When you’ve decided that you have a product that you’re serious about making an investment in and bringing to retail, it’s an exciting time! There’s nothing quite like creating something that you love and having other people enjoy it just as much as you do. Once you’ve perfected your recipe, you’ll likely begin looking for opportunities and outlets to begin selling your food product. Whether you begin at a farmer’s market, a grocery store or you venture into online sales, you will need to make sure that you have one very important thing completed: your nutrition label for your food product.
You know that little label on the back of food packaging that tells you all of the nutrition reporting and ingredient information? Yep, that one. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is so serious about making sure that you have that nutrition label for your food product, that most grocery retail stores and online outlets won’t let you sell your product without it! So when you’re new to the business and you’re seeking out your first big opportunity to get your food product on the shelf, you’re gonna want to make sure you’ve got that nutrition label ready — because they’ll be asking for it!
Why is My Nutrition Label So Important?
Once your product has become widely available and you grow beyond the farmer’s market or grocery store and maybe into distribution, there is no telling where your food product could end up! For this reason, it’s very important to have accurate nutrition information clearly stated on your food product. For example, did you know that about 2 children in each elementary school classroom has been diagnosed with food allergies? It’s true! And that’s only the beginning of the over 32 million people (and counting) diagnosed with food allergies in the United States alone!
Your nutrition reporting is so crucial that it has a life-or-death impact on people everywhere. This is why it’s so important to make sure that any allergens that are in your food product are clearly labeled so that people can make informed, safe decisions about the foods they are choosing to consume. It’s so important, in fact, that we’ve included an allergen-flagging feature within our nutrition label creation platform. If you aren’t a nutritionist or dietary professional, it could be really daunting to flag your own allergens within the ingredients of your product recipe. With LabelCalc, you don’t have to.
Changes Shouldn’t Break the Bank
When you’re in the creation phase of your food product, you are learning how to produce a high volume of product that tastes the same as the original, smaller batch that piqued your food manufacturing curiosity in the first place. You’re playing with different ingredients, measurements, and are in a very fluid space as you come up with your final product. Your product might be different from the first phase and your final product — and that’s ok! But if you’ve sent your product off to a lab at $800 per nutrition evaluation and you change your product, well, that’s a really expensive change.
In other cases, you can go to a distributor or grocery retailer, like Whole Foods, and find that they love your product but one or more of your ingredients are on their “no no” list. No really, Whole Foods has one. Their buyer might really love the flavor of your product and want to test it out, but you may have to change an ingredient or two in order to make that happen. In LabelCalc, it’s as simple as identifying the ingredient that you want to change and simply selecting a new ingredient from our database (or adding your own) to replace it. Changes shouldn’t cost you. They’re a natural part of the process.
Understanding How Ingredients Impact the Nutrition Label on Your Food Product
If you are creating a product that speaks to a certain nutritional trend: vegan, keto, high-protein, or something as equally niche, it’s important to understand that your ingredient choices impact your final nutrition report. (And truthfully, that’s all a nutrition label really is. It’s a fancy, FDA-Regulated nutrition report in label format.) A product that is Vegan must not only be free of meat, but eggs & dairy (which also happen to be allergens). For a product to fit under the keto umbrella, it must be high in fat, moderate in protein and very low in carbohydrate. A high-protein product should be, well, high-protein. But depending on the audience you are creating the high protein product for, it may need to be low in carb or low in fat as well.
How do you learn or discover this information? Well your nutrition report, of course!
If you’re still in the creative process and determining what ingredients that you would like to have in your product and you need to see how the nutrition information changes when you swap ingredients — create your label NOW. Utilizing the LabelCalc nutrition calculator + ingredient databases will give you access to 1,000’s of ingredients so that you can build the right product for the right audience, every time. Most of the time, nutrition professionals don’t become manufacturers, and food manufacturers don’t typically become nutritionists. So LabelCalc bridges that gap with data. (And we have nutritionists and dietitians available too).
We’ve been helping new food manufacturers, like yourself, create FDA-compliant nutrition facts panels for decades — without a single recall. And if it were up to us, we’d have every one of our food manufacturing clients create their nutrition labels waaaaaaay earlier than they did. It saves you a ton of money, helps you snag every retail opportunity and be aware of the nutrition components of your ingredients as you’re creating your recipe. And that kinda data, is powerful.
Want to get started on your nutrition label? Check out our plans. If you only need a single label, check out our per-product plan. If you need a few more (and maybe a little support) check out our Unlimited + Support plan. Either way, you’ll be way ahead of the rest!