Food packaging designs are strictly regulated by government agencies globally. Manufacturers and designers have to follow these stringent regulatory policies every time they launch a new packaging design or a new product.
With so many rules in place for labelling and packaging, it’s often easy for errors to creep in and ruin the product’s branding.
For instance, in the below example, one of the cans abide by a crucial regulation of showing the nutritional content in a colour-coded scheme. While the information on the left can is monochromatic, which a consumer will not be able to scan.
Errors in packaging can delay a product’s launch but also lead to product recalls that will cost the company a lot of money.
Regulations by FSSAI
FSSAI or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is an autonomous body that is run by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. FSSAI is responsible for enforcing all the regulatory frameworks related to food packaging and labelling.
FSSAI has a comprehensive set of guidelines that all food product manufacturers and brands should follow. FSSAI imposes twelve primary labelling requirements 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.
Something that most consumers are familiar with is the vegetarian and non-vegetarian mark on all kinds of food packaging. That’s because FSSAI has very specific rules when it comes to these graphical elements.
The vegetarian mark is a green circle inside a green square, whereas the non-vegetarian mark is a brown circle inside a brown square. For a principal display panel, also called as the front of the packaging, of up to 100 square centimetres, the inside circle should have a minimum of 3mm diameter and the square should have a minimum of 6mm width.
The dimensions depend on the size of the packaging. In certain cases, there are specifications for the exact Pantone colour shades to be used.
See how Lay’s chips and Maggi’s Magic Cubes abide by the guidelines set for the back of their packaging.
Logos like FSSAI logo, vegetarian and non-vegetarian logo, as well as logos for radiation processed foods, fortified and organic foods, should match the exact dimensions and colour provided by FSSAI.
Labelling requirement also needs to follow a certain information architecture, sizes of different texts, typefaces that should be used and how much area they should cover.
Furthermore, FSSAI also makes it mandatory to include certain text and graphical elements in the front of the packaging.
The front of the packaging should have the amount of energy, total fat, trans fat, total sugar and salt per serving and what percentage it contributes to the recommended daily allowance. This can be seen in the above example of Nestea Instant Lemon Iced Tea. In case anything exceeds the RDA, it has to be marked in red.
Need for Artwork Proofing
Trying to follow all the regulations while designing the packaging can increase the complexity of designing workflow and make it error-prone. Often, a large number of revisions are required with minor adjustments until the design is finalized.
Strict regulations, tight timelines and lack of coordination can lead to errors. This is where an artwork proofing tool to measure dimensions of any design element can help a lot.
Artwork proofing tools have a large set of utilities that allow you to verify colour schemes and extract fonts from a pdf file. These artwork proofing tools can also instantly compare two versions of artwork pdf files. With the online ruler, you can verify dimensions of logos, tables, barcodes and so on.
What can you do with these online proofing tools?
1. Easily Adhere to Regulations
You will have your brand, legal and packaging teams regulate all the information on the artwork in a few clicks. Using an online proofing tool, they will instantly check if the contents of the packaging design are complying with the regulations or not.
2. Improved Quality Control
When you decrease the errors with artwork proofing tools, it allows better collaboration between the designers and business managers. An online proofing tool can provide a framework for better communication between a designer and a business manager. Managers can accurately say what exactly they are looking for and the designer can implement them easily.
3. Make Corrections Faster
Artwork Proofing Tools can make the reviewing and proofing process much faster, thanks to the built-in tools to verify specifications of the FSSAI regulated content. Project managers can easily know if a logo has the right colour, verify dimensions and so on.
An online artwork proofing tool offers an all-in-one proofing for all packaging related artworks. You can instantly review, and deploy new product packaging quickly while adhering to all the regulatory compliances. You can also easily address any inconsistencies in packaging and drastically reduce the time-to-market.5