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The importance of food and beverage labeling in the United States

In the food and beverage purchasing process, few things are as crucial as the product label. These labels serve as information portals for consumers, offering essential details about what they are about to consume.

From ingredient lists to nutritional information and allergen warnings, these labels provide a detailed look at what's in the product, allowing consumers to make informed decisions about their purchase and consumption.

In this blog, we will learn in depth about the importance of food and beverage labeling in the United States, analyzing its function, regulations, and the impact it has on consumer health and safety; as well as the relevance it has for Latin American producers and other countries seeking to export to the US market.

Join us on this informative journey!


Index

  1. 1. What is product labeling in the United States?

  2. 2. The adaptation of Latin American labels in the American market

  3. 3. Practical guide for exporters from Latin America and other regions

  4. 4. Who is responsible for verifying product labeling compliance?

What is product labeling in the United States?

Product labeling in the United States is a fundamental aspect for both manufacturers and consumers. Not only is it common practice in the industry, but it is regulated by government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These regulations establish strict guidelines on the information that must be included on product labels, with the aim of ensuring consumer safety and promoting transparency in the market.

Product labels often contain a variety of information, such as ingredient lists, allergen warnings, instructions for use, expiration dates, certifications (such as organic or gluten-free), and nutritional information.This information is crucial for consumers to make informed decisions about which products to purchase and how to use them safely and effectively.

In addition to providing relevant information, product labeling also plays an important role in protecting consumer rights. The regulations require labels to be clear, accurate and non-misleading, helping consumers fully understand what they are buying and protecting them from dishonest marketing practices.


The adaptation of Latin American labels in the American market


Latin Americans adapt their product labels to the US market through a careful process of adaptation to local regulations and preferences. This involves not only meeting the labeling standards of the FDA and other regulatory entities, but also understanding the needs and expectations of American consumers.

In this adaptation process, label elements such as ingredient lists, allergen warnings, instructions for use, and certifications are reviewed and adjusted to ensure compliance with local regulations. In addition, cultural, linguistic and design aspects are considered to make the labels more accessible and attractive for the US market.

Latin Americans also take advantage of opportunities to highlight the unique characteristics of their products, such as indigenous ingredients or traditional production methods, which may be valued by American consumers looking for authenticity and quality.

This adaptation process is crucial to successfully enter the US market and establish a strong and competitive presence in the food and beverage industry.

 

Food labeling

  • Food labeling in the United States is governed by a number of laws, including the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. These laws establish requirements for mandatory information on packaged food labels, such as the list of ingredients and the presence of allergens, thus ensuring food and nutritional safety for consumers.

  • In Latin America, product labeling is regulated by the government authorities of each country, in conjunction with international organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization and the World Trade Organization. Regulations vary by country, but generally include requirements similar to those in the United States, such as ingredients list, nutritional information, and expiration date, with the goal of providing clear and accurate guidance for consumers.

  • Additionally, some Latin American countries have specific regulations for certain types of products, such as processed foods, alcoholic beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Additional labels may also be required for products with allergenic ingredients or intended for specific population groups, such as children or people with particular medical conditions. This approach ensures that consumers receive the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions and protect their health.


Beverage labeling


  • In Latin America, manufacturers adapt their product labels for the US market through a meticulous process that includes adjustments to comply with local regulations and preferences. This involves ensuring you comply with labeling standards from the FDA and other regulatory entities, as well as understanding the specific needs and expectations of American consumers.

  • When it comes to beverage labeling, regulations are especially important for alcoholic beverages. Those with a content greater than 7% by volume of alcohol are subject to specific regulations established by the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau), dependent on the United States Department of the Treasury.

  • In addition, both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) also establish mandatory and voluntary requirements for the labeling of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. These regulations are essential to guarantee security and transparency in the market, both in the United States and Latin America.


Practical guide for exporters from Latin America and other regions


Exporting food products to the United States from Latin American countries involves knowing regulations and laws, particularly those established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Although each country has its own regulatory entities, adapting to the FDA requirements is essential to open the doors of this US market. Understanding and complying with these regulations is not only a legal requirement, but a crucial strategy to ensure product acceptance and safety in the demanding US market.


