Labelling is an important process in the
food processing chain and should not be
overlooked. The label is the first point of
contact between a consumer and the
producer. It is used to identify one
product from another and also to make
a decision over which product to
purchase. The label is therefore the
most important marketing tool for a
product. It should be attractive and eye
catching while at the same time being
informative. A dirty, confused, untidy
label will not help to sell a product.
Figure 1: Honey pots and labels in Bangladesh.
Small scale food processors should aim
Photo Practical Action / Zul.
to label their products with the best
label they can obtain or afford in relation to the value of the product.
The purpose of a food label:
• To provide consumers with information on the product
• To advertise the product
• To distinguish the product from that of competitors (establish a brand)
• It is a legal requirement
What should I include on a label?
As a good starting point, remember ‘the less the better’. As long as you meet all the minimum
legal requirements for the particular food product and the country you are selling in, you should
not include too much more. If the label looks cluttered and untidy, it will give the product a
The following are legal minimum requirements in most countries:
• Product name
• Manufacturers name and address
• Date of manufacture and best before date (sell by date)
• Ingredients list (in descending order of weight)
• Net weight of product in the package.
The following are additional information that is optional:
• The brand – it is optional to include a brand logo, but in terms of marketing your product
and establishing your brand in the market place, it is important to define and include a
brand logo. That way the consumer will quickly be able to find your products and come
back to buy them
• Instructions for preparing the product
• Storage instructions or instructions on storage after opening
• Examples of recipes in which the product can be used
• An e number if the product is being exported to Europe
• A bar code.
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK
T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E email@example.com | W www.practicalaction.org
Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.
Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 |
Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB