Food Labeling and Marketing

Food Labeling and Marketing: Promoting Your Product With Your Nutrition Facts Panel

Nutrient content claims and health claims are powerful marketing tools for your food product.

Nutrient content claims and health claims are powerful marketing tools for your food product. Image source: Igor Ovsyannykov.

For busy, well-established food manufacturers, food labeling and marketing is a no-brainer. They’ve learned about the industry, know all about their target consumers, and probably have an entire team dedicated to ensuring their products are optimally labeled and marketed in a way that improves sales.

But for first-time food manufacturers who are just starting out in the industry, it’s tough to know where to begin when it comes to labeling and marketing your product. It can be especially overwhelming because you likely feel like you have to figure it all out on your own.

The good news is, food labeling and marketing don’t have to be complicated. Let’s look at a few expert tips that will help you use your nutrition label as a source of marketing inspiration, making the process of food labeling and marketing a lot simpler.

Using the Nutrition Facts Food Label to Market Your Product

Few food manufacturers believe me when I tell them that the nutrition facts panel can be their greatest marketing tool. Of course, your product won’t market itself just by having a nutrition facts panel on the package. You can, however, highlight certain information from the nutrition facts panel and deliberately market it in a more noticeable way on your package to draw attention to the aspects of your product that are particularly beneficial for consumers.

Essentially, the two FDA-approved ways of doing this are by using nutrient content claims or health claims. Let’s have a look at both so you understand how to use each one.

Nutrient Content Claims: Nutrient content claims are the amount of a nutrient in a product or the levels of a nutrient in that food compared to a similar reference food. When referring to the amount of a particular nutrient in a product, terms like “low,” “free,” and “high” are often used (i.e. “high-fiber,” “low-calorie,” and “fat-free”). Nutrient content claims that compare levels of a nutrient to a similar food product use terms like “light,” “reduced,” and “more” (i.e. “more fiber,” “reduced sodium,” and “light,” when referring to reduced fat).

You can determine if your product qualifies for any of the FDA-approved nutrient content claims by using the results of your nutrition analysis (your nutrition facts panel as well as the full scope of the results) and comparing your values to the FDA’s guidelines for nutrient content claims. Just remember that if you decide to write a nutrient content claim for a nutrient that doesn’t normally appear on the standardized nutrition facts panel, then you must customize your panel and add that value.  

Health Claims: The FDA defines health claims as statements about the relationship between a food product or ingredient and a reduced risk of disease or a health condition. An example of this would be, “Adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.” Of course, you could only use such a health claim if your product has a notable amount of calcium and vitamin D in your product, which you could determine by looking at your nutrition facts panel.

It’s important to know that there are two types of health claims: authorized claims, which are supported by plenty of scientific evidence and have “significant scientific agreement” (SSA), and qualified health claims, which don’t have SSA but do have strong enough science backing up the claim to satisfy the FDA.

If you are interested in using a health claim for your product, the FDA has a list of their approved health claims that makes it easy to see which ones your product may be eligible for. If you decide on a health claim to use for your product, even it if is authorized, it must still be submitted to and reviewed by the FDA before you can use it on your product.

Expert Consulting for Food Labeling and Marketing

As you’ve probably noticed, nutrient content claims and health claims can be a little confusing. That’s why I recommend speaking with an expert food labeling consultant. Not only will they be able to assist you with creating an FDA-compliant nutrition facts panel, but they can also help you figure out what claims your product qualifies for and which ones would be best to use for marketing your product. They can even advise you on how to package your product and select the best design.

Marketing your first food product doesn’t necessarily require a team of marketing experts and designers. It does, however, help if you highlight the positive information about your food product by using nutrient content claims or health claims. Together with the team at LabelCalc, you can get your product market-ready quicker and easier than you might expect.

LabelCalc is an industry-leading online nutrition analysis software that helps food manufacturers create their nutrition facts panels, quickly, easily, and affordably. To learn more, contact us today.   

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