New regulations pertaining to labelling laws, and The Foodstuffs, Government Notice No 32975 No146, in particular, insists that all food brands need to adhere to legislation which specifically addresses how a product is represented on its label, and consequently brand owners are forced to re-evaluate how their products are packaged.
Timothy Beattie, General Manager of Pyrotec PackMedia, a leading provider of innovative on-pack solutions, summarises what this new legislation entails: “All information pertaining to the contents of the packaging must be indicated and all nutritional information should be substantiated, clearly represented and qualified. No misleading statements are allowed, ingredients need to be listed in the correct order and allergens, warnings and precautions need to be specified as per the defined parameters.”
While this is ultimately for the benefit of the consumer, it can present a problem for the brand owner as they are faced with a new set of challenges. For many this entails a series of fundamental changes to the product labelling and potentially even the packaging design. However, by incorporating a clever on-pack campaign that not complies with these regulations but also engages the consumer, brand owners can turn this to their advantage.
There has been a significant increase in the amount of mandatory information that must appear on the label, including details regarding the product identification, ingredients, allergens, usage and so on. “This can lead to the label appearing cluttered or lacking sufficient space,” explains Beattie.
One solution would be to seek out labels that offer a multi-dimensional or multi-layered solution. Fix-a-Form™, a multi-page leaflet label, provides additional space to accommodate new information without compromising the aesthetic of the packaging.
Although many food manufacturers will have to go through the costly exercise of reformatting labelling so as to meet the new legal requirements, Beattie maintains that brand owners can turn this to their advantage by re-thinking their approach. “Brand owners could amplify their compliance by using the opportunity to give their packaging a slick new look, or promoting the benefits of the new packaging through an eye-catching neck tag.”
Legislation requires detailed on-pack disclosure of product ingredients according to specific criteria. If reformulation is necessary, brand owners could optimise this investment through on-pack promotion. “This is a valuable opportunity to build brand relationships through trusted communication with the customer,” explains Beattie. Ultimately this will enhance brand loyalty through the consumers’ new perceptions of their brand’s health and safety credentials.
“While it is true that the new legislation could prove to be a costly exercise as brands are forced to revise and restructure their packaging, it is possible for legal compliance to be turned to a brand’s advantage through the application of innovative on-pack solutions,” concludes Beattie.