A label not only catches the consumer’s eyes and makes them pick up your product among a sea of others on retail shelves, but it also conveys important health and nutritional information. In fact, a food product label must comply with parameters created by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Check out their website to make sure your product label is compliant. Below, we have created a high level labelling overview of what information needs to be included on your label.
- Nutritional Information: All packaged food products sold in Canada are required to display nutritional information. This includes the serving size, calories, and the amount of various nutrients such as fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The format for this information is standardized and can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website. Keep in mind that if a product makes any nutritional claims, such as “low-fat” or “high-fiber,” it must also meet specific requirements.
- Languages: Product labels must be in English and French. Both languages must appear on the label with equal prominence, using the same font size and style. The exception to this rule is for products sold exclusively within Quebec, where French is the only language required.
- Font sizes: The minimum font size for mandatory information on a food label is 1.6mm. This applies to the common name, net quantity, and dealer name and address. For nutritional information, the minimum font size is 0.8mm.
- Label sizes: The size of the label must be large enough to accommodate all mandatory information, as well as any additional claims or information. The label should be easy to read and not obscured by any packaging.
- Certifications: Depending on the type of product, there may be certifications or specific requirements that must be met. For example, if your product contains organic ingredients, it may need to be certified organic by an accredited organization. If your product is meat, it may need to be inspected by the CFIA to ensure it meets specific requirements for food safety and labeling.
- Allergen Information: Allergen information is mandatory on food labels in Canada. The most common allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, and seafood, must be clearly identified on the label. This can be done in several ways, including by listing the allergen in the ingredients list, using bold or italicized text, or placing a warning statement such as “Contains: X” or “May contain X” on the label.
- Country of Origin: If the product is imported, the label must clearly indicate the country of origin. This can be done in several ways, including by using the phrase “Product of X” or “Made in X.”
- Date Marking: Depending on the type of product, there may be specific date marking requirements. For example, perishable products such as meat or dairy must include a “best before” or “expiry” date on the label to ensure food safety.
- Other: There may be other specific requirements that apply to your product depending on its type or ingredients. For example, if your product is a dietary supplement, it may need to meet specific labeling requirements under the Natural Health Products Regulations.