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Coffee Industry Guide to Labeling

The Coffee Industry Guide to Labeling


As coffee becomes more complex – with different formulations, flavors, and preparation methods – labeling has become very complicated.  Failure to label your coffee properly can lead to recalls that can impact your bottom line, your brand – and even pose a threat to your customers.  

Product recalls have been identified as “The Food Industry’s Biggest Threat to Profitability” – and more than 60 percent of FDA recalls are due to labeling issues, most of which relate to allergens.

Making sure all statements on your product labels are accurate and compliant with regulations is the best defense against costly lawsuits. Here’s what you should know – especially if you are developing new coffee products:  

☕  First, the FDA requires five basic pieces of information on a food label – and yes, coffee is a food!  Generally, food labels must provide product identity, net contents, nutrition facts, ingredient declaration that includes allergen information, and contact information.  The regulations provide details about the placement, size and content of this mandatory information as well as optional information that may be included.  And yet, certain “mandatory” elements may be exempt from coffee labels under certain defined circumstances.  

☕  Second, consumers are better educated than ever before.  They read package labels to learn more about their food – and to see what may be missing.  They’re looking for information on ingredients, sustainability, origin, certifications, and more.  

☕  We’ve created a resource guide to help you through the process.  Of course, since we don’t have the details on your coffee, we can’t tell you exactly how to label your coffee – but we can provide you with guidance, including:

  • A list of labeling considerations – what must be labeled, and what is optional;
  • A package mock-up showing a notional example of how labeling can be handled;
  • A short description of each label item;
  • Links to resources for deeper details.

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Disclaimer: The content of this guide is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.  The NCA makes no warranty of legal applicability or compliance.  You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter.