May 14, 2015

Before You Start Marketing Your Healthy Food Product Read This…

labelingKind Bars recently got smacked by the FDA for their claims that their bars are healthy.  Not so, says the FDA in a warning letter they sent to the company earlier this year, claiming that the fat content from Kind Bars – due to the nuts in the bars – exceeds the limits allowable limits for a product to be labeled as ‘healthy.’   Many experts argue that the fat from nuts is actually part of a healthy diet but the FDA regulations, some say, lag behind current science findings.   Either way, Kind Bars have agreed to redesign the packaging for four of their labels so as to be in line with the FDA.

As a small food business, you should take heed from this experience.  The FDA does have very strict definitions for health claims made on food packaging and in food marketing and they have shown, time and time again, that they will go after companies that they feel are in violation of those claims.

Before you start complaining about the FDA, remember that their role is to make sure that consumers are kept safe and that they are not ‘duped’ by bad marketing practices in the food and drug industry.  Whether or not their regulations are up to date on current science is something that could be argued, however.

Since you’re not likely going to be able to change the FDA’s mind on what ‘healthy’ actually means, you best educate yourself on their definitions so that you don’t find yourself receiving a nastygram from the agency.  This link will take you directly to the extensive FDA webpage dedicated to helping food marketers understand the rules surrounding health and nutrient claims including what can and cannot be said and where said claims can and cannot be made on packaging.

It’s a lot to take in, I get it.  But if you have or plan to have a  product that you want to market as ‘healthy’, it’s well worth your time to make sure you understand these laws before you begin producing product or developing a marketing message.

Related Articles: