Barcodes, Colour and branding, Communications, Data capture, Labels, Shrink Sleeves, Shrink Sleeves, Sustainable development

We’ve said it lately, timing is perfect for a new packaging design. With new regulations being put in place and new consumer requirements springing up, a lot has to be added to your packaging and labeling to meet everyone’s expectations.

To avoid missing out on something, here is a recap checklist to consider.

Nutritional Value labelsIMS_nutritionalfacts

Let’s start with the latest FDA proposed rules, dated July 2015 to upgrade Nutritional Value Facts label, first introduced more than 20 years ago.

Compare your label to this one. Refer to this PDF to see what’s different.


Product UPCIMS_roll

The Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode is taken for granted but you must be careful to keep it legible following good practices to insure scanning quality.


Best before

If not on your product, leave a space on your labels to add a best before date, when applicable. Consumers frequently look for this important information and often make purchase decisions based on it.

“Non” and “Free”IMS_Fee

If your product doesn’t contain or is free of something, say it clearly. It often makes a difference. It could even be a lifesaver!

  • Fat-Free
  • Sugar-Free
  • No Gluten
  • No MSG
  • Non-GMO (non-genetically modified)
  • BPA-Free (Bisphenol-A)
  • No Nuts
  • No Peanuts


Don’t neglect to check out what is considered an allergen. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides a list of allergy related ingredients and guidelines.

Organic – BiologicalIMS_organic

Products derived from organic farming should be identified with pride, and with a certification logo from a recognized organization. Consumers react positively to products displaying certifications.


Origin or Regional labelIMS_Localproduction

Certifications marks related to product origin or regional certification also appeal to consumers. If applicable, give them prominence on your packaging.




As of April 4th, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFAI) requires all halal claims on food labels, packaging and advertising to be accompanied by the name of the organization or person that certified it. Read our recent blog post on the topic.



The American Grocery Manufacturers Association’s SmartLabel™ initiative, created in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute, is new label system you may want to add to your packaging to provide more in depth information about your product to consumers. Read our post about SmartLabel™


Social media

Adding social media access to facilitate consumer interaction with your brand, get information, and provide feedback is a good idea.

Either show a QR Code or simply put the social media logo with your appropriate company or product handle name.

For example: Follow us on Twitter @IMS_Labeling or look for us on Facebook

Putting up your website address is a good idea too. “Visit us at


Recycling has always been a headache for consumers. Depending on local recycling facilities and programs, you can’t be totally sure if consumers know how to recycle your products’ packaging.

You can add a “Please recycle” or “100% recyclable” if applicable, or adopt the How2Recycle standardized labeling system to clearly communicate recycling instructions to consumers.



We hope this recap list was useful, even if it might be a little overwhelming as you wonder how to fit all these elements onto your packaging.

Keep in mind that following packaging best practices isn’t that hard. If complex, don’t be shy to ask for help to cover the regulatory elements.

Don’t forget to speak with your distributors and retailers before undergoing any major packaging design upgrades. They may have some useful input that could help better your design (and their sales!).

We understand redesigning your packaging and labels can sometimes be a complex process. Keep in mind that we’re here to help you through it.