Food labelling is critical to food marketing, branding, and image. In addition to being visually appealing and creative, food labels must also be functional, informative, and compliant with food safety and labelling regulations. This article will explore how to design appealing, creative, and functional food labels that effectively communicate important information to consumers while meeting food safety and labelling regulations.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces the regulatory requirements for food labelling. CFIA helps to ensure food labelling is accurate, truthful, and not misleading. It is essential to understand the CFIA’s regulations and guidelines when designing food labels. These guidelines ensure that consumers can access accurate and relevant information about the food they purchase and consume.

Food Safety and Regulations for Labels

Food labelling regulations are in place to protect consumers from misleading or false information about the food they are purchasing. Food labelling regulations are also designed to ensure that consumers can access accurate and relevant information about the food they consume.

Health Canada has established guidelines for food labelling in Canada, including requirements for product names, list of ingredients, allergen information, nutrition facts, and more. These guidelines help ensure that consumers have access to accurate information about their food.

When designing food labels, it is important to ensure that they comply with the guidelines set forth by Health Canada. Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in penalties and legal action. In addition to complying with regulations, it is also essential to ensure that the food label is designed to promote food safety.

Nutritional Facts Table

We are at the implementation stages for the updated Nutrition Facts table and list of ingredients requirements. The updated regulations aim to provide consumers with more accurate and relevant information about the nutritional value of their foods. Here are some key changes that you need to know as the manufacturers should be aware of:

  1. Serving Size: The serving size on the Nutrition Facts table must be based on the amount of food that is typically consumed in one sitting. This means that manufacturers may need to adjust their serving sizes to provide a more realistic representation of how much of the food is typically consumed.
  2. Calories: The calorie count on the Nutrition Facts table must be displayed in a larger and bolder font to make it easier for consumers to read. The calorie count must also be listed per serving size, and for multi-serving packages, the total number of calories in the entire package must also be listed.
  3. Added Sugars:The amount of added sugars in the food must be listed separately from naturally occurring sugars. You must group the added sugars. This information can help consumers make more informed decisions about the amount of added sugars in the foods they consume.

You can generate a nutritional facts table for your food products in many ways, including using databases, software and laboratory analysis. The most accurate way is laboratory analysis, but it is also the most cost-ineffective solution. Read more about how to generate an NFT panel on our blog.

Food marketing and branding in food labels

A well-designed food label can communicate the values and personality of a brand, as well as create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers. Here are some food marketing and branding elements to consider when designing a food label.

  1. Branding:Branding is an important aspect of food marketing, and the food label is an opportunity to showcase the brand’s identity. Consider using the brand’s logo, colours, and typography to create a cohesive and recognizable label. Consistency in branding across all products and packaging can help consumers easily identify the brand and develop trust in the brand.
  2. Unique Selling Proposition (USP):The unique selling proposition is a statement that differentiates the product from others in the market. The USP can be featured prominently on the food label to communicate why the product differs and why consumers should choose it over other options.
  3. Storytelling: A compelling story can help create an emotional connection with consumers. Use the food label to tell the story behind the product, including its origin, inspiration, or the people behind the product. This can help consumers feel more connected to the brand and create a sense of trust and loyalty.
  4. Design: The design of the food label should reflect the brand’s personality and values. Consider using unique shapes or materials, such as textured paper or embossing, to create a unique and eye-catching label. Illustrations or icons can also help communicate the brand’s personality and values.
  5. Product Photography: High-quality product photography can help showcase the product visually appealingly. Consider using multiple angles or lifestyle shots to create a sense of context and appeal to the senses.
  6. Call to Action (CTA):A clear call to action can encourage consumers to take action, such as visiting the brand’s website or following the brand on social media. This can help create a deeper connection with the brand and increase customer engagement.
  7. Sustainability: Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration for consumers. Use the food label to highlight sustainable practices, such as environmentally friendly packaging or locally sourced ingredients. This can help communicate the brand’s commitment to sustainability and appeal to consumers who prioritize these values.

Designing a Food Label: Tips and Considerations

  1. Choose the right font:Choosing the right font is essential in designing an effective food label. The font should be easy to read and visible. Use a font size of at least 1.6mm to ensure that the text is easily legible.
  2. Consider the colour scheme:Colors play an essential role in food labelling. Choose colours that are attractive and visually appealing, but also ensure that they are compliant with CFIA guidelines. Avoid using colours that may confuse or mislead consumers.
  3. Highlight key information:It is important to highlight key information such as the product name, ingredients, allergens, and nutritional information. Follow CFIA regulations when it comes to minimum font size and font type.
  4. Keep it simple: Simplicity is key in designing food labels. Avoid cluttering the label with too much information. Use bullet points or columns to organize information clearly and concisely.
  5. Use high-quality images: Images can enhance the appeal of food labels. Use high-quality images that accurately depict the product. You must ensure that the images that you use are not misleading and comply with CFIA guidelines is important.
  6. Consider the label size:The label size should be appropriate for the package size. Ensure the label is not too small or too large for the package.
  7. Include contact information: Including contact information such as the manufacturer’s name and address and customer service phone number or email address can help consumers to reach out for further information or in case of any queries or issues.

Product Claims

Food label claims are statements made on the packaging of food products that describe the product’s nutritional content or health benefits. These claims can be useful to consumers trying to make informed decisions about their food choices. However, it is important to understand that not all claims are regulated or equally reliable.

Some claims, such as “low fat” or “high in fiber”, are regulated by government agencies such as Health Canada. These claims must meet specific criteria in order to be used on food labels. For example, to use the claim “low fat”, a food product must contain 3 grams or less of fat per serving. These regulated claims can be a helpful tool for consumers trying to choose healthier options. See more food claims requirements here.

There seems to be no limit to the sky regarding food label claims for the food marketing team. I am sorry. I have seen too much creativity when it comes to food claims. However, please understand that this is the worse approach for food label claims. Food label claims are complicated from a regulatory perspective and may lead to consumer distrust, recall or lawsuits.

Many folks do not realize how intense food label claims are. The basis of the food claim is that you need to be able to support your claims with a fact. If you don’t have the evidence, then you cannot claim what you like to claim.

Secondly, some label claims may be trademarked or have a copyright. Using a label claim that has been patented can lead to lawsuits. Along with this, there are certain label claims that CFIA allows. We need to ensure that food regulatory requirements are being followed.

That’s why it became really important to research all the claims you would like to have on the food label. Just because your competitor has it on their product doesn’t mean you can follow their path!

My favourite question when designing a food label is, what else do your consumers look for in your brand, and how can you support the claims? Can we help to showcase your brand through food labels? We work with food label regulatory experts to review food label requirements, and when it comes to branding, we work with our marketing and branding team to bring out your unique brand story. This arrangement is intentional, so we implement regulatory compliance and marketing.

In conclusion, food labels are essential to food marketing anUnleash the power of food labelling! Explore how it impacts marketing, branding, and food safety regulations. Get insights on Health Canada’s guidelines, Nutrition Facts table, and key elements for a compelling food label. #foodlabelling #marketing #branding #foodsafety #HealthCanada #NutritionFacts #foodlabeldesignd branding. By considering elements such as branding, USP, storytelling, design, product photography, CTA, and sustainability, food manufacturers can design labels that effectively communicate important information to consumers while promoting the brand’s identity and values. By using the food label as an opportunity to create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers, brands can build trust and loyalty with their customers.

Author: Felicia
Felicia Loo is a Certified Food Scientist and registered SQF Consultant, focused on assisting food business to obtain food business license, achieving effective food safety management system and automate food safety system.