How To Create a Nutrition Label
Posted on September 28, 2013 by Lev
So you have a delicious product that people love. You're selling at your local farmer's market or specialty shop. Then someone asks how many calories are in a package...
We're here to avoid that awkward moment. Creating nutrition fact labels isn't as complicated as you may think. You already know how to make your recipe, have all the ingredients and presumably have some packaging. We'll go over the high level process and some of your options.
Prerequisite: Have a Product or Recipe Already
This may sound like a no brainer, but you can't have nutrition facts without a product, or at least a recipe for a product you plan to make. It doesn't have to be completely final as long as any changes you expect will be relatively minor.
Option 1: Send Your Product to a Lab for Analysis
If you already have a product ready to go, you can send it to a lab (we've partnered with a lab to offer you discounted lab nutrition analysis), in which case you're pretty much done, but you'll need an extra few hundred bucks lying around. Depending on the lab, you may have to pay extra for the nutrition fact label itself and the ingredient list, so beware of that (with us you don't). Also, some of our customers have sent products to a lab and have not been able to get a complete analysis, meaning that some key nutrients were left blank. Beware of that too. And it may take a while. Other than that, lab analysis is a great option. You can read more about ours in our article on lab nutrition analysis.
Option 2: Organize all your Ingredients
If you don't opt for the lab analysis, you'll either be using a service like ours to do the nutrition analysis, or paying a consultant/company who will then use a service like ours to do the nutrition analysis.
Either way, you'll be responsible for organizing all your ingredients, their amounts, and the nutrition facts for each ingredient. You can usually get quite detailed nutrition fact information for your ingredients from your distributor. Otherwise, you can use what's on the label. A lot of ingredients will already be in our database, but you should have your own handy just in case.
Option 2 Continued: Know your Recipe Yield
Having just your ingredients is not quite enough to put together a label, since you probably make a big batch and then split it into separate packages. After all, a nutrition fact label is displayed per serving. So, you have to know:
- The final weight of your finished recipe
- How many packages your recipe makes
- How much 1 serving is
- How many servings there are in a package.
Option 2 Continued: Add it all Up!
Once you have all the necessary information, you have to add it all up. We make it easier on you by doing the funky math and following all the FDA rounding rules. You can also do this yourself in a spreadsheet if you're particularly good with numbers.
Option 2 Grand Finale: The Actual Label
Once you've input all your ingredients, you can take a look at the final label. We provide lots of customizations to the label if you need them, as well as several label styles. Choose the one that suits your needs, and you're done. If you did the math yourself, this may be a little more challenging because you'll have to find a template somewhere to put the nutrition facts in the right format. You can always use ours too.
In a Nutshell
So, you have two options when creating a nutrition fact label. Either send your product to a lab, or use something like ReciPal to input your ingredients and create a label. Hopefully this made the process a little bit more clear for all you food entrepreneurs. As always, let us know if you have any questions and we're happy to explain more!
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