An Easy Guide to Understanding Food Labels

Food Labels

Now more than ever, consumers are becoming smarter and more conscious about what they eat. The quest for a healthier lifestyle, after all, starts with what the body consumes on a daily basis. With more people searching for food products and grocery items that cater to their dietary needs, more attention is paid to food labels.

Food labels are more than just a legal requirement set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They contain everything you need to know, from the name of the brand to the various nutrition facts such as calories and nutrient information. These labels can help you make informed decisions. If you know how to read and understand food labels, you will have a better grasp on whether the food product is suitable to your dietary needs.

If you are a manufacturer or supplier in the food industry, it’s vital that you know the basics of food labels. Read on and learn more about the details on what a food label needs to have and what they mean to your customers.



What to Include in Your Food Labels?

Food label printing is fast and easy here at PrintRunner. You can easily customize the specifications of your labels based on your business needs. Choosing the size, shape, material and other customization options is a breeze with the help of the product calculator.

When it comes to label design, you can just upload your print-ready artwork to our website or create one from scratch using our online design tool. But before you let us proceed with custom printing your food labels, make sure you know what to include in your label design.

Serving Information. This information provides the customers the number of servings in the package and serving size. Serving size is standardized and usually comes in units such as cups or pieces followed by the metric amount like the number of grams. Keep in mind that serving size is not a recommendation of how much a person should eat or drink, but a reflection of the amount that people typically eat or drink.

List of Ingredients. Your food label needs to list the ingredients used in making the product in descending order by weight.

Percentage of Certain Ingredients. If you want to emphasize a specific ingredient in your product, be sure to state its quantity as a percentage. For example: 100% pure beef. You also need to do this if the ingredient is highlighted with an image or graphic.

Cooking Instructions. If applicable to your product, you need to provide cooking instructions on your food labels. You also need to add important information such as temperature, cooking time, cooking equipment needed, and other instructions needed to prepare the food.

‘Best Before’ Dates. These dates refer to food quality, not food safety. This informs your customers that your product should be of high quality until the given date—provided that it was unopened and stored under ideal conditions for the product. Best before dates help in minimizing food waste.

Nutrient Content Claims. This is the level of a nutrient in the product and usually stated as “free”, “high”, and “low.” If the level of a nutrient in a food is compared to that of another food, terms such as ”more”, ”reduced”, and ”lite” are used.

Food Allergens. If your product contains an ingredient that contains protein from a "major food allergen," it should be stated in your food labels. This includes milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.

Storage Instructions. Provide instructions on how to safely store your product before and after opening the packaging. Some of the most common ones are “store in a cool, dry place” and “once opened, consume within 3 days.”

Contact Details. Complete information about your business including name, contact details, address, and country.

Country of Origin. If you sourced your product from another country, make sure that it is stated clearly in your food labels. Never imply that your product originates from where it was manufactured.


Food Labels Q&As