One of the most important decisions that a food marketer has to make is what to put on the label of a food product. It needs to appeal to the consumer and stand out from other food packages on the shelf. There are also legal considerations. And let’s face it, when it comes to labeling a honey jar, there’s limited space.
Basic Labeling Requirements
LABELS MUST COMMUNICATE THE FOLLOWING:
The “Common” Name of the Product
The word “honey” must be visible on the label. The name of a plant or blossom may be used if it is the primary floral source for the honey. Honey must be labeled with its common or usual name on the front of your package. (i.e. “Honey” or “Clover Honey”)
The net weight of your product (excluding packaging), both in pounds/ounces and in metric weight (g) must be included in the lower third of your front label panel in easy-to-read type. (i.e. Net Wt. 16 oz. (454 g)) When determining net weight, use the government conversion factor of 1 ounce (oz) = 28.3495 grams or 1 pound (lb.) = 453.592 grams. Round after making the calculation – not before. Use no more than three digits after the decimal point on the package. One may round down the final weight to avoid overstating the contents. When rounding, use typical mathematical rounding rules.
Single ingredient products (such as honey) do not have to name that single ingredient when already used in the common or usual name on the front panel. However, if there are ingredients other than honey, you must list them in an ingredient statement. Some exceptions are spices, flavorings and incidental additives (additives which have no functional role and with minimal presence in the finished product) which have special rules.
The type size for ingredient listings must be no less than 1/16th inch as measured by the small letter “o” or by the large letter “O” if all caps are used in the declaration. There are exemptions that allow smaller type sizes for small packages.
The label must let consumers know who put the product on the market and how to contact that person. The name and the address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor of a packaged food product are required to appear on the label of the packaged food. This information, sometimes referred to as the “signature line,” must appear on the front label panel or the information panel. If space permits, include full address and telephone number. The information must be in a type size that is at least 1/16th inch tall.