Do you want to start a bakery and you are considering what type of label to use? If YES, here are best types of custom label for bakery products. Americans have quite a lot of options when it comes to eating on the go or preparing quick meals at home. Bakeries are known to provide a wide range of delicious instant products that can replace home – cooked breakfast, dinner, snack or dessert. Consumers can choose to eat them on the go, or on the premises.

In the United States, there are many baked food venues where people can sit down, get a cup of tea and enjoy a croissant made from organic ingredients or a sandwich with fresh salad, ham, cheese, etc. There are also bakeries that offer their customers an option to simply order bakery products online and quickly bake their dinner at home.

What Does FDA Regulation Guideline Say About Food Labeling?

However, the new FDA regulations on nutrition and calorie labeling in restaurants and similar food venues state that bakeries that are part of a “chain with 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, and offering for sale substantially the same menu items” need to align to its new requirements.

It simply means that they are expected to provide nutrition and calorie labeling either on the menu, menu board, at the counter when requested by a customer, or on a label adjacent to their product (muffin, pastry, donut, bagel, cake, etc.).

But note that this new regulation do not apply to smaller bakeries that are not part of chains, but if your bakery is selling pre – packaged (usually frozen) baked products to individual buyers or retail stores, you need to follow the FDA guidelines for proper food labeling.

FDA regulations on food labeling is quite complex and confusing, which is why thousands of pages of user experiences, questions and comments are uploaded on their website, for other food manufacturers’ benefit. But even if the regulations do not apply to your bakery and baked products, there are a handful of reasons why you should label your products.

The most important is: transparency. Providing valuable information about your product to your customers will help in cultivating trust and loyalty. Have it in mind that small businesses are exempt from nutrition labeling. Information about labeling exemptions can be found on the FDA website.

There are also products that you may be selling in your bakery that do not fall under the FDA regulations for labeling, such as cakes, cupcakes, etc. Cake labels, cupcake labels and stickers for similar products fall under food cottage laws that are different for every state.

The products that are displayed in your bakery but don’t require labeling can only be labelled with adjacent tags that contain helpful information such as the name of the product, certain health claims (if accurate), or perhaps some promotional information.

Requirements for Labeling and Packaging Your Bakery Products

In the United States, it is very crucial to label your products correctly. All bakery products, whether sold as a cottage food or sold under a home bakery license, are expected to be properly labelled to sell legally. The food labeling and packaging requirements for both cottage foods and foods produced under a home bakery license are very similar with a few differences that will be highlighted below.

  1. Cottage Foods

All cottage food products must contain a label that includes the following information:

Labeling

  • The name and address of the cottage food production operation.
  • The name of the food product – Ex: “Chocolate Chip Cookies”
  • The ingredients of the food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. This means your heaviest ingredient will be listed first and the least heavy ingredient listed last. Also, ingredients must be broken down completely if the ingredient itself contains two or more ingredients. For example, if unsalted butter is one of your ingredients, then you would list it as follows: Butter (Sweet Cream, Natural Flavour).
  • The net quantity of contents in both the U.S. Customary System (inch/pound) and International System of Units (metric system). This must be placed within the bottom 30% of the label in a line parallel to the bottom of the package. An example of what this would look like in both the U.S. Customary System and International System is: Net Wt 8 oz (227 g)
  • The following statement in ten – point type: “This product is home produced.” This statement is required because it gives notice to the purchaser of the food product that the product was produced in a private home that is not required to be inspected by a food regulatory authority.
  • Allergen Statement. There are 8 foods considered a major food allergen under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act that must be declared on your label if they are contained in your food product. They include: Milk, Egg, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Wheat, Peanuts, and Soybeans.
  • Nutrition Facts

Note that nutritional information is not required for cottage foods unless a nutrient content claim or health claim is made. A good example of a nutrient content claim would be “low fat.” An example of a health claim would be “may reduce heart disease.”

However, if either or both of these claims are made, then you are required to include a Nutrition Facts panel on your cottage food product. More information on the Nutrition Facts Panel can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

  • Packaging

Cottage foods may be sold in any packaging that is appropriate for the food product with one exception. In the United States, cottage foods may not be packaged using reduced oxygen packaging methods.

Reduced oxygen packaging is more or less the removal of oxygen from a package, displacing and replacing oxygen with another gas or combination of gases, or controlling the oxygen content to a level that is below what is normally found in the surrounding atmosphere. Reduced oxygen packaging includes vacuum packaging and modified atmosphere packaging:

  • Vacuum Packaging: When air is removed from a package of food and the package is hermetically sealed so that a vacuum remains inside the package.
  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging: When the proportion of air in a package is reduced, the oxygen is totally replaced, or when the proportion of other gases such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen is increased.
  1. Foods Produced Under a Home Bakery License

For foods produced under a home bakery license, you will follow the same guidelines for labelling as explained above with a few exceptions.

  • Labeling

Note that the statement, “this product is home produced” is not required to be on your label. The statement is not required because your home kitchen must be inspected by your state Department of Agriculture to obtain a home bakery license. If your home bakery product requires refrigeration, then you are expected to include the language “Keep Refrigerated,” or a similar statement, on your label.

  • Nutrition Facts

The same guidelines with Cottage food also apply here.

  • Packaging

Note there is no restriction against using reduced oxygen packing methods if you have a home bakery license. You may sell your baked goods in any package that is appropriate for the food product.

Things to Know About Labeling Bakery Products

The presentation of your bakery products is just as important as the taste of the product itself, and it’s pertinent that your bakery display every product in the best possible way—including the presentation of the product label. Here are few things you need to know about labeling your bakery products.

  1. Custom Label Printing Requirements

All U.S. food items are expected to be labelled in accordance with FDA labeling regulations. Home – based bakeries are expected to follow the cottage food laws pertaining to the specific state that the product will be sold in. However, all bakery businesses are expected to include the following information on a cake’s packaging:

  • The name of the product
  • The name and address of the product manufacturer
  • The net weight of the product (in U.S. and metric measures)
  • A full list of ingredients (listed by predominance in weight)
  • All home – produced products must include a statement that says the product is home – produced
  • If a product mix was used to produce the product, a list of the mix ingredients must be included

Even though there may be certain exceptions to these labeling guidelines when it comes to small bakeries that sell wedding cakes, or for bakeries that make products for restaurants, all bakers are expected to have a list of product ingredients available for consumers to read.

  1. Quality Custom Label Printing Options

Always have it in mind that no one wants to buy a sloppy – looking cake or doughnut, and the same goes for all bakery product labels. Presentation matters in the food and beverage industry—especially when it comes to bakery items. Have it in mind that bakery labels need to look as good as the bakery item tastes. For ideas, tips, and tricks on packaging bakery products, take a look at these creative ideas found on Pinterest.

  1. Bakery Product Health Claims

You may be imagining how a bakery can possibly make health claims on a product label. Howbeit, health claims come in all different varieties. Certain bakery products may be labelled as vegan, gluten – free, hormone – free, low – fat, fat – free, organic, or low – sugar.

If a bakery fails to make any health claims such as these, a nutrition facts label is not required. However, product information, net weight, and ingredient information are always required under FDA custom label printing guidelines.

Conclusion

Depending on the choice, you will need either custom labels or blank stickers, on sheets or rolls, pre – printed with your bakery logo or fully printed with all the information that you want. Properly labeling your food products will allow you to legally sell them. It is essential to make sure your labels are accurate or else you could be found guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor for selling a misbranded food product.

Solomon. O'Chucks
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