5 Natural Product and Food Label Essentials – Avoid Costly Mistakes


Boost natural product and food sales by creating outstanding product labels.  Your company wants accurate labels that will wow customers. Use our tips to avoid the nightmare of FDA non-compliant labels causing product recalls, or needing to reprint 10,000 labels due to blurred text.  Taking time to create attractive, error-free labels can interest potential customers and win sales.

Determine Label Requirements

Exactly what are you selling? What are your ingredients? What about nutrition? Any warnings? Your label should quickly answer these questions and more. The best labels provide an excellent marketing pitch to drive sales. If your label is inferior to your competition, or confuses buyers, you’ll lose customers.

So what are the label essentials for your natural product or food? Label requirements vary widely, for instance food labels need nutritional information.  Consult the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website https://www.nist.gov/about-nist to determine your label requirements.

Mandatory information will appear on the back of the label. Use the front of the label to describe your product and sell it.

Select Product-Appropriate Colors

Many marketers claim that color determines purchase decisions but little science backs this up. Color influence sparks debate because it depends on many factors, such as upbringing, cultural differences, personal preference, etc. For instance, bright primary colors sell supplements for children, but organic supplement buyers may prefer natural tones, such as greens and browns.

Research such as The Interactive Effects of Colors and Products on Perceptions of Brand Logo Appropriateness  determined that color choice isn’t as important as the appropriateness of the color for your product.  For instance hot pink labels won’t attract traditional men’s supplement buyers, but they’re a good choice for a girly energy drink. Choose label colors that match your product vision to compel your targeted audience to buy.  Then use the same color family for future products so customers can quickly recognize your brand.

Choose a Pro Label Designer

Professional label designers might cost more, but they can avoid costly labeling mistakes that inexperienced designers may make. Before hiring a designer, make a list of your label must-haves and any suggestions for shape, color, etc.  For ideas, visit 20 Examples of Beautiful Custom Label Designs .

When you’re ready to hire a designer, communicate your needs clearly. For example, refrigerated functional drinks need labels and finishes that withstand cold temperatures. You don’t want your label losing stickiness and falling off.  Also, a product for children may require a label that can stand up to rough handling without scratching.

A common label mistake is blurry or too-small barcodes. Obviously you want to create labels that scan. Another mistake is creating clear labels that don’t show up well on colored bottles. Seasoned designers will avoid these problems.

Professional label designers can take your ideas and specifications and create artistic magic. Use their attractive, functional designs to boost sales.

Control Label Versions

Labels can go through multiple versions, especially if a large number of stakeholders are part of your review process. Labels may need feedback from an art team, marketing team, management, etc. Save future headaches with version control (aka revision control).

You want to prevent confusion such as this:

• label name

• label name old

• label name v1

• label name final

A version control system keeps track of each label version. If something goes wrong, making changes is easy and version control prevents general chaos, like above.

You don’t want waste time and money printing the wrong label version. Also you need an easy-to-find record of each version in case of a review.

Select a Reliable Printer

Make sure the label printer you choose has excellent customer reviews. Also does the company have experience with your type of label?  How fast is the turn-around time?

After submitting your design, ask for a proof and study it carefully. Are the colors as requested and do they pop? The printed colors should match the colors of your artwork, and any finish that was applied should not distort the color.

Also are the proof text and images sharp? Make sure to submit high-resolution images to avoid blur. Also test that the bar code scans. Finally, make sure the label unwind direction is correct (the labels come off the roll the right way). After okaying the proof and print run, take the time to inspect your labels.

You want perfect labels that match your vision. Once your products are in the marketplace labels are your only sales pitch. Use our tips to create issue-free labels that compel customers to choose your product over others.



Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

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