The era of transparent packaging: What brands need to know about FSSAI’s new packaging regulations

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As a brand operating in the packaged food space, it is crucial to keep up with these changing norms from the FSSAI. Almond Branding's Shashwat Das gives a few tips.

In recent years, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been raising the bar when it comes to food safety and nutritional information. They want you to spill the beans on what's really in your products, so your customers can make informed decisions about what they are consuming. Don't worry, it's not like you're giving away your secret spice blend - just a little transparency to keep everyone happy and healthy.

The FSSAI has released the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Second Amendment Regulations of 2022, which entail a set of modifications to advertising and claims on food products. Under the new regulations, brands are required to provide more transparent information on food packaging and can be held accountable for the accuracy of any advertisements and claims made on labels.

For instance, you can classify your food product as "low fat" only if it contains 3 grams or less of fat per 100 grams, while "fat-free" can be used only if the fat content is less than 0.5 grams per 100 grams. Similarly, "low sugar" can be stated on the label only if the product has 5 grams or less of sugar per 100 grams. 

The same type of conditions apply to other nutrients like protein, cholesterol, vitamins, dietary fibre, gluten, etc. Additionally, claims such as "no added salt" can be made only if neither the food item nor its ingredients contain any sodium salts or substitutes.

Moreover, the regulations aim to restrict the use of adjectives such as "natural," "fresh," "pure," etc., as part of brand names and trademarks. For instance, in the case of Dabur Real Fruit