The Importance of Food Labelling
Food labelling is more than having an informative outer cover on most food products. Below are six reasons food labelling is essential in many of these products.
1. Keep Healthy
Labels provide information about the contents of the packaging, which helps you understand the food’s composition. You learn about fats, vitamins, calories, and minerals in the food. The labels’ details are fundamental to knowing the kind of food you are consuming. Hence, labels can help you monitor your micronutrient intake and avoid nutritional deficiency diseases. You can also use the information you find to manage your weight since you watch your fat and caloric intake. Overall, labels can help you ensure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet, thus preventing health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and others.
2. Keep You Safe
Data estimates more than 420,000 fatalities and 600 million sicknesses globally due to the consumption of contaminated food. The pathogens attributed to the contamination include bacteria, chemicals, viruses, toxins, and parasites. Food labels contain critical information that warns consumers about the risks associated with food safety, which frequently includes storage and cooking preparations and processes.
3. Averting Counterfeit Products
Food labelling is also meant to minimize and prevent fraud associated with false representations on the packaging of many food products. A clear and high-quality sticker printing ensures consumers get what food sellers claim to offer in their products. If you are buying beef, you want to ensure that it is what you get. If it is chocolate or cream, that is what you find in the package.
4. Detect Harmful Ingredients
10% to 25% of people in developed countries react to different foods. However, the most common allergenic foods are peanuts, wheat, soy, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, crustaceans, and fish. Knowing the ingredients in a food product ensures you do not eat something mistakenly or experience a severe or mild allergy attack. The labels help you identify what to avoid.
5. Limiting Food Wastage
You are less likely to throw out good food if you read the date marking labels correctly. Consuming expired food can make you sick or cause adverse reactions in your body. However, you can avoid this when you read the labels and know the difference between “use by” and “best before” when indicating dates on the labels. Nearly 10% of food wastage in the EU is associated with date marking. That is why educating supply chain stakeholders, and consumers on how to read and adhere to date markings can help prevent food wastage and ensure it is safe for consumption.
6. Support Local Food Producers
Some food labels can be used to show food origins. For instance, Kona Coffee will be stating the product comes from the USA, Manchego Cheese is from Spain, Colombian Coffee comes from Colombia, and Darjeeling Tea is from India. Such information can grab a customer’s attention and influence them to buy. People identify local and typical foods in a specific region based on peculiar characteristics like quality and taste.
Research by the FAO and EBRD shows products with geographic details on the labels are 20% to 50% more likely to be sold at a higher price, but this will not lower the sales because consumers associate this with product quality. Food labels can thus help local producers market themselves better.
Overall, food labels are more than words on products designed to grab your attention. They provide essential information about what you are consuming to ensure you get quality foods that are safe for consumption.