On July 20, 2022 Health Canada announced a new requirement for packaged foods to include a nutrition labelling symbol on the front-of-package (FOP). The front-of-package nutrition symbol is mandatory for prepackaged foods that meet or exceed 15% of the Daily Value for sodium, sugars or saturated fat per Health Canada set reference amount or the declared serving size which ever is greater.
The Health Canada set reference amounts can be found here: Reference Amounts for Food
The Health Canada set Daily Value targets can be found here: Daily Values
Brand owners have until January 1, 2026 to have updated packaging in the market place. While this is years away, it is wise for brand owners to understand the impact this will have on their product and how they can prepare.
What is it going to look like?
This front-of-package nutrition symbol is to be black and white and highlights if a food is high in: sodium, sugars, saturated fat.
There are requirements for symbol size based on the overall package size and the location must be in the upper RH section of the front panel.
Here is an example.
How will this impact products?
Products that are > 15% DV in Sodium, Sugars and/or Saturated Fat will be impacted.
Think about how to design the front panel so that when you incorporate this symbol it fits in as well as possible.
For some, this is a time to consider updating products to have less sodium, saturated fat or sugars while keeping quality and meeting consumer expectations.
This may be an opportunity for a line extension with a reduction in sodium/saturated fat/ and or sugars.
Watch the market place for this symbol starting to appear. Typically the large national brands are the first to implement new label requirements, in part due to large packaging run sizes that cover a year or more production. This will familiarize the consumer with this new requirement, and some will be looking for it on all products.
These new regulations will influence new item product development and consumer choices.
Health Canada has initial information on their website, but historically within months after a regulation being announced there is more content published to help industry understand and meet the requirements.
Check back here for updates as we will add to this as more industry resources are published.
Written By: Marlis Bens, Venturepark Labs Program Manager