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Whether you are selling your product online or in-store, your packaging is pivotal to your success.

Thinking outside of the box is something that comes naturally to every successful entrepreneur. In recent years we have witnessed the evolution of packaging. We have seen biodegradable options become sensible choices. Watched flashy, eye-catching packaging consume the shelves.

Whether your business uses an attention-grabbing piece of packaging design to drive sales or your product needs to be kept fresh in a resealable packet, there is more to packaging than meets the eye.

The food sector is governed by specific regulations, meaning all food products must include certain information on their packaging. In this blog, we’re looking at what that information is.

You should always do your research when releasing a new food product, take a look at the Food Standards Agency website for the most up to date information.

The names

It’s important within the food sector that the food’s name is displayed clearly on the packaging. If there is a legal name for the food used within your product, you have to give that name. However, if there is no legal name, a customary one may be given. If this customary name is instantly recognisable to the potential purchaser, it will be used. For example, everyone’s favourite sandwich the BLT.

Ingredients

If your product contains two or more ingredients, then you are legally obliged to provide a list of all the ingredients. The list must be in the order of the ingredient used the most to use the least in order of weight. The only products exempt from these rules are fresh fruit and veg, carbonated water and any product containing one ingredient.

Allergens

When it comes to the allergies of your potential customers, you have to be incredibly careful. No business wants to be associated with making someone unwell. It is a legal requirement that you must state any of the 14 allergens that appear in your product. The allergens need to be highlighted with a bolder, more noticeable font.

Net quantity

The net quantity of a product must be mentioned on your packaging to comply with the food information regulations. If your product comes packaged within a liquid, it should be the product’s drained net weight without the liquid included. The net quantity doesn’t need to be displayed on your packaging if the net amount is less than 5g or 5ml. This is also the case if your product is sold in number or is weighed out in front of the customer.

Dates and storage

Have you ever gone to make a piece of toast, and there’s a lovely chunk of mould manifesting on the bread? Well, that’s the reason why you legally need to include a ‘use by’ or ‘display until’ date on your products. You also have to recommend the best way to store your product so that it can be kept fresh.

Contact information

Food packaging should include information about the manufacturer’s name and address or the company’s details that imported the food. The information has to have a physical address that can be contacted by mail and not just an email address or phone number.

Origin of the food

The packaging of all foods should include the country of origin of the product. This is especially prominent where consumers may be misled. For example, an Eccles cake made in Spain, a long-shot we know, but you get the gist.

Preparation instructions

You may think that serving your product is self-explanatory, but in reality, that’s not an assumption you can make. You must include instructions within your packaging about how to prepare and serve your food.

Nutritional declaration

The nutritional declaration has to be provided in a specific format and must give the six nutrients’ values within the product.

The information itself should be given in both kj and kcal units per 100g/ml and must meet the minimum font requirements. Don’t try to conceal what’s going on in your product. This is an incredibly slippery slope and could leave you and your business in a lot of trouble.

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As a graphic design agency specialising in packaging design, we understand the necessary steps your business should to take. Make sure you read up on the latest laws for any food packaging and make sure you send us the correct information for any labels or boxes. If you want to discuss packaging design, give us a call, or send an email. We enjoy meeting new businesses with the desire to grow and succeed in their sector.

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