Below is a short list of crucial aspects that sellers must adjust to succeed in the competitive US market:


  1. 1. Detailed labeling:Follow FDA regulations for information that must be included on the product label, such as ingredient lists, nutritional information, and allergen warnings.

  2. 2. Production standards: Comply with food hygiene and safety standards set by the FDA, ensuring that production processes comply with US regulations.

  3. 3. Facility registration: Register production facilities with the FDA, which involves continuous monitoring to ensure compliance with health standards.

  4. 4. Quality controls: Implement rigorous quality control systems to ensure that products meet US standards, from raw materials to the final product.

  5. 5. Compliance with specific regulations: Adapt to specific regulations for certain types of foods, such as organic products or dietary supplements, which may have additional requirements.

  6. 6. Nutrition labeling standards: Adapt nutritional labeling to FDA regulations, which may include aspects such as information format and recommended daily percentages.

  7. 7. Certifications and audits: Obtain certifications that guarantee the quality and safety of the products, and be prepared for audits that verify compliance with regulations.

  8. 8. Monitoring of regulatory changes: Stay informed of updates and changes to FDA regulations to adjust processes and products accordingly.

  9. 9. Allergen management: Implement effective measures to avoid allergen cross-contamination during production and clearly label the presence of allergens on products.

  10. 10. Legal responsibility: Be aware of the legal and financial implications of non-compliance, including potential penalties and product recalls.


Who is responsible for verifying product labeling compliance?


In the United States, compliance with the labeling of food and beverage products, as well as products in general, is verified by the person responsible for compliance.This professional, preferably appointed by the Board of Directors, guarantees compliance with regulations and avoids risks that could affect the integrity of the organization. This can be either an internal employee or an external expert, with the necessary autonomy to manage regulatory compliance and verify compliance with current legislation.

In Latin America, compliance with product labeling is a shared responsibility between government authorities and product manufacturers or importers. Government entities, such as the ministries of health and commerce, monitor compliance with local and regional regulations related to product labeling.These regulations establish the standards and requirements that labels must meet, guaranteeing food safety and consumer protection.

In addition, manufacturing or importing companies also have the responsibility of verifying compliance with the labeling of their products. This involves ensuring that labels meet legal requirements and contain required information, such as ingredient lists, nutritional information and expiration dates.Those responsible for quality and compliance within companies are typically responsible for ensuring that products comply with all relevant labeling regulations.


What are the criteria to verify compliance?

In the United States and Latin America, the criteria to verify compliance with product labeling are essential to ensure compliance with established regulations. Some of these common criteria include:

 

  • Structure and authority:It is crucial that organizations have a clear structure and designated authority to oversee compliance with established regulations and policies. This ensures effective management of regulatory compliance at all levels of the company.


  • Experience and qualifications:The competence and training of compliance personnel are essential elements to ensure the effective application of the necessary knowledge and skills. A well-trained team can identify and appropriately address any deviations or non-compliance with regulations.


  • Financial resources and access to data:Appropriate allocation of financial resources and timely access to relevant data are critical to supporting compliance activities. This includes investment in technology and information systems that facilitate the collection, analysis and monitoring of relevant information.

 

  • Autonomy:The independence and autonomy of the compliance area are crucial to ensure an impartial and effective evaluation of compliance. An independent approach allows for an objective evaluation of practices and procedures, ensuring integrity and transparency in the regulatory compliance process.

By focusing on these key criteria, both in the United States and Latin America, organizations can establish strong compliance programs that promote transparency, integrity and trust in both the domestic and international markets.

Conclusion

Uncertainty over regulatory compliance can sow doubts among U.S. buyers, who fear importing products from Latin America and other regions without assurance that they meet strict standards set by the FDA.

However, we present Bosanet as a B2B marketplace that not only connects Latin American sellers with American buyers, but also positions itself as an essential ally for companies in the region, being the trusted partner of wholesale food

Join us and discover all the possibilities of the food industry. If you are interested in registering as a buyer, click here! Don't miss the opportunity to access the best foods and wholesale drinks available on the market.
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