Government agencies across the globe have stringent regulatory policies for food packaging designs. Every time a new product is launched or the packaging is renewed, you have to make sure you adhere to these policies.
In India, it’s the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) that dictates food packaging norms. For example, when it comes to labelling, the list of ingredients, nutritional information, an indication of non-vegetarian items, and so on, are required by the FSSAI.
But with so many rules in place, it’s often easy for errors to creep in. Mistakes in food labelling and packaging can delay a product’s launch, lead to recalls, and cost you a ton of money. How to make sure you avoid these pitfalls? How can you identify any errors right at the artwork stage? Let’s explore.
What are FSSAI Regulations?
FSSAI Regulations are a comprehensive set of guidelines that all food product manufacturers and brands should follow. FSSAI imposes twelve primary labelling regulations for any food packaging. These are:
- Name of the food
- The list of ingredients
- Nutritional information
- Declaration if the food product is vegetarian or not
- Declaration of the food additives used
- Name and complete address of the manufacturer
- Customer care details,
- Retail sale price
- FSSAI logo and license number,
- Batch identification number, the date of marketing, country of origin
- The instructions for use.
FSSAI decides the content architecture, the placement of content – what goes on the front or back – the sizes of different texts, typefaces to be used, and the amount of area the information should cover on all food and beverage labelling.
Packaging artwork is covered too. For example, the logos that indicate ingredients, radiation processed foods, fortified and organic foods, should match the exact dimensions and colour provided.
It’s important to make a detailed note of these regulations when designing product packages. But several companies often miss out on certain aspects and fall in the disapproval zone.
Common Mistakes that Affect FSSAI Approval
#1 Choosing the wrong font type and size
While you’re free to use any font of your choice for your logo or package name, guidelines require you to use a predefined typeface and font dimensions when listing important information. Details about the product such as the list of ingredients, warnings, or nutritional information have to be mentioned using an FSSAI approved font.
For example, the FSSAI has directed that alcoholic beverage bottles above 200ml should display a warning in a font size of not less than 3mm.
By choosing the right font and size, you can steer clear of any such hiccups.
#2 Not adhering to logo dimensions or colour
Logos specified by FSSAI come with detailed instructions on size and exact colour specifications. For example, the symbol to indicate non-vegetarian ingredients should be brown in colour and should be 4mm for packages of size 100-500 sq.cm.
The exact colour to be used can be verified before being used.
#3 Not using enough contrast in packaging
Packaging colour plays an important role when shaping consumer perceptions. But to simplify readability and ensure that content constitution is clearly specified, contrast is important.
For example, the FSSAI logo and license number have to be displayed on the label in contrast color to the background.
#4 False advertising and misleading labels
In April 2019, FSSAI introduced strict regulations against false claims and misleading information. For example, soup packages that mention being “healthy” or “nutritious” can’t make this claim since they are high in sodium.
#5 Nutritional information on the front of the package
While most of the packaging information is displayed on the back label, it’s mandatory to mention important information on the front of the package.
The amount of energy, total fat, trans fat, total sugar and salt per serving and the percentage contribution to the recommended daily allowance, should be clearly mentioned in the format specified by FSSAI.
Trying to follow regulations as part of your design workflow can be challenging. But it’s recommended to double-check your labelling and artwork before heading off to printing. Here’s why artwork proofing needs to be a part of your packaging design process.
How can Artwork Proofing Help?
Artwork proofing tools have a large set of utilities that allow you to verify colour schemes and extract fonts from a PDF file. This makes the verification process extremely effortless.
These tools can also instantly compare two versions of your artwork PDF files, helping you identify changes in one go. Utilities such as an online ruler, assist you in verifying dimensions of logos, tables, barcodes and so on.
Artwork proofing tools bring about advantages such as:
1. Easy Adherence to Regulations
Regulating information on your artwork needs your branding, legal and packaging teams to be involved. An online proofing tool makes the process seamless by letting them instantly check if the contents of the packaging design are complying with the regulations or not.
2. Improved Quality Control
Online artwork proofing tools allow better collaboration between designers and business managers. They offer a framework for better communication between teams. Managers can clearly state what exactly they are looking for and the designer can implement the changes easily.
3. Faster Corrections
Artwork checking tools can make the reviewing and proofing process much quicker, owing to built-in functionality that helps verify specifications as per FSSAI regulated content. Project managers can easily know if a logo has the right colour, can verify dimensions, and so on.
Make Compliance a Part of the Process
Trying to follow all regulations while designing the packaging can increase the complexity of the workflow and make it error-prone. Artwork proofing tools help make minor adjustments quickly and verify revisions while reducing the chances of mistakes.
Online tools facilitate the review and deployment of new product packaging faster while adhering to all regulations. In turn, helping you easily address any inconsistencies in packaging and drastically reduce the time-to-market.
What are your thoughts on meeting industry packaging standards? How do you ensure you follow FSSAI rules? Do you have any questions about artwork proofing tools? Our team of experts is standing by for help.8