My Food Product: Packaging Label Requirements
There are several statements and sections that you must include on your food label. We'll cover the basics, but if you want all the details from the FDA there is a deeper dive on ingredient lists, more information on net quantity, details on statements of identity, manufacturer address, and of course more than you want to know on nutrition labeling.
If you prefer to learn over video, we have a version on our YouTube Channel and embedded below:
The Big 6
There are 6 main parts to the label (with links to our longer form explanations of each):
- Statement of identity. This is the name of your product.
- Net quantity statement. How much of your product is in this package.
- Name and address of the manufacturer (or packer or distributor).
- Ingredient list in descending weight order.
- Nutrition fact label. This is sometimes optional. See here for more details.
- Allergy labeling, if any allergens are present.
Where Does Everything Go?
There are two ways to label your food product. You can place all the required label statements on the front label panel. Or, you can place the statement of identity and net quantity statement on the front label panel, and the remaining statements on a side information panel, which is to the right of the front panel when looking at the product.
If you are using a side information panel, there can't be anything on that panel in between the statements expected on that panel. As the FDA puts it, these statements must be placed together "without any intervening material".
There are a lots of small details. We definitely won't go into everything, but here are a few important ones. The links above go into the major details of each.
- The address has to be accompanied by the relation of that address to the product ("Distributed by, "Manufactured by", etc.).
- The ingredient list must list ingredients in descending weight order. So, the ingredient that makes up the most weight in the product goes first.
- Food allergens include: milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, and sesame.
- The net quantity statement must display the net contents in both metric and US measurements (e.g. "Net wt 1 lb 8 oz (680g)"). It must be placed in the bottom 30% of the front label panel.
Our nutrition label software handles all these things, so hopefully it makes your life simpler as a food entrepreneur.