Clear Food Labels Are Especially Important During American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month, so it's likely that a number of shoppers will be paying more attention than usual to food labels while browsing at grocery stores over the next couple of weeks. For some consumers, the heart-healthy behaviors they adopt during February will stick after the month draws to a close and they'll develop more long-term commitments to checking lists of ingredients before placing products in their carts.
So, how should people in the food and beverage industry respond to shoppers' American Heart Month-fueled inquisitiveness about what goes into the items they're considering buying? Two words: clear labels.
In order to attract the attention of consumers browsing the aisles, the stickers and labels on your products need to set your items apart from the rest. That often means coming up with a unique and eye-catching design, but the artwork on your packaging shouldn't come at the expense of imparting clear nutritional information to shoppers. After all, piquing consumers' interest is only the first step of the purchasing process - if the list of ingredients is too small or the printing is low-quality, customers may pass over your offerings in favor of a competitor's more clearly marked wares.
Heart-Healthy Labels Can Help Your Products Stand Out From the Crowd
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, and people who want to lower their risk of developing the condition typically begin by reducing their sodium intake, cutting down on sugary snacks and decreasing the amount of trans fats and saturated fats in their diet - so you can be sure they'll be on the lookout for healthy labels.
If your products are low in sodium, low-fat, sugar-free or fat-free, be sure to declare this loud and proud on your packaging. Shoppers who don't have the time or patience to scan ingredient lists will be more likely to choose your offering over a competitor's if you incorporate information about its heart-healthy status into the design on the front of the label, rather than relegating this important detail to the full list of ingredients on the back.
Product Labels Are A Crucial Part of Consumers' Healthy-Eating Efforts
Customers' desire to know exactly what's in the food and beverages they consume has prompted a number of restaurants and other eateries to emulate product labels by posting nutritional information on their websites and listing calorie amounts next to items on menus and in display cases. Many have elected to take this step voluntarily, but those that haven't will soon be required to under the menu labeling law. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "restaurants and similar retail food establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule will have one year after the menu labeling final rule publishes December 1, 2014, to comply with the rule's requirements."
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