E-Juice Label Compliance: 4 Tips to Keep Your Labels in Line with the FDA

It’s important for e-juice labels to look good for your customers, but they’re not the only people you need to consider when it comes to packaging. No matter what you do with your e-juice label design, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only cares about one thing: the law. Here are four ways that you can help make sure your e-juice labels stay compliant with the FDA.

Include the Right Warnings

Your product must include the following warning to comply with FDA guidelines:

  • “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”

Please note that the warning you place on your labels should completely match the FDA’s message, down to the capitalization and punctuation. That’s not the only stipulation, either. There are several requirements for this warning.

  • The warning must be located in a “conspicuous and prominent” place on both principal display panels on your package
  • Make up at least 30 percent of the space on each panel
  • Be printed in at least 12-point font size in either Helvetica or Arial bold type or another similar sans serif font
  • Use either black text on a white background or white text on a black background so the warning contrasts with the other printed material on the package

Another potential issue is that some e-juice containers are quite small. If your package is too small to include the warning statement, the FDA will require you to find a way to do so, even if it means adding an outer container like a box or a wrapper that can feature the warning.

An e-juice bottle featuring custom e-juice packaging.

Add Key Product Details

A warning isn’t the only text required on e-juice labels. Like labels for food, the FDA also stipulates that e-juice labels must include other important information as well. These include the following:

  • The name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
  • The weight, measure, or numerical count of the contents of a container
  • The percentage of both domestically and foreign-grown tobacco used in the product
  • The following statement: “Sale only allowed in the United States”

Don’t Appeal to Children

The FDA isn’t kidding around when it comes to protecting children from nicotine and tobacco products. The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent out official warning letters to e-juice and e-cigarette companies back in 2018 about “labeling and/or advertising that cause [products] to resemble kid-friendly food products, such as juice boxes, candy or cookies, some of them with cartoon-like imagery.”

What the FDA considers as “marketing to children” can vary. Labels made to appear to like beverages or candies for children are considered misleading, with some examples of children even drinking e-juice because of the practice. Product names drawn from recognizable brands or treats are also in danger of drawing the FDA’s attention. Some examples of past offending products include:

  • “One Mad Hit Juice Box”
  • “Vape Heads Sour Smurf Sauce”
  • “V’Nilla Cookies & Milk”
  • “Whip’d Strawberry”
  • “Twirly Pop”

Labels featuring a warning for e-juice label compliance.

Stay Flexible

Even if your labels are currently compliant, it only takes one change to cause future packaging problems. Outdated labels do nothing but hurt your wallet and put you at risk for non-compliance. Fortunately, digital label printing can help you be ready for any necessary label changes.

If you ever need to update your warnings, ingredients, or other information, variable data printing allows you to use technology to manage your various SKUs. This means a single design layout and a variable data spreadsheet allows you to update sections of your labels when FDA regulations change instead of updating every single label design. Digital label printing also allows you to order smaller quantities so you don’t have to commit to a massive order that may burn you in the future when label regulations change.

Stay Compliant with the Right Label Printing Company

Compliance is only one part of the packaging puzzle. The look and performance of your labels play critical roles in the success of your product. For those, you’ll need the right label printing partner to help bring your e-juice labels to life.

At Blue Label, we have the experience and equipment to print the perfect labels for your products. We work directly with you to make sure your e-juice labels are right for your needs and compliance requirements. Contact Blue Label today to talk to us about printing e-juice labels for your products.

Why Don’t Beer, Wine, and Spirits Labels Have to Disclose Ingredients or Serving Facts on Labels?

It didn’t take long for someone to make waves in the beer labeling world in 2019. Just 11 days into the year, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that Bud Light would feature serving-facts labels on its boxes starting in February.

While the move may not seem noteworthy for people unfamiliar with the rules and regulations of beer labels, the announcement is notable for one big reason: beer doesn’t need to divulge that information on its packaging. In fact, alcohol in general is exempt from disclosing ingredients and nutritional facts that are commonplace on labels for packaged food products.

So why is it that beer, wine, and spirits labels are exempt from listing nutritional information when those products have just as many–if not more–calories and carbohydrates as juice or other typical beverages? It turns out there’s one big reason why alcohol labels don’t require nutrition or ingredients labels: tradition.

