In both the USA and here in Canada, a combination of surveys, health studies, and general public awareness is now culminating in a major change in food labels.
On the American side, these changes are designed to “combat obesity and reduce sodium consumption”, According to the American Food and Drug Administration. US manufacturers have until July 26th 2018 to be compliant.
In Canada, the change in food labels are part of the Canadian Government’s Healthy Eating Strategy, which like the American initiative, aims to reduce sodium consumption and also provide consumers with more precise information on sugar content, food colouring and saturated fats, among other things.
The sooner your change in food labels, the better!
Canadian manufacturers have 5 years to comply, but there is no doubt that the sooner they make their change in food labels, the better.
As a food or beverage manufacturer, updating your packaging to keep it in tune with consumer needs is vital. You don’t want your product to lose market share because your labeling doesn’t have the information consumers are looking for to make their purchase decision. Consider this:
- An FDA survey released in May 2016 found that 77% of U.S. adults reported using the Nutrition Facts label always, most of the time, or sometimes when buying a food product
If your company is in the vitamin beverage or health food categories, you’ll find these statistics from the same study even more interesting
- 83% of vitamin/mineral users looked for product information before using a product for the first time
- 93% herbal users looked for product information before using a product for the first time
Labelling plays an increasingly important role
My point being that labels are playing a more important role than ever in consumer’s choices of products. You therefore want to make sure you offer them the most up to date information and best presentation possible. And, if US manufacturer’s labelling will be improved by mid-2018, that means many of your competitors’ labels will be too. Better not wait.
A required change in packaging is always an opportunity to make a better product and be more competitive.
- If your product doesn’t currently have shrink sleeve labelling would you consider it? 360-degree colour branding is among the hardest to resist!
- Does your target market react well to green packaging? Would having recyclable or compostable labels make your products more attractive to them? How about FSC-sourced labels?
- If the costs of producing new labels seems prohibitive, have you considered in-house printing? The newest generation of inkjet printers makes this highly cost effective.
To remain competitive, I recommend you make these Canadian government-required changes as soon as you can.
If you’d like to discuss any of the above with specialists, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer full project management in a variety of packaging identification areas.