Everything You Need to Know About Canada’s New Front of the Package Labeling Regulations

Mrignayni Pandey

Content strategist, and copywriter.
September 29, 2022

We bring you the latest updates on Canada's new front of the package labeling requirements and how you could best brace your brand for the change lying ahead.

Canada has unveiled a new front-of-package nutrition label to shed light on ingredients that impact the health of Canadians. 

Food manufacturers should now have a nutrition sign with a magnifying glass and wording highlighting items high in saturated fat, sugar, and/or sodium. 

According to Canada’s health ministry, manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2026, to alter their labels to comply with the new standard. But you may start seeing Front of the Package Labeling (FOP) earlier. 

In this article, we’ll discover more about Canada’s FOP labeling and how you can stay on top of similar regulatory changes to bring your products to market faster and gain an edge over your competitors. Here’s what’s covered in the article:

FOP Labeling consumer research and consultation

Canada conducted research through a health literacy lens to ensure that everyone, including those who have difficulty understanding and interpreting nutrition label information, can successfully use labeling to make healthier food choices and identify foods high in nutrients. Here’s some research they conducted:

Image source: FOP Infographic

Why an FOP labeling symbol 

8 in 10 Canadians agree nutrition is important, yet 60% of food they eat is pre-processed and packaged and contains high amounts of:

In short, a diet high in fat, sugar, and sodium causes obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, which is why the Canadian government wants to prompt people to eat healthy. 

Foods that must have an FOP labeling symbol 

The front-of-package nutrition symbol is required for prepackaged foods that meet or exceed the specified amounts of sodium, carbohydrates, or saturated fat.

But some items are exempt from this regulation, according to the Health of Canada , and we’ve listed them below:

What the FOP labeling should look like

The nutrition symbol on the front of the packaging is black and white. It features a magnifying glass and shows the amount of sodium, sugar, saturated fat, or any combination of these that the food contains. The words "Health Canada / Santé Canada" must be written at the base of the sign.

Image source: Canadian Health Service

How should the nutrition label appear on the front of the packaging?

Size: The symbol’s size is determined by the size of the package. This ensures that the symbol is easy to view on packages of all sizes

Location: For the majority of package forms, the nutrition symbol will be located in the upper part of the label. If the package label is rectangular or wider than it’s tall, it should be visible on the right half of the label.

Language: The FOP label must appear in both French and English. You can add them as separate symbols or add both languages to the same symbol. 

Image source: Canadian Health Service

6 ways stay ahead of regulations with Artwork Flow

Changes in regulation are hard to deal with as you’ve got to add new information to the label or reprint it according to the requirements. 

Plus, there’s no room for delay, so you’ve got to act quickly and get the products out with reprinted labels as soon as possible. 

Luckily, Artwork Flow has you covered. It’s an artwork label management and creative collaboration software specifically designed for regulated industries. Here are some of its best features:

  1. Artwork library: Store all your brand assets in one place, so you don’t have to spend hours searching for the right one. 
  2. Workflows: Split the goal — adding FOP labeling as quickly as possible— into stages and assign tasks to each team member to complete it. Inject accountability into the whole process to ensure there’s no confusion
  3. Checklists: Artwork Flow allows you to create checklists for each task so you can reduce the number of revisions. 
  4. Annotations: Collate feedback from multiple teams into a single place so designers can keep track of them easily. 
  5. Proofing tools: Check for brand consistency, typography and measurement errors with Artwork Flow’s proofing tools. 
  6. Compliance tools: Artwork Flow’s AI-based tool automatically analyzes your label and points out compliance errors to help you avoid label rejections and revenue loss.  

In short, Artwork Flow helps you avoid penalties and recalls while speeding up your artwork label creation and launch. And to learn how we can help your brand, fill in the form for a free demo. 

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