The US is a huge market compared to Canada and it is a natural progression for food companies to look to the US for distribution growth.
There are many things to consider, and BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) provides helpul guidance here.
However, YES brand owners do need a different food label for products sold in Canada and the USA.
Here are some examples of how food label requirements differ between Canada and US:
basic requirements: for example net weight format, location of ingredient list and nutrition panels, business name format, etc.
nutrition claims: for example low fat in Canada is not the same as low fat in the US
serving size reference amounts: for some foods this number differs
ingredients lists: for example oils, sugars, preservatives etc. are listed differently
allergen labelling: the priority allergens differ and how they need to be stated
country of origin: the required format differs
language: English only required in the US
Upon first glance the nutrition panels look similar, but there are key differences:
recommended Daily Values of nutrients differ, so will the results in the % DV column.
rounding rules of nutrients
US panels require an entry for "added sugars", which has their own definition and can be complex to calculate if your product contains natural and added sugars.
US panels require an entry for Vitamin D.
US panels required an entry for servings per container.
size and format requirements differ.
What is a path forward?
The team at NSF offers US labelling services, they can review Canadian labels and advise on the changes needed to get it US compliant. They can also review product recipe to ensure ingredients comply with US requirements.
Reach out to Venturepark Labs for other leads on how to create a US compliant label.
Written by: Venturepark Labs Team