My Food Product: Packaging Label Requirements

Posted on December 09, 2013 by

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):

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".

Anything else?

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.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

Learn something? Check out similar posts:

Getting Started With Food Labels Labeling Rules And Guidelines Getting Into Retail Food Packaging
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