When it comes to product labeling, the law is often the factor determining what brands can and cannot claim, and having final say on when promises cross the line into impermissible territory. The relevant rules are in flux, with new decisions and suits bringing on status quo changes that companies of all kinds will have to cope with.
When it's time for a label redesign, brands have to make sure they aren't venturing into disallowed territory, which is a great reason to keep an eye on the latest court cases involving nutritional promises. Designing and printing new labels only to find they're out of step with the latest consensus could be a costly mistake for any company.
The New York Times recently reported the verdict in the case of consumers versus Kraft. The large food brand, along with retailers Target, Wal-Mart and Supervalu, was taken to court over one particular promise: "100 percent grated Parmesan cheese." The plaintiffs stated that the presence of filling ingredients made of cellulose rendered the 100 percent cheese claim factually untrue.
The federal court, presided over by U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman, has decided the company is in the right. The judge stated that the fact that the cheese doesn't require refrigeration before it is opened is a clear sign that it has preservative ingredients. The claim's vagueness also helped it in this case, as Feinerman noted that the "100 percent" could apply to whether the whole product is Parmesan, or if it is all grated.
Back at the beginning of the Kraft action, over a year ago in May 2016, The Chicago Tribune noted that it is part of a trend – consumers and their lawyers are brining more cases against food producers, taking issue with the promises on their packages. The newspaper reported that the end result of all these suits remains to be seen. They may usher in an age of greater transparency, or simply generate legal fees.
When It's Time to Relabel
Once companies get squared away on the latest labeling rules governing their particular corners of the food production sector, it's time to ask whether it's time to refresh labeling. A product that hasn't received a change in some time may not be living up to its potential as a last-minute sales device. Everything from a well-chosen color scheme to salient nutrition promises can attract shoppers.
Producers that want to bring their labeling operations in-house need professional-quality printers to ensure quality doesn't suffer. They can look up options such as the Primera LX1000 – check it out in Argon Technology's U.S. store or Canadian store.