FDA labels for food require a lot of information. There are two main panels of requirements with lots of sub-requirements:
- Principal Display Panel
- Information Panel
For the principal display panel (PDP), you need:
- The statement of identity, or name of the food, and
- The net quantity statement, or amount of product.
In addition to that PDP, there are label statements that are generally required to be placed together, without any intervening material, on the information panel, if such labeling does not appear on the PDP.
The information label statements include:
- The name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor,
- The ingredient list,
- Nutrition labeling, and
- Any required allergy labeling.
Specifically, the information about the manufacturer, packer or distributor must list:
- Name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. Unless the name given is the actual manufacturer, it must be accompanied by a qualifying phrase which states the firm’s relation to the product (e.g., “manufactured for” or “distributed by”);
- Street address if the firm name and address are not listed in a current city directory or telephone book;
- City or town;
- State (or country, if outside the United States); and
- ZIP code (or mailing code used in countries other than the United States).
The nutrition label needs to be set off in a box. Information to be included are:
- Serving size and servings per package
- Calories from Fat
- Percent Daily Value (%DV)
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrates
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A and C, Calcium and Iron
However, it isn’t even this simple. First, as a small business entity, not all of these may apply. Second, these are expected to change in 2020-2021. For example, “Added Sugars” will be a category under Sugar, but Calories from Fat will be removed. Vitamin A and C will not be required, but Vitamin D and Potassium will be added. There are other revisions as well. Companies can comply starting now.
So yes, those labels are chock-full of information and more than just something to read over your breakfast cereal.