1. Keeps things healthy
Labels carry important information regarding the ingredients and their composition in the food such as calories, minerals, vitamins, fats and other such things. It helps you make an informed decision when choosing your food. With the help of information available on these labels, it is easier for you to avoid any micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D and iron. Labels also allow you to keep your weight in check by monitoring saturated fats and calories. It also helps in limiting the intake of salt and sugar and helps you keep a balanced diet. All these things are put together to allow you to take active steps to remain free of illnesses such as various types of heart diseases and diabetes.
2. Safety reasons
It is estimated that around 420,000 people lose their lives each year due to contaminated food which contains toxins, chemicals, parasites, viruses and harmful bacteria. Similarly, almost 600 million people become ill each year due to contaminated food. Labels help in providing important information such as warnings and how to use a particular product such as cooking and storage instructions which helps in keeping food safe.
3. Avoid counterfeit products
One of the main goals of labels on food products is to prevent fraud. If there aren’t any internationally guaranteed labels, it would be too easy for food sellers to mislead consumers through false labelling on food packages. For instance, it has to be chocolate when you buy a packet labelled chocolate and it should be fish when the package mentions fish.
4. Avoid particular ingredients
It is estimated that around 10 to 12% of the population in developed countries has harmful reactions to particular ingredients in foods. For instance, one of the most common allergies when it comes to food products is peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, fish, crustaceans, eggs, milk and soybeans. If you are allergic to something and you are not aware of the ingredients in a particular food product, it is likely that you might mistakenly eat something containing that particular ingredient and that could have serious consequences. Labelling helps you in making informed decisions on what to avoid. Also, you can showcase your brand story with personalised custom sticker printing.
5. Less wastage
When food labels are printed correctly, it helps in preventing excessive food wastage. You won’t throw out food that is perfectly good to eat. Food labels that contain dates help you know if a particular product is safe to eat or not. It helps in avoiding expired food. On the other hand, confusion between “used by” and “best before” dates may lead to more food wastage. It is estimated that around 10% of food wastage in the European Union is due to date marking. Proper education to supply chain stakeholders and consumers can go a long way in avoiding such a huge amount of food waste and keeping the date marking to its true purpose of making sure that food is safe to consume.
6. Support for local producers
Particular information on the labels indicating the origin of the food such as Darjeeling tea from India, Kona coffee from the USA, Manchego cheese from Spain or Colombian coffee from Colombia helps in getting the attention of certain consumers and adds more value to a product which provides more value to the producer. Consumers identify particular food products to particular geography with certain characteristics such as quality or taste. FAO and EBRD conducted a study where they found that 9 labels with geographic indication helped in increasing the price of regular products ranging from 20 to 50%. These days consumers are more informed and attribute quality to particular geographies and traditions.
It’s easy to ignore food labels as you pick up your favourite snacks or food products. There are many things in the store trying to get your attention and food labels are one of the many such pieces of writing. With that said, information is power and it allows you to take your health into your own hands. Even if you do not like being labelled as a junk food addict or a health nut, you want to make sure that the package of peanuts or tomatoes you have bought actually contains peanuts and tomatoes respectively.