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When creating a label for a dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors are required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide certain information to the consumer.  Five statements in particular are necessary on containers and packages of dietary supplements:

  1.     The name of the supplement.
  2.     The total amount of the dietary supplement
  3.     Nutrition labeling
  4.     The ingredient list
  5.     Company name and business Location

In most cases this information must either be on the principal display panel (the front label panel) or on the information panel (the label panel to the right of the primary display panel).  The “principal display panel” is the part of the package that is most likely to be seen by the customer when they are purchasing the product.  When containers have several surfaces that are acceptable for use as principal display panels, these additional surfaces are classified as alternate principal display panels.

  • The principal display panel must state what the product is and the net quantity of the product.  If the package has several alternate principal display panels, each of these panels must also have this information.

If there is insufficient space for this information, some packages can qualify for special labeling provisions designated for “small packages.”  Small packages are those packages with less than 12 square inches of space for labeling.  Instead of a “Supplement Facts” panel, small packages may substitute a telephone number or address for customers to use.  However, a telephone number or address can only be used in place of a “Supplement Facts” panel if there are no claims or nutrition information on the product label.

When including an address on the product label list the street address (if it isn’t included in a city directory or telephone book), the city, state, and zip code.  In lieu of the actual address, you may list the address of the principal place of business.  Be careful not to place label information that is not mandatory between required information on the information panel (such as a bar code) as it is forbidden by the FDA.

If the nutritional supplement contains items of foreign origin that were imported into the United States, this must be conspicuously indicated on the label.  Although no expiration date is required on the label, a company can opt to include this information if it is supported by valid data.

When designing the label, utilize fonts and type sizes that are prominent and easy to read.  The FDA requires letters to be at least one-sixteenth (1/16) of an inch in height based on the lower case “o” and not more than three times as high as they are wide.  Lettering does need to be in black and white, but it must provide a sufficient contrast with the background.

UPC bar codes can be obtained by visiting the Uniform Code Council and clicking “I Need a UPC Bar Code.”

For in-depth information on dietary supplement labeling, be sure to visit https://www.vitamixlabs.com