The significance of food labels cannot be overstated for both manufacturers and consumers. Every year, thousands of brands and consumers are impacted as a result of inaccurate information on food labels and nutrition information panels. Food businesses are required to ensure that the food package labels printed on their products contain accurate information.
Food label design is also important in how well a particular food product performs because food labels are the first interaction a customer has, and the more inviting and visually engaging the design, the more likely the customer will pick it off the shelf.
In This Article:
Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, known as ‘The Code’, establishes legal requirements in Australia for food labelling, composition, safety, handling, primary production, and processing. The code aims to:
ensure that food is safe and suitable for human consumption;
prevent misleading conduct associated with the sale of food;
provide adequate information to enable consumers to make an informed choice; and
provide an effective regulatory framework within which the food industry can work efficiently.
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, known as 'The Code', establishes legal requirements in Australia for food labeling, composition, safety, handling, primary production, and processing.
Food Labeling Laws Australia - What is legally required?
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) guarantees consumer rights when buying goods and services. The food labeling requirements under the food standards code include:
Use by and best before dates
The dates on food labels show how long food can be stored before deteriorating or becoming dangerous to eat. Dates are marked in two ways: use by and best before. Food must be labeled with a use by or best before date by the supplier.
Food labels must list ingredients in descending order by weight contribution to packaged foods. It is also necessary to list the percentages of key ingredients so they can be compared to other products.
Some food and food ingredients can cause severe allergic reactions. It is important to list them down, including any and all components.
Country of Origin
Country of origin food package labels allow consumers to make more informed decisions when it comes to what they purchase.
Food Label Poster from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
Nutrition Information Panel Details
The nutrition information panel must be in a standard format showing energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium per 100g (or 100mL if a liquid) serving. The number or name of any food additives must also be listed.
Genetically Modified Food
GM foods and ingredients containing novel DNA or novel protein must be labeled as ‘genetically modified.’
Health Star Rating
The Health Star Rating (HSR) is a voluntary front-of-pack labeling system. It assesses packaged foods’ nutritional profiles and assigns a rating from 0.5 to 5 stars. It quickly compares similarly-packaged meals. The more stars, the better.
Food laws in Australia require any health claim on a food label to be backed up by scientific evidence.
Who must comply with food labeling laws?
All retail businesses in Australia that sell food for human consumption (e.g. food sold in stores or markets, websites, or vending machines) must follow the labeling requirements outlined in the Food Labeling Standard unless the food is:
sold to the public for immediate consumption by a restaurant, canteen, school, caterer or self-catering institution, prison, hospital, or medical institution; or
made and packaged on the premises where it is sold; or
delivered, packaged, and ready for consumption at the express order of the purchaser (except for a vending machine) (e.g. home-delivered take-away); or
sold at a fundraising event; or
for special medical purposes
Businesses intending to export food for sale outside of Australia are not required to comply with local labeling laws. They do have to comply with the regulations of the country to which they are being exported.
Importance of Proper Food Labeling
Health and Security
To ensure food safety throughout the food chain, the Australian Food Standards Code requires food businesses to correctly label their food packages.
Customers can also keep their health in mind by reading food labels, which include a description of the food. With proper food labeling, customers can see vitamin and mineral content and cholesterol and sugar percentages.
Millions of people would suffer severe allergic reactions or even die if food labels were not properly labeled. It is critical to list every single local or imported ingredient in the food sold and for customers to thoroughly read the label to know what is safe to consume.
Avoid making false health claims
When it comes to preventing food fraud, the Australian Food Standards Code is strict. False, misleading, or deceptive information about health claims or what is contained inside food packaging is a common food safety issue. It could lead to negative food health relationships for consumers.
One of the most important things that great food label design can do is help your products stand out from the crowd. It is critical to distinguish your product and company from competitors in order to establish a distinct brand identity. Another reason to invest in a nice label or a great custom packaging is that it can influence a consumer’s purchasing decision when they go shopping.
Consequences of Incorrect Food Labeling
Under the Australian Consumer Law, it can require suppliers of food products to:
‘Substantiate’ any claim that has been made on food labels and in advertising by providing information/documentation (including test results) about the claims it has made.
Undertake ongoing testing of its food products to ensure that the ingredient composition corresponds with the labels and advertising claims.
Provide court enforceable undertakings that the supplier will refrain from engaging in conduct in breach of the Food Labeling Standard and the relevant provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
Refund money and/or destroy and dispose of food products that do not comply with the Food Labeling Standard and/or contravene the Australian Consumer Law;
Establish a compliance program and complaints handling system.
Food Label Design
Food businesses and companies in the industry must consider not only general food labeling requirements but also how the label is designed. A well-designed label can mean the difference between your products collecting dust on the shelf and customers picking them up and buying them.
Here are some key points why food label design is vital:
Attention usually leads to purchases. Labels are a great method to get your customers’ attention. Eye-catching colours, unique names, and creative designs will attract consumers to your products.
Packaged food labels are an excellent way to show your customers the image your brand represents. You can depict the mission and values your company believes in and wishes to achieve.
Because of the sheer number of food manufacturers in Australia and around the world, similar food products on the shelves tend to blend together. When designing labels, one of the most important factors to consider is making one that stands out from the competitors.
Food Labeling with OF Packaging
With all of these rules and regulations when it comes to food labels, you need a partner for your packaging printing needs. With our custom packaging solutions and printing formats, you can create one-of-a-kind product packs.
Whether you need intricate packaging designs for small order volumes or require large runs of packaging, we can provide a solution; thanks to our breadth of cutting-edge printing technology options. Let’s work together to create the best possible look for your products.
Get in touch with OF Packaging today! Check out the different markets/industries we cater to!