You may remember our Industry Bulletin (December 2016); summarizing Health Canada’s publication of updated Food and Drug Regulations – Nutrition Labelling, Other Labelling Provisions and Food Colours, in Canada Gazette, Part II. These changes to nutrition labelling align with the launch of Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy in the fall of 2016.
Health Canada recognizes that consumers are not choosing foods the same way they used to. The revisions to nutrition labelling are intended, and hopes to help consumers make more informed food choices when making point-of sale decisions.
The changes primarily focus on the nutrition facts table and the list of ingredients, making them easier for Canadians to use and understand.
The main details are outlined below:
Nutrition Facts Table
- New serving size requirements to better reflect the amount that Canadians eat in one sitting, while also making it easier to compare products.
- More focus on Calories within the table, to bring attention
- Updated recommended daily intake for most nutrients. This means that the percentage values you see in the table are more accurate to the average Canadian consumer
- Removal of vitamin A and C declarations since most consumers get more than enough of these vitamins.
- Addition of potassium to the table, because most Canadians are not getting enough of this nutrient, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
- Added footnote to help give insight towards what the % daily values mean to us as consumers.
List of Ingredients
- Sugar-based ingredients must be grouped together in the list to help consumers identify all the sources of sugar added to a food.
- Food colours must be listed by individual common names to help those with allergies.
- More strict legibility requirements including minimum font sizes, black font with a white background, upper and lower case letters to help distinguish ingredients.
We believe these changes will make it easier for Canadians to find the information they are looking for, with a more distinct look and more accurate reference amounts for food.
Health Canada is giving food manufacturers until December 2021 to implement all these changes, with the exception of the food colouring specifications, which are effective now. Consumers will slowly start to the new format, as food manufacturers continue to update their labels.
Not sure what this means for your company? Our expert staff can guide you through the regulatory process involved in updating your food label. You may even be eligible for new label claims under the new regulations!
Now is the time to update your current food packaging so you have plenty of time to roll out new compliant packaging on retail shelves without scrambling to meet the deadlines.
Reach out today and let us answer your food labelling questions!