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Food Labeling – Vital Components of a Typical Food Label in the United States

A food label presents the information of the food product. It is one of the most direct means of imparting information to the customer. The information may include product name, ingredients, quantity, price, nutritional value, license number, manufacturer’s name and address, etc.

The FDA directs a list of fundamental elements required to have their names printed on a food label.

Apart from the necessary item of the product, there is an extended content a label must have that helps to increase the product label advertising power.

Why the Need to Improve Food Label Designs?

The world is steadily shifting towards a health-conscious standard of living. Consumers are demanding products with more natural and organic materials. People are looking for eco-friendly solutions for problems in day-to-day life.

Almost every product package has labels, and they are no exception. Research says that most of the customers read packaging labels before buying the product. Consumers generally look at ingredients, sugar, fat and sodium content, calorie counts, and serving quantity. They also check the freshness, organic material, and GMOs.

It is the consumers’ behavior if people do not find what they are looking for, or are unable to understand the food labeling will purchase something else. A similar study revealed people are keener to buy those products which are labeled as ‘healthy.’

Essential Food Labeling Requirements

Labeling has certain limitations while printing a message. It is not easy to print labels with phrases, like ‘good for health,’ or ‘healthy’, or ‘best for you’, etc. However, if you are honest and transparent with the product, these messages can create wonders for you.

Important Elements to be Included in Food Labels

The FDA has specific necessities for what to include on any food packaging labels. If you are selling a product that contains cannabis, you will have to follow some specific guidelines for printing food labels.

The FDA has given precise directions regarding the crucial elements that are mandatory to indicate on any food label.

1. Statement of Identity

The product must include the statement of Identity. It implies that the product must give a clear identity on the food label. Say, for example, a label on the sauce bottle should carry something like, “Mexican Sauce – Combination of Herbs and Spices!”

The label must also specify the purpose or intended use of the product. For instance, a bottle of coffee powder saying “Made of the best coffee beans from Hawaii – Best to enjoy with your partner!”

Almost every consumer knows the use; however, suggestions on the food labels boost sales.

Net Weight is the must-have inclusion in every food label. It is the weight of the content that is inside the package, excluding packaging. The net weight should be clear and specific, covering around 30% of the food label, whether top or bottom.

2. Manufacturer Information

Manufacturer information is among the five vital elements directed by the FDA. It includes the name, address, and license number of the manufacturer, packaging firm, and distributor. Remember to include the qualifying phrase is necessary. It describes the company’s association with the firms, i.e., ‘manufactured for’, ‘distributed by’, etc.

3. Nutritional Facts and Figures

These are some of the most vital pieces of information that consumers are looking for in the present context. You should place ingredients and nutritional facts on a similar panel to avoid confusion. Placing them together helps a consumer to find the information quickly.

You can mention the nutrients, vitamins, fats, protein, fat, and minerals, along with the serving size. The FDA recommends that the information must be well-contrasted with background colors. The food label requires your proper attention to the font size and hairlines so that information is clear and readable.

4. Serving Size

The information regarding the serving size must match the recommendation of the authorities responsible for the specific food product. The data is also available on the website of the FDA and Reference Amount Customarily Consumed (RACC) values.

5. Ingredients

Listing down the ingredients is the most challenging part of food labeling. Mention each ingredient on the label, whether solid or liquid. The ingredients list must follow the pattern of most to the least while mentioning it.

Never forget to include the disclaimers for the allergens. Stating specific disclaimers can save you from legal complications.

The FDA is Authorized to Hold Your Product

If the FDA finds that the food label is not as per the norms, the FDA can hold the product. Hence you should be very clear and precise while mentioning the crucial elements on the food label.

Adding a booklet label or a peel-back label will be more beneficial to you and the consumers. It will add value to the product and customers.

Food Labels – An Identity to Your Product

A food label is like an identity card for your product. One must take extra caution while drafting the information and choosing the colors. There are many things to consider formatting a food label. It is advisable to visit a label expert and discuss size, material, information, colors, and booklet food label options. After all, a food label is the foremost tool for marketing and sales promotion for a product.

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