Why Food Labelling is Important?

Why is food labelling important?

The obvious answer is that it is a legal requirement within UK law and regulation, not only that but it helps consumers gain important knowledge to keep track of their health, making informed decisions within food stores with the products they choose and how to store, cook and use those products safely.

There are many reasons it is important to consumers and businesses may differ in some areas such as, profit and cost but the main goal should now be to provide a lovable product that properly informs the consumer, using clear and understandable language to enable them to make that informed purchase choice that will keep them safe and healthy, before, during and after consumption.

So, why is it really important to consumers?

Some consumers may be allergic to certain foods or have intolerances that will prevent them from choosing certain products. If you don't provide the appropriate compliance on your labels, how will those consumers know if the product is safe for them to eat?

They won't!

The UK government constantly deploys schemes and information in line with the NHS, to tackle the rise in obesity, the consumer is now equipped with clear and understandable knowledge informing them on how to properly read a food label. Not only that but it will show them the calories and nutritious guidelines they should follow to fit their own needs and circumstances.

This information now allows them to make informed decisions on suitable products that meet their needs. Therefore, if you as a business provide or make a claim such as low salt, but subsidise the salt for an alternative that may not be healthier, the consumer is now more likely to know about it and choose a competitor product that is healthier.

There are many apps available that consumers can now use to help guide them on food labels and information while in stores and supermarkets. With these applications available for smartphones, there is no room for error within the information provided on your food product labelling as your product will now be pulled should any discrepancies or lack of compliance be found by consumers or stores.

Why is it important for businesses?

If you provide or produce any product made for consumption, it is your duty of care to ensure that you have provided the correct information displayed in the legal format stated within the government website.

Many businesses are still producing food labels (with fixable mistakes) that are not compliant and are missing things like bolded allergens or proper ingredients lists, they may even have the wrong claims or misleading claims that they use as a 'catch 22' that covers them but provides less choice for some consumers. (i.e. gluten-free but may contain ...)

Misinformation and rule-bending around providing claims on food labels are becoming a worrying trend as businesses struggle to get to grips with changing food labels to become fully compliant.

This hurts their business as it opens a grey area for what some consumers can deem as safe foods if they have any food allergies or intolerances. 

Pre-packaged food products are just as important, whether you supply; restaurants, supermarkets, cafes, etc. it is your obligation and responsibility to understand why labelling is so important and how you can get it right to provide the correct information that goes hand in hand with your packaging/ pre-packaged food products. 

With new laws and regulations in place within the UK, your pre-packaged food products must now include the following information on their labelling:

  • The name of the food product

  • A list of ingredients with allergens is presented in Bold (Ingredients must be the heading and the listing should follow ingredients used to make the product in descending order of weight.)

  • The percentage of certain ingredients for nutritional and calorie requirements

  • Instructions for proper storage and cooking methods should the product require cooking

  • 'Use-By' and/ or 'Best-Before' Dates to be presented clearly and reduce wastage

  • Company contact information

  • Country of origin or provenance

Failure to comply will result in legal action, hefty fines, loss of business, and even prosecution. There are numerous solutions available to keep your business fully compliant and provide safe products for all to enjoy. Working with print companies and using appropriate labelling software will keep your business in control but it is important to remember to keep staff training up to date to reduce human error and implement concrete knowledge in these areas of your business.

Some examples below, of What you can do with food labelling software and print companies that will provide the solution to your business:

Tolarus Food Label PreviewTolarus Nutrilabel

Food Labelling Management Software Is The Way Forwards:

The safest way to keep your food labels compliant is to use a label management software that stores your products and food label templates so that when you need to make a change, you only have to log in and change it within the database to stay compliant.

Easy peasy!

Not all labelling software has the same capabilities as some can provide allergen bolding and others just simply store products and ingredients, some may even just store your premade label templates. This can be a right faff when it comes to choosing what you need for your business, it is worth doing some research, getting quotations and using any trial periods before making a concrete decision. The wrong decision could see your products coming straight off the shelves, not by consumers, but by stores having to pull the products for labels that don't comply.

With Tolarus, you have the power to input your ingredients and build your products so that you can apply proper allergen bolding and provide any claims that you might need. It also incorporates nutrition values and QUID percentages doing the math for you so long as you input your serving grams! Not only that but the label design features give you the power to arrange your labels into a compliant and clear fashion. You also have the power to upload any designs that match your branding.

It is one of the lesser costing software's that pack a real punch! 

Don't believe us? Why not give it a try and request some samples to see how Tolarus could work for your business!

With the laws always evaluating and updating, food labelling is becoming more and more important, so important that consumers are now becoming aware and gaining knowledge of what to look for when they go shopping that suits their own dietary habits. If your product doesn't have the information that suits your target market, or if it does but it isn't displayed clearly then you may lose out to your competitors!

Keep up to date with the latest food labelling trends, laws and regulations to keep your business and products relevant in the market.

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