When you’re launching a food product for retail, there are a huge number of things you need to think about.
Not only do you need to create a great-tasting product that will be on-par with (and ideally superior to) the big brands, but you also need to think about:
- Product packaging (e.g. can, sachet, packet, tin, etc.)
- Brand (what’s unique about your company and product?)
- Pricing (are you going for the low-end or high-end of the market?)
- Retail (where will you retail your product?)
With so much to think about, launching a food product can be quite daunting for even the most experienced of entrepreneurs.
Still, while it’s incredibly important to get all of the above aspects correct when launching your food product, there’s one aspect that’s perhaps the most important of all: labelling.
Why is Food Labelling So Important?
With hundreds and thousands – perhaps even millions – of food products available to choose from at your local supermarket, your labelling needs to stand out from the crowd.
When launching a food product for retail, the label is one of the few weapons you have against the big brands, and in most cases, it’s the no.1 deciding factor for most consumers making their purchasing decisions.
It doesn’t matter what kind of food product you’re retailing (ready-meal, fresh fruit/vegetable, fish, etc.), you can guarantee that your product will be sitting on a shelf surrounded by a tonne of competing products.
Therefore, your food label not only has to look pretty, but it must also grab the attention of the consumer within seconds and convince them to buy.
If this wasn’t enough, there are also a number of legal requirements for any food label, such as the inclusion of nutritional information, an ingredients list, allergen information, storage instructions, and so forth.
The Legalities of Food Labelling
While you may have the perfect design in mind for your food product label, it’s important to remember that there are a number of pieces of information (a few of which we mentioned above) that must be included, as they are legally required.
Exactly what these pieces of information are will vary slightly depending on the type of food product you’re selling (alcoholic products will have extra requirements, for example), but for the most part, you must always state the following on your label:
- Name (e.g. “Oreos”)
- Best before/use by date (e.g. “Best before: June 2017”)
- Health warnings (if applicable) (e.g. “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”)
- Net quantity (e.g. “100ml”)
- Ingredients (e.g. “Water, sugar, flavourings, etc…”)
- Storage instructions (e.g. “Store in a cool, dry place”)
- Cooking instructions (e.g. “shallow fry in olive oil”)
There are also a number of additional pieces of information that may need to included (depending on the exact food product you’re launching), such as:
- Barcode (if you’re planning to sell in retail stores)
- Country of origin
- Vegetarian/vegan warning (e.g. “suitable for vegans”)
- Radiation warning (if the product has been radiated)
All of the above MUST be clear and easy to read, permanent, easily visible, not misleading, and easy-to-understand.
How to Design the Perfect Food Label (Infographic)
Although everything above may seem a little daunting, it’s only a fraction of the things you need to think about if you want to create the perfect food label.
You also need to think about:
- Label material (e.g. plastic, paper, etc.)
- Target market/demographic
And much more.
Luckily, we’ve created a simple infographic to walk you through the entire process.
Here it is: