Some of the most common terms on food labels are misunderstood. Here are three of them, and what they really mean:
1. All Natural
The only USDA requirement for items labeled as "all natural" are that they contain meat, poultry and egg products that are only minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. There are no regulations on the term for products that do not contain meat or eggs, but many companies making those items use terms such as "no preservatives," "no artificial flavors" or "no artificial colors" to err on the side of caution.
2. Gluten free
While the USDA currently has no current regulations on the term, the FDA recently defined its use. Products labeled as "gluten free" have to be a product that naturally excludes gluten or does not have a gluten-containing ingredient. Something that naturally has gluten can be labeled as gluten free so long that it has been processed and does not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten.
3. Cage free
Products with the "cage free" label have to be derived from a flock that was able to freely roam in an enclosed area, like a building or room, with unlimited access to food and fresh water. This definition, however, does not govern the density of chickens in that area. It also typically only applies to eggs, as chickens bred for meat are rarely kept in cages.
With an industrial label printer, food labeling can reflect the values and aspirations of a food manufacturer. Contact us today to learn more about how taking control of your label strategy can provide new opportunities for marketing and engagement.