31-05-2018 • Packaging

Compliant Packaging

How to make sure your packaging is compliant

In addition to your packaging looking great on shelf and catching customers’ eyes, it’s important to ensure it adheres to legal requirements.

This covers a range of things including the order in which ingredients are listed, how you declare allergens and the use of health marks.


The essentials

Legally, your label / packaging must include:

  • The name of the food
  • A ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date (or instructions on where to find it)
  • Any necessary warnings such as alcohol or GM ingredients
  • Net quantity information
  • A list of ingredients, if there is more than one
  • The name and address of the manufacturer, packer or seller
  • The country of origin, if required
  • The lot number or use-by date
  • Any special storage conditions
  • Instructions for use or cooking, if necessary

You must also include a health mark if the product is of animal origin and has been produced within the EU.


There are 14 main allergen food types. These must be identified within your ingredients with a typeface that is markedly different from the rest of the text, for example a different colour or made bold. You must also declare the element of an ingredient which contains an allergen, for example:

Whey (milk).

The only instance in which this does not apply is where packaging clearly states what the product is, such as a box of eggs or a packet of nuts.

Order of ingredients

If your product contains two or more ingredients, you must list them all on your label or packaging. Ingredients must be listed in order of their weight, beginning with the main ingredient.

Quantitative ingredient declaration

If you claim that your product has, for example, ‘extra cheese’ or specifically name it by flavour such as ‘egg and bacon turnover’, you must declare the percentages of those ingredients. This also applies when the name of your product is normally connected with particular ingredients by the consumer, for example fruit in a Summer pudding.



This list isn’t exhaustive – be sure to research and understand your obligations, to avoid potential legal action and hefty fines. There is a wealth of information available on


Does your packaging design meet regulations? Why not speak to us about how we can help bring it to life? Call us on 0191 518 6850 or visit



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