You’ve spent endless hours perfecting your recipe, tasting it with friends, family and coworkers, found the perfect package design, and now it’s time to create your product label. The product label design is a crucial step in grabbing the attention of your potential customer but it has to be done within FDA guidelines. There are an endless (or so it seems) amount of regulations for specific products and claims but they all share some of the same requirements.
One of the most obvious items that must be on your food label is the name of your product. Naming your product may not be as simple as it sounds. Your brand name can be on principle display panel but that does not identify the product. If your product has a defined standard of identity by the FDA or USDA then that name must be on the front of the label design. Items that have a defined standard of identity are ice cream, juices, yogurt, and many others. If your product does NOT have a standard of identity then you can establish a name that is appropriately descriptive and is not misleading.
The net quantity statement provides the consumer with an accurate weight or volume of how much product they are actually purchasing and consuming. As a general statement food that is solid or semisolid will be listed by weight and products that are liquid will be listed by volume. This information needs to be present on the bottom 30% of the label on the principal display panel. The net contents needs to be listed in both metric and US Customary System. Examples:
· Net wt 1 lb 8 oz (680g)
· 32 fl oz (946ml)
· 1 gallon (3.79L)
Name and Address
Name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. If the name listed is anything but the manufacturer it must be accompanied by a phrase similar to “manufactured for Company Name”. Along with the name you must list the street address if the company name is not listed and easily assessable. If the address is assessable you must list the city or town, state and zip code.
Your ingredient statement is arguably your most important part of your label. There are many nuances and regulations within creating a compliant ingredient statement. Each raw material may have its own regulation on how it can be labelled. The most important aspects of your ingredient statement are listing your raw materials in descending order of predominance by weight and your allergen statement. Undeclared allergens are the number 1 reason for product recalls. Accurate allergen labeling is crucial part of your label as an inaccurate ingredient statement can cause harm or even death to a consumer.
Nutrition Facts Panel
A nutrition panel is required on almost all food products as it’s the only way the consumer can understand various nutritional attributes of the product. The nutritional facts label should be placed by the ingredient statement and the name and address. There are various types of nutritional panels that are allowed to be used depending on your label size. The nutrition panel has a recent update that will be required on all food products by either 2020 or 2021 depending on total sales of the manufacturer.
If you need a nutritional panel for your product www.fadcalc.com can create one for you and do an FDA compliance review on your label.
There is also other information that might be required on your label depending the product type and nutrition claims made. These happen on a case by case basis and must be evaluated for every unique product. This list is not all inclusive and your product may require additional information to be compliant.
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