Is Your Nutraceutical Labeling Up to Standard?
Nutraceuticals are big business. These products — dietary supplements from food or herbal sources that provide medical or health benefits — generate $140 million per year in the U.S., and some industry experts anticipate worldwide nutraceutical sales to top more than $200 billion within the next few years.
Companies that want a piece of the lucrative nutraceuticals market must ensure their products adhere to strict labeling standards. At the same time, nutraceutical labels must make an impact on customers and entice them to buy the product. Your nutraceutical product’s label must serve a dual purpose: Verify the product’s safety and quality and market your product effectively.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all nutraceutical products comply with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in the product’s manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and holding operations to ensure a supplement’s safety and quality.
To meet DSHEA standards, nutraceutical labels have to include information about the package’s contents, such as net weight, serving size, and plant source of any herbal ingredients as well as consumer safety information (e.g., usage directions, dosage, warnings).
The labels also need to include marketing information — such as limited information about the product’s health benefits; a legal disclaimer (i.e., that the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease); and brand information like the company’s name and logo. And the label must do all this while grabbing the consumer’s attention with color and design that make the product stand out on the shelf.
[sidebar]Quick Tip: Health Claim vs. Statement of Nutritional Support
Nutraceutical providers should take great care in stating the health benefits of their product on the label. A health claim such as “prevents high blood pressure” is strictly regulated by the FDA and requires significant testing and patient studies such as those required for prescription medications. A statement of nutritional support such as “helps maintain cardiovascular health” can be used on the label without all the testing required for a health claim, as long as the statement is true and doesn’t mislead the consumer. A subtle difference in wording can potentially cause big trouble for nutraceutical brands![/sidebar]
Labeling strategies for nutraceuticals
Fortunately, nutraceutical providers have several labeling options available to them that will both convey all the legally required information and effectively present the product and the brand. The right strategy for your product and brand depends on the amount of information your consumers need and the type of product.
- Multipage labels — Multipage labels are adhesive labels that feature multiple fold-out panels or an attached booklet. Multipage labels are ideal for smaller packages that need to convey a large amount of information or for packages that need to provide information in multiple languages.
- Shrink sleeves — Shrink sleeve labels are label sheets that shrink to the unique shape of the container. Shrink sleeves can not only accentuate unique package shapes, but also provide more label area that can be used to brand and market the product, convey necessary product usage and safety information to the consumer, and protect sensitive product ingredients such as antioxidants from light damage.
- Symbolic design — Symbolic design strategies use colors, symbols, or gender-specific design elements to draw in consumers. For example, a product that supports heart and cardiovascular health might have a heart symbol on the label; a product for women’s health might use the color pink to draw in female consumers.
No matter which of these labeling strategies you choose for your nutraceutical product, always make sure your label provides clear, concisely presented information that is easy for the consumer to read and understand. A consumer’s first impression of your product often comes from its label — so choose your product’s labeling with care. A reputable contract packaging firm like Combined Technologies, Inc. (CTI) guides you through every step of the packaging process, including making a label that is impactful and communicates the required information about your product.
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