Make sure your food labels meet FDA requirements and are properly & securely placed on your packaging — because both matter.
Due to concerns about the health and safety of food products in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration offers a comprehensive guide of food label requirements that all manufacturers and distributors must follow.
If you don’t have time to sift through a 132-page government document on food label requirements, but you want to know if you’re on the right track; we’ve got your back. We’ve compiled the highlights for you, along with a handy infographic.
What You Need To Know
The FDA Food Labeling Guide specifies general food label requirements.
Food label information must be placed prominently on the front of the package (known as the principal display panel or PDP), where the consumer will most likely see it. It must be both prominent and conspicuous, using a font that can easily be identified among images and other text on the package. This information must include the product name and type of food in the container, as well as a net weight or other measurements of the contents.
You will also need to include the standardized nutritional information, along with the serving size, and the location of the manufacturer or distributor.
Placement of Information
In many cases, companies use the front surface of their container to display their brand name, the name of the product, and the quantity contained within. The remaining nutritional values and manufacturer information may be placed on a side panel, or the back of the container (depending on shape).
It’s important to closely follow guidelines for the flow of information on your side panels – the FDA requires that it is placed together without intervening unregulated text or images.
For instance, the nutritional values and manufacturer's address cannot be separated by a paragraph about your company history. You will need to find another location on your label for non-required images or text.
Why It Matters
To protect consumers everywhere, the FDA has issued these regulations as a means of monitoring manufacturers and ensuring that consumers are getting fair and factual data in a consistent manner.
The best way to do this is to utilize a standardized layout for nutritional data so that consumers can easily compare products side by side to discern such information such as products are the better value, which has the greatest health benefits, which ones may contain allergens, etc.
Since there are many details to consider, the FDA’s Food Labeling Guide clearly outlines how to create food labels that meet their expectations, along with visual examples that show where this important information should and should not go.
For specific instruction on type sizes, determining nutrition facts, and other information specific to your product, we suggest you download their guide. However, if you’re looking for a quick overview of food label requirements, we’ve provided an infographic that covers the basics.
From Food Label Requirements to Label Applicator
Now that you understand why food labels are so important and how to ensure your labeling meets federal standards, your products can start making their way to the labeling line. But first, check out our free e-book that covers how to find the right labeling equipment to get the job done.
You need FDA-regulated labels, but you also need those labels to be placed on your packaging properly and securely.