Let’s face it; consumers are misled by food nutrition labels every day, which can eventually cause them to lose trust in your brand. However, as a food manufacturer, it is not entirely your fault with all the FDA guidelines that govern what qualifies as what, which probably also has you a bit confused yourself.
There are ways to improve your understanding of ingredients listing, and thus your nutritional labeling to help expand your customers’ knowledge for wiser purchasing power, as well as give you peace of mind.
#1. Listing Sugar
Added sugars differ from natural sugars in that they offer no nutritional value, which is why they are referred to as empty calories.
Natural sugars, on the other hand, are the sugars that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables, which also contain a host of nutritional benefits, thereby offering consumers more by way of its content.
Therefore, when labeling products with sugar, instead of just listing the amount of sugar per serving, try also listing the type of sugar, so consumers can choose which type of sugar they prefer.
You might also try listing your sugar servings according to the experts’ daily recommended amount, which is 8 tablespoons daily. This way, consumers can better calculate their daily intake of sugar, which is especially crucial for those with certain conditions.
It is a good idea to also list the total sugar amount in an entire package to help consumers understand what is a low sugar product overall and what is not, which will also help them make the best choice for them.
#2. Zero Should Be Zero
For a product to be labeled as zero-free, the FDA guidelines state that it must contain no more than 0.5 grams of the ingredient, which is considered a trace amount.
However, the term “zero-free” printed on a package leads consumers to believe that there is absolutely no trace of the ingredient in the product.
This, in turn, may cause them to consume more than the recommended serving amount, thus racking up the trace amounts of the ingredient unbeknownst to them, which, again, poses a risk to those with certain health conditions who need to monitor their intake of certain ingredients.
Hence, listing all ingredients on your food labels, even those included in trace amounts, can help consumers better monitor their intake of impactful contents.
#3. Make Sure Controversial Ingredients Stand Out
Certain food ingredients are deemed as controversial, including yellow #5 and GRAS food coloring, artificially flavoring, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which contain trans fats, because they come with safety concerns, which means consumers may not want to put them in their body.
GMO and GE modified ingredients are also controversial foods that consumers may not want to consume.
However, because they are FDA approved, they are often included in various food products, but they are not always clearly marked, which can cause consumers to overlook them.
The FDA also allows food packages to be labeled with certain health claims, provided the claims are scientifically backed. However, some claims are only based on limited research and not sound evidence, so they may still pose certain risks to consumers’ health.
So be sure to highlight any ingredients that consumers may question consuming to ensure they are not overlooked.
#4. Make Your Ingredients List More Detailed
Just listing a bunch of ingredients on your food package still leaves consumers guessing as to the exact amount of each ingredient they are consuming, which they need to know to monitor their daily intake of various nutrients. Therefore consider listing the exact ratio of each content to make it easier to calculate them.
You should also consider labeling the front of nutritional products, such as fruit juice, with the actual amount of fruit juice in the product, so consumers know the exact amount of juice they are getting.
Vegetable oils can also be broken down by type on your packaging, so consumers understand the exact types of oils they are consuming.
#5. Use Bar Code and Food Labeling Software
Nutritional labeling can be mind-boggling; however, BarTender food labeling software helps make it easy. And you can also link your data directly to your labels to help ensure accuracy.
It also includes built-in coding and business rules to ensure your labels are compliant with industry standards, as well as built-in food bar codes for easy tracking.
Choosing to properly label your foods not only helps you conduct your business more confidently, but it also sets you apart from the crowd, which customers appreciate and is sure to be reflected in your bottom line.