Designing Food Labels While Integrating Requirements 

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States regulates most packaged foods on our grocery shelves, including determining the stringent requirements on food labels. As of 2022, the average grocery store carries around 31,500 products. And, since you only have an eight-second window to attract a shopper’s attention, your label needs to effectively and efficiently promote your product while maintaining FDA compliance.

What Are Food Label Requirements?

Considerations for Designing Food Labels

Statement of Identity

The statement of identity includes the legal and common name of the food, as well as a description. This information must be a primary art element and be placed on the principal display panel (PDP). This panel is the front of the package and is easily seen by the shopper.


The quantity of food in the package includes the weight, fluid measure, or number of items. Quantity is also placed on the principal display panel, generally towards the bottom third of the section.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional facts include critical information about the food product and are placed on the principal display panel or the information panel which is usually to the right of the PDP. This includes serving size, household measure or common household unit, servings per container, and list of nutrients. These items include:

  • Calories
  • Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fiber
  • Sugars
  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Ingredient Statement

The ingredients are listed in descending order of weight in an easily read font. Ingredient Statements are displayed on the same panel as the manufacturer’s information, generally near the nutrition facts.

Allergen Declaration

All packaged food must declare any major food allergens that are in their product. This must be presented in plain language that all can understand. Generally, the allergens are placed on the principal display panel or the information panel near the nutritional facts. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Fish, crustaceans, and shellfish
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame, which joined the list on January 1st, 2023

Manufacturer Information

Manufacturer information is placed on the information panel or the principal display panel and contains the name and street address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.

Best Labels for Food Products

Waterproof Labels

Many food products find themselves in a wet environment, including all frozen and refrigerated food products. At ID Images, we have various waterproof labeling options, including a special all-temperature adhesive that can handle moisture and freezing temperatures. These labels ensure that your product will always look fresh, regardless of their exposure to the cold or moisture.

Peel-Back Labels

Peel-back labels are commonly found on food packaging, typically containing instant redeemable coupons or IRCs. These peel-back labels are adhered onto the label or the packaging so the consumer can peel them off and scan them at check-out, receiving a discount on the product.


These labels can also be valuable in instances where there are dual-language requirements. For ID Images’ Canadian clients, peel-back labels can display bilingual requirements without crowding the label.

Extended Content Labels

These labels are commonly found on food jars and bottles and serve a similar purpose as peel-back labels. Extended content labels are ideal for dual-language requirements and products that are heavily regulated.

Variable Data Printed Labels

Variable data printed labels allow you to add personalization to your products. This includes the addition of names, messages, images, or logos. These additions don’t delay the printing process, meaning you can easily add holiday or seasonal images to your products.

Read more on our variable data printing capabilities in this case study.

Sustainable Labels

Sustainability is a growing concern for brands and their advocates. Our assortment of sustainable label options helps to reduce the impact on the environment. At ID Images, we offer a few sustainable options. Our Forest Film sustainable label is a great waterproof option that performs like a traditional white BOPP and our Ocean Action labels also perform like a traditional white BOPP.

Consider Your Container When Designing Food Labels

Glass and Plastic Jars

Products like pasta sauces, nuts, and various dips are usually housed in glass or plastic jars. It is important to consider the substrate that your labels will be adhered to. For liquid products, like pasta sauces, BOPP labels are ideal for their waterproofing abilities. On the other hand, dry products such as spices and nuts pair well with paper-based packaging.  If you are unsure as to what label is right for your product and container type, our experts at ID Images can help make recommendations on substrates and adhesives that will fit your needs.


Small, specialty food items like coffee beans or grounds are commonly found in pouches. Many times, a blank pouch is purchased and a detailed label is attached. There is no limit on style, shape, embellishment, or substrate when it comes to pouch labels. Our team of experts is ready to help you decide on the most impactful label treatment.

Partner with ID Images to Create Successful Labels for Your Packaged Food

When you partner with ID Images we will work closely with you to understand the specific needs of your brand and product. We will take your product’s environment and characteristics into consideration, as well as the packaging, when deciding on substrates and adhesives.

With only 8 seconds to grab consumers’ attention and 31,500 products within the store, it is crucial to partner with a label printer that understands your needs. With our extensive decorative embellishment capabilities and years of experience, we can provide you with a high-quality label every time.

Contact our team today to get started.