Food Label News
October 2018 — Volume 18, Number 10

Happy Fall from Food Label News. Many industries experience a tender balance between high impact and low risk. Food labeling is no exception. This month we offer tips for maximizing a label's shelf impact while ensuring 100% regulatory compliance. Requirements for retail labels is covered in our Reader Q+A. As always, please let us know what's on your mind in Food Label Community.

In this issue:



Karen C. Duester, President, Food Consulting Company

P.S. We're expanding our small virtual team with an entrepreneurial leader who will drive a new business unit for Food Consulting Company. 


Feature Article

The way your package appears on the store shelf is an important first impression for consumers. Brand, messaging, claims, images, nutrition information, ingredients, allergens - they all matter. Our mission is to maximize the impact of your food labels while reducing any regulatory risk.

While there are clear and specific regulations governing what we can and cannot include on food labels, there are also some shades of gray. How do you navigate the ambiguities? 

At Food Consulting Company, our approach to balancing high impact labels with low regulatory risk is a skillful process. It starts with an intimate understanding of the regulations and extends to research of other published government documents, actions by consumer interest groups and industry best practices. With that background, we consult with all client constituents: Regulatory, R&D, Marketing Legal and Management. Addressing this broad array of needs to achieve labels that are 100% compliant is not trivial.

If you choose to go it alone, consider these tips:

  • Be clear about objectives and what is important to each department
  • Be open - there's more than one way to resolve an issue; for example, a minor reformulation may be all that's needed
  • Consider a partner who can contact the FDA anonymously to investigate nuances on your behalf
  • Step back and make sure there is no chance of misleading the consumer
  • Get outside counsel for an independent opinion

Bullseye: Achieving a balance between high impact / low risk labels is one of the most interesting and challenging aspects of our jobs as food labelers. It often extends beyond our understanding of the regulations. Successful resolution is largely a function of our people skills and "can do" attitude.

Food Label Community
  • Partially hydrogenated oils in Canada: ban now in effect
  • Listing vinegar in the ingredient statement
  • Use of brand names in the ingredient statement 
  • Labeling for sub-ingredients 
  • Natural flavor for a peanut butter & jelly product


Reader Q+A
Q. I'm starting a food business. What information do I need to have on my label to sell my product in stores? 
— I.V., Mexico, Start-up Food Company
A. To sell a packaged product regulated by FDA at retail, the product label must contain five components: 1) statement of identity, 2) statement of net content, 3) Nutrition Facts label, 4) ingredient statement with allergen labeling compliance, and 5) name and address of manufacturer, packer or distributor.


Client Comments

“Thank you for the helpful feedback you provided to us about our regulatory label review process, with your usual attention to delivering quality work. Food Consulting Company brought some very important things to light that will serve us well.”
— Shannon Fitzgerald, Corporate Quality Assurance Manager, Food Retailer 


Food Consulting Company
Your Virtual Food Label Partner

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support for more than 1,500 clients worldwide.
Our guarantee: 100% regulatory compliance.

Food Label News, now in its 18th year, is a monthly e-newsletter reaching over 10,000 subscribers around the world. We cover news and insights about what matters most in food labels and welcome your question for a future Reader Q+A.



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