Creating the Right Image for Nutraceutical Labels
Beyond regulatory and legal disclosure requirements, there are other ways for nutraceutical labels to make a favorable impression on buyers. This is more about image conveyed than contents within.
I recently embarked on an intense detox and weight reduction regimen that dictated the use of myriad homeopathic, herbal, vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplements. As someone who eyeballs ingredients rather closely to help ensure safety and effectiveness of what’s being ingested, I found myself reviewing a long list among nearly a dozen nutraceutical products. Here’s what I discovered in part: Biggest Plusses Every product featured professional labels and packaging—supporting the message that the manufacturers are businesslike and invested in high quality. Further reinforcing the professionalism was the lack of punctuation mistakes, spelling errors or grammar gaffes—which appear all too often on nutraceutical labels. Although the label printing was small on some of the supplements, it was crisp and clean. Particularly for those whose eyesight isn’t what it once was, this can be huge. In most cases, the label printers for, and manufacturers of, these products paid attention to color, font and background combinations that would optimize contrast and legibility. Biggest Minuses Most of the labels displayed little, if any, useful direction about how people could get more information about individual ingredients and the supplement as a whole. In some cases, web addresses were included—but these didn’t lead directly to substantive information about the constituent ingredients. Consumers are left to fend for themselves, surfing the web or using other research methods to find information about effectiveness, potential side effects and dosing recommendations. A QR code on the label or web address leading directly to ingredient information would be tremendously helpful. While learning about the manufacturer’s overall track record is useful, focused information what’s inside the container can help consumers determine if any ingredients are being scrutinized by the FDA or other regulatory authority. There wasn’t a whole lot on most of the labels that would make them stick out in a crowd. Since I ordered through a health practitioner, I didn’t have to peruse shelves and compare products. But, if I had been tasked with looking on shelves or surfing the Internet for the best choices, it is unlikely I would have noticed these products quickly based on their labeling or product packaging. It would be very helpful for these manufacturers to line up their products against the competition to see who stands out and why. That can become the basis for rethinking label and product design look and feel.