4 Common Mistakes for CBD Labels

According to Forbes, the CBD market could reach $20 billion by 2024, which is great news for people in the cannabis market. However, that rise also invites more competition.

As the CBD market grows, more products will flood the market. This growth means that your CBD your products need to stand out from the rest of your competitors. That’s where a good CBD label can help. Proper packaging can be the difference from your product being just another item on the shelf or a big success. However, it’s easy to make a few notable label mistakes during the process. Here are four issues you should avoid for your CBD labels.

Some CBD Labels Don’t Include Legally Required Information

What’s tricky for CBD labels is that the federal government isn’t quite clear about the exact guidelines for these types of products. However, it’s a good idea to list out the following details to provide your audience with the right information.

  • The amount of active CBD per serving
  • A supplement fact panel that includes all ingredients
  • Net weight
  • The manufacturer or distributor name
  • Whether the CBD used is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or an isolate
  • A batch or date code
  • The suggested product use

Of course, there may be more to your labeling requirements than just that. CBD products may require some other information depending on how you classify the product. For example, a food product needs to follow the the regulations found in the FDA Food Labeling Guide. However, a healthy and beauty product needs to adhere to the FDA’s rules on cosmetic labeling. Once you take note of how your product is classified, you can then apply those labeling guidelines to your product in addition to including general compliance information for CBD.

Certain CBD Labels Deal with Font Issues

It’s hard to get your product’s message across when there’s something wrong with the type on your CBD labels. Text and font issues can prove problematic for any product. For CBD labels, a wrong font can not only muddle the look of your label, it can also land you into some compliance trouble.

When you deal with labeling requirements set by the FDA or some other administration, there are occasions where you need to use a certain font size or style. These rules are in place to ensure that certain details are easily read, so it’s best to abide by them. However, they may not be as simple as following a set font size.

For example, the FDA requires labels to use “a print or type size that is prominent, conspicuous and easy to read” for information panels. Seems simple right? Just wait, there’s more! The labeling guide also states that labels should “use letters that are at least one sixteenth (1/16) inch in height based on the lower case letter ‘o,’” except in the case of “very small food packages as discussed in 21 CFR 101.2(c) & (f).” Finding the exact type rules for your exact product may require some digging, but it’s still preferable to having a federal organization confiscate your products and fine you for improper labeling.

There are also occasions when the type used isn’t necessarily a legal issue, but does pose some design issues. This problem is especially true for CBD products sold in small containers that only provide a few inches of labeling space. At this point, you’ll need to balance both compliance and design to find a typography compromise [link to new typography tips post when it’s live] that showcases your brand without coming off as busy or boring. Take the label from Limitless CBD pictured below as an example. Despite not having much space to work with, Limitless’ design establishes a clear identity with legible text, all while meeting regulations.

Two Limitless CBD labels for premium CBD hemp packaging.

Other CBD Labels Get Caught Making Health Claims

There may be a lot of studies that suggest that CBD has significant health benefits, but there isn’t enough existing information to convince the FDA of them. The amount of documented information required makes it tricky to legally make a health claim on a label for any product. For CBD products, it’s nearly impossible.

As of now, the FDA’s stance is that “there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD.” This position means that federal law does not recognize CBD as a dietary supplement or as a substance that can help prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases. The only exception to this is a single prescription CBD product that has been approved to treat rare forms of epilepsy.

Aside from that very specific breakthrough, the FDA will crack down on CBD labels that make health claims about cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or any other conditions. As such, it’s best to avoid these claims altogether on your packaging if you want to avoid potential legal intervention.

However, the potential dangers of health claims doesn’t mean that you can’t highlight other beneficial features. For example, it’s completely fine to state that your product is organic, GMO free, or something similar as long as your product meets the legal guidelines for such terms, such as the label for Ritual’s Nighttime Tincture pictured below.

Ritual CBD tincture featuring a label with an organic claim.

They Showcase CBD Too Much

As we mentioned eariler, the CBD market is booming at the moment. This has led to scores of new consumers trying to find the appropriate CBD product for them. That increase in potential customers is great if your product meets their needs. However, you have to be careful that your consumers see you as more than just another CBD product.

While a big ol’ “CBD” on the front of your product may attract the random customer, there’s something to be said for subtlety. If a consumer only knows you as “that CBD product I use,” what’s to prevent them from seeing you as interchangeable if a bigger, shinier CBD product emerges? Instead, it’s important to focus on designing your CBD label to focus on your brand and developing a relationship with your intended audience. This way you become a name to them, and it’s easier to create brand loyalty if they remember you as “ABC CBD” than “that green bottle that says CBD on it.”

CBD Social is a great example of establishing an identity that goes beyond the use of CBD. The label pictured below places the emphasis on why the product matter to consumers – extreme relief is awful enticing for someone dealing with pain – and uses CBD to supplement that message in an eye-catching design.

A trio of eye-catching CBD labels made for CBD Social products.

Invest in Professional CBD Labels for Your Products

In a fight for CBD supremacy, the products with the best labels have a massive edge. This is why investing in professionally made, custom product labels can help give your product the boost it needs to tell your story and build a loyal customer base.

At Blue Label, we have the digital printing technology and expertise necessary to create stunning CBD labels for your products. We work with you to determine the best materials and printing capabilities required to meet your performance and budgetary needs without sacrificing on style. If you need one, we can even refer you to our designer directory to find a professional who can balance the creative and legal aspects of your label design.

In a booming market, your CBD products deserve to look as good as they possibly can. Contact us today to talk to us about printing custom CBD labels for your products.

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.