One of the most important questions facing your business is what to print on your labels. Once you've filled your legal requirements and typed out ingredient lists and nutrition facts, you have to fill the rest of the available space.
Should you use images of the items? Is it better to use that space for nutritional value claims? The answer lies with your customers: You have to determine what your audience is most interested in seeing.
An Interest in Ingredients
Food Engineering contributor Sean Riley of the Association for Packaging and Processing (PMMI) recently pointed out the results of his organization's market research. The data is clear: People want to know about the ingredients in their foods, especially if the lists are easy to recognize and understand. If you can reasonably make claims about the simplicity and benefits of your products' composition, now is a great time to push your labeling strategy in this direction.
The numbers show how many people may want to know more about food product ingredients. Riley reported that in PMMI's study of U.S. shoppers, 91 percent stated that recognizable ingredients indicate healthier items, and 37 percent consider understanding the composition of a product essential to making a purchase.
Vague Promises are Less Promising
While there is a strong case to be made for emphasizing the ingredients in your food and beverage offerings, you should be cautious about using less descriptive content explanations. For example, just placing the word "natural" on a wrapper is a problematic choice, as some companies have already discovered.
The National Law Review noted that there is an ongoing battle over what can and cannot fall under the "natural" banner, with several legal actions stayed as the Food and Drug Administration prepares to offer its official take on the word's permitted meaning.
While industry groups and judges ponder the nature of "natural" and the meaning of "healthy," it's clear that this is a murky area, one that might send companies to court. Fortunately, the aforementioned PMMI research found that simple ingredient lists are a good way to a customer's heart. As long as you are honest and straightforward when creating these listings, they appear to be a great way to improve your appeal while avoiding ambiguity.
When it's time to design your brand's look, you can take the responsibility into your own hands with an on-premises label printer. This is an independent and simple way for a small or medium food producer to approach branding. You can discover the possibilities in our U.S. store or our Canadian store.