries. For example, certain parts of your statements may need to appear in more than one language.

With a bit of planning, you can save yourself the headache of having to reprint labels or canisters. You know the labeling game...the first several thousand cost per label is extremely high and then it ramps down quite quickly with quantity.

The more standardized the labels, even across food categories, the easier it will be for consumers to quickly locate the information that is relevant to their purchasing decision, whether it is for health or curiosity reasons.

No comments:

Post a Comment