Abiding by labeling requirements is essential for informing consumers, protecting your brand, and ensuring compliance with regulations when it comes to the food and beverage industry. Navigating these requirements can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is ultimately worthwhile. Here’s a brief overview of food and beverage labeling requirements in the U.S. to help your business stay compliant and keep your customers informed.

Understanding Regulations: FDA and USDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) primarily oversee food and beverage labeling in the United States.

The FDA is responsible for regulating most food products, including packaged foods, beverages (excluding alcoholic ones), and dietary supplements. The USDA, on the other hand, regulates meat, poultry, and certain egg products.

It’s crucial to seek the appropriate guidance and resources from each organization’s website when determining which agency your product falls under.

Key Elements: Allergens, Nutrition Facts, and Ingredients

Accurate and comprehensive content is paramount for meeting labeling requirements. The following are essential elements you should include on your labels:


One of the most critical aspects of food and beverage labeling is the accurate representation of allergens. The FDA requires you to list the eight major allergens, which include:

  • Fish
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

If these allergens are present in any form in your product, you must list them on the label. Proper labeling of allergens helps consumers make informed choices and avoid adverse reactions.

Nutrition Facts Panel

The Nutrition Facts panel is another essential component of food and beverage labeling. This panel offers consumers valuable information about the product’s nutritional content, per serving, and helps them make informed choices.

While specific requirements may vary for different products, the standard Nutrition Facts Panel includes:

  • Serving size
  • Calories
  • Total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and sugars
  • Protein
  • Vitamins and minerals

Ingredients List

A complete and accurate list of ingredients in your product is vital for consumer information and regulatory compliance. You should list ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight.

Going Beyond Compliance: Voluntary Claims and Certifications

The law requires certain aspects of food and beverage labeling, but some businesses choose to go beyond compliance to differentiate their products and cater to specific consumer preferences. Voluntary claims (such as “gluten-free” or “non-GMO”) and certifications (such as “Organic” and “Fair Trade”) can be valuable marketing tools, but you must support them with proper documentation and verification.

With a sound understanding of food and beverage labeling requirements, it’s time to put this knowledge into practice and empower the success of your business. At Tourmaline Enterprises, we provide intentional solutions that cater to your specific labeling needs, backed by excellent service. Our coding and marking printers are adaptable and reliable, supporting a wide range of food and beverage labeling applications. Browse our collection of printers to find the right fit for your business, or contact us for a personalized recommendation.