What You Need to Know About FDA Health Claims on Food Labels and Dietary Supplements

For something that can’t talk, labels say a whole lot about your product. A good label should be able to communicate a whole story to consumers, including what your product is, how it can help them, and why they should choose your goods instead of someone else’s. These messages are critical to the success of your products, but you need to be careful that what your label says doesn’t get you in trouble.

Health claims on food labels are one major way to help communicate the benefits of your product to your intended audience. However, the FDA is very particular about exactly what businesses try to claim. The FDA has strict guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable on product labels to prevent consumers from being swindled by false or misleading promises. One claim may be fine, but another could result in recalls, seized products, and criminal prosecution.

As you may have guessed by now, health claims are serious business. Unfortunately, the FDA’s various definitions and rules of health claim usage are a bit difficult to understand without some help. That’s why we wanted to break down the different health claims with examples to see what it takes to ensure that what your labels say is okay with the FDA.

The Different Types of Label Claims

In general, health claims on food labels are statements made on food product labels or dietary supplements that boast some type of health benefit. This may seem simple, but the FDA doesn’t treat every claim the same way. Label claims come in multiple forms:

  • Health claims (which comprise of authorized health claims and qualified health claims)
  • Nutrient content claims
  • Structure/function claims

While they all have the same goal, there are distinct differences for each type of claim. In turn, the FDA has different guidelines that you need to follow depending on which claim you use.

A food product label with health claims being handled by a label printing expert.

What are health claims?

A health claim is a statement that creates a relationship between a product and some type of health benefit. For example, a specific ingredient may be tied to reduced risk for heart disease or some other condition. These claims can be represented in a few different ways:

  • Written statement
  • Symbols
  • Vignettes
  • Third-party statements

No matter how they’re represented, they still need to meet certain standards. Health claims require scientific evidence to be deemed acceptable for use. However, there are two different levels of health claims that dictate just what evidence is necessary:

  • Authorized health claims
  • Qualified health claims

Authorized health claims must meet the Significant Scientific Agreement (SSA) standard. Essentially, experts create a consensus of whether there’s enough publicly-available evidence that a certain health claim is accurate. For example, you can make the connection that diets that are low in sodium “may” or “might” reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Qualified health claims aren’t quite as strict as their authorized compatriots. These claims don’t need to meet SSA standards, but still requires some significant scientific evidence. For example, scientific evidence suggests that including whole grains as part of a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet, may reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 .

Of course, you need to be careful with the specific wording of statements. Fortunately, the FDA does provide approved lists of both approved health claims and qualified health claims online.

What are nutrient content claims?

While health claims dictate a certain relationship between certain ingredients or products and a health condition, nutrient content claims involve statements about specific nutrients found in your products. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Calories
  • Sugars
  • Cholesterol
  • Saturated fat
  • Sodium

Essentially, nutrient content claims showcase how the level of certain ingredients relate to typical products. However, your products must meet certain FDA standards to do so. For example, your label can make the claim that it’s “100 percent fat free” if it contains 0.5 g fat per 100 g. Whether you want to market that your product is an excellent source of something or contains a small amount of something else, make sure you check the FDA’s guideline for content claim criteria on page 87 of the Food Labeling Guide.

It’s also important to note that the FDA cares about not only what you claim, but also how that claim is presented on your label. The FDA mandates that any nutrient content claims should be no more than twice as prominent as the name of your food or dietary supplement. In general, that means you should make sure your claim’s type size isn’t more than twice as big as your product name. If your claim is too big or too bold in comparison to your statement of identity, the FDA will probably want to have a word with you.

What are structure/function claims?

According to the FDA, structure/function claims “describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the structure or function in humans or that characterize the documented mechanism by which a nutrient or dietary ingredient acts to maintain such structure or function.” In short, these claims cover any statements about how a certain nutrient generally impacts the human body, as long as it doesn’t make a connection to preventing disease.

A good example of a structure/function claims is that “calcium helps create strong bones.” As long as the claim is truthful, the FDA is fine with using structure/function claims on food products.

However, the FDA is more particular about these claims if you plan to use them on dietary supplements. In that case, you need to meet the following three requirements to use these claims on your packaging.

  • You must have substantiation that the claims are truthful and not misleading before you make any claims
  • You must notify the FDA that you’re using the claim within 30 days of first marketing your product
  • The claim must include a mandatory disclaimer statement that is provided for in the law

Employees at a label printing company reviewing labels with health claims.

Stake Your Claim with Quality Product Labels

Health claims on food labels can help you attract customers, but it’s only one piece of the packaging puzzle. A good label needs to balance compliance and quality, which means that it’s important to work with the right label printing company.

Blue Label Packaging Company offers the right combination of printing technology and expertise to bring out the best in your label designs. In addition to offering a variety of custom label printing capabilities, we’re committed to customer service as well. We work with you throughout the process to ensure a quality product and turnaround times of three to five business days after proofs are approved.

When you’re in need of eye-catching product labels, we’re ready to help. Contact us today the next time you need custom labels for your products.

3 Food Safety Labeling Considerations

Food safety is serious business, and packaging plays a pivotal role in protecting the consumers. While good food labels won’t prevent a product from spoiling, it can provide consumers with information to protect themselves from potentially harmful factors.

Some food safety measures are required by law, which means taking certain precautions with your labels can not only protect your consumers, but also your wallet and reputation. Here are three food safety concerns you should consider for your labels.

Specifications for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products

You need to be careful with the language you use on labels meant for meat, poultry, and egg products. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is very particular about certain descriptions that you may use on your labels, such as fresh poultry versus frozen, claims of “no hormones,” and other identifiers.

Fortunately, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) offers a glossary of labeling terms and what it takes for you to legally use them. These guidelines can range from the temperatures of certain products to the process by which the meat, poultry, or eggs are prepared. Some terms, such as “chemical free” are not allowed at all.

Food labels that meet safety regulations.

Identify Food Allergens

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004 placed an emphasis on proper labeling for food allergens. According to the FDA, a group of eight allergens, which the FALCPA call “major food allergens,” account for at least 90 percent of all food allergies:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
  • Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Soy
  • Wheat

If your packaged food product contains one of these allergens in any form, such as an ingredient, flavoring, coloring, or any incidental additive, you’re going to need to make sure your label reflects that. According to FALCPA, you can call out allergens on your labels in one of three different ways.

  • Include it in the ingredient list while using the allergen’s common name
  • Add the less common form of the allergen in the ingredient list and add the major allergen type in parentheses, such as “albumin (egg)”
  • Add a line that begins with the word “Contains” followed by the name of the allergen, such as “Contains eggs, milk”

As with any violation of federal law, a failure to list major food allergens can result in some major consequences. The FDA can pursue legal action against any offending companies and even seize packaged food products that aren’t compliant with labeling regulations. Long story short, make sure your food labels properly list any allergens to protect your business and your customers.

A digital label printing company working on specialty food labels.

Proper Food Dating

“Best by” and “sell by” dates are a common sight on food labels, but aside from infant formula, there are no federal regulations that require product dating. The FDA views dates as an indicator of product quality and have made efforts to move away from the usage of “best by” and “sell by” on labels.

According to the FDA, between 30 and 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, which is partially caused by consumers confusing food product dating with safety concerns instead of quality. This miscommunication has led FSIS to recommend that food products use a “best if used by” date. However, the addition of this date is voluntary. If you do decide to include a date you also must include a phrase that explains what “best if used by” means to communicate that the date is a quality standard and not a safety indicator.

Quality Food Labels for Quality Products

Food safety is a big priority, and so is branding. The right food safety label needs to include all the proper information for your product, attract customers to buy your food, and do so while dealing with scratches, condensation, and any other potential hazards for your food packaging labels.

Fortunately, a good digital label printing company can help you accomplish all three goals. At Blue Label Packaging Company, we have the technology and expertise to create the product labels made specifically for your needs. Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about your next food label project.

Crowler Packaging: Guidelines and Rules to Know

Crowlers are great for several reasons. They’re extremely portable. They’re able to keep light out and help beer stay fresh for up to a month. They’re more convenient than lugging around a glass growler. In all, crowlers are a wonderful way to sell beverages in convenient 32 oz. containers—if they’re in accordance with the law, that is.

Like their glassy growler cousins, crowler packaging can run into some legal issues if you’re not careful. Consider the following legal guidelines for your custom crowler labels.

Key Compliance Considerations You Need to Know for Your Kombucha Labels

Once an underground sensation, kombucha is becoming big business. According to The Specialty Food Association, the kombucha market had $1.5 billion in sales in 2017 and is expected to grow 23 percent over the next five years. However, the growing kombucha market is drawing attention from more than just thirsty customers, which makes proper packaging even more important than before.

A kombucha label is more than just a way to brand your products. It also serves as a compliance tool to ensure that your products are labelled in accordance to any government regulations. Here are the kombucha basics and some important areas that can directly impact labels for kombucha.