Mandatory Text Requirements for Product Packaging

Mandatory Text for Packaging Design


Packaging design represents one of today’s most complex activities in branding an enterprise. it’s important to know what mandatory text must be included in your packaging design. An innovative, intelligently designed, packaged product offers competitive advantages that extend beyond consumer appeal. Done properly, product packaging can even help reduce environmental impacts. This has a positive effect in reflecting the sustainability of your brand. Organic brands benefit the most from this when branding and marketing their products.

What Are the Risks of Not Providing the Mandatory Text Required?

As a brand owner, it’s essential for you to know what to include in the packaging design for your branded products. If you fail to meet the mandatory copy standards, you may risk breaching the rules established by regulatory agencies such as the FDA and having action taken against you. Such measures may include:

  •      Penalties for violating labeling regulations;
  •      Payment of fines; and
  •      Having to reprint package products

Knowing what to add in your packaging design will help you avoid these penalties. For product safety and customer appeal, it is recommended that you provide clear instructions for proper use. Conversely, you should also  include warnings against possible misuse. It’s up to brand owners to make their products reach consumers in the most economical way possible. Regulatory agencies require firms to provide buyers with ease of choice and usage by furnishing them with the right information.This means informing the consumer of all the properties of the product. Common items include:

  • Nutrition facts,
  • Ingredients,
  • Production date,
  • Use by date,
  • The name of producing company,
  • Usage details,
  • Weights,measures, and net quantity statements.
Mandatory Requirements for Packaging Design
Above: A: Usage Detail, B: ingredients, C: Measurements/ Weights Details

Mandatory Text to Include

All of this information helps to provide convenience not only to the consumer but also to the producers themselves. One of the most definite ways brand owners can attract consumers’ attention to their product is to offer an attractive and unusual packaging design that complies with regulatory provisions. This can be achieved in the following ways:

  • Nutrition Facts: Brands owners can use any type style they like. However, you should ensure to make the heading “Nutrition Facts” the largest type size on the nutrition copy. Nutrition facts type should be between 9 and 13 points. Also, any thickness will do for the three bars separating the central sections of the nutrition label, while the typography should be made tighter at -4%.
  • Weights, Measures, and Net Quantity Statements: This tag reports the amount of product in a package. The section is usually placed in the bottom half of the primary display panel. US-based producers should ensure that the font size complies with the provisions of the FDA. The typestyle should be clear and easy to read. On their part, the height of the letters should not be more than three times their width, while the lettering should be made to contrast adequately with the background to make it easy to read. The copy should be in keeping with the whole design layout.
  • Ingredients: The ingredients copy should be designed in a typeface that is very readable. Also, the printing should be done either in black or a single color on a neutral contrasting background such as white. Typing can be done either in all caps or uppercase and lowercase letters. It is also recommended to make the type kerned to prevent the letters from touching.

Finally, your package design is an integral part of your brand image. Doing it correctly helps to decrease costs, protect the product, and inform the mass public about your brand’s practices. This helps to build consumer confidence in your product and ensure a good working relationship with the regulatory authorities. Remember to include your nutrition facts, weights and measures, and list of ingredients. When hiring an agency or freelancer be sure they know to include this information. Not all designers specialize but do offer package design services. It’s common for generalist designers to forget mandatory copy. Because the laws are subject to change depending on market events, it’s important to go by the Federal Trade Commission’s Standards. You can do so by visiting their site, or consulting with a Product Packaging Lawyer as they will have the most up to date information regarding mandatory text. Always stay on top of mandatory text requirements to avoid penalties and save money. Sometimes the smallest error can result in a large loss of time and money!

For more detailed reading we suggest the following books. They’re both available on

The Federal Trade Commissions Page on Standards

Packaging Design: Successful Product Branding from Concept to Shelf

Package Design Workbook: The Art and Science of Successful Packaging

For information about getting your organic Products USDA certified feel free to read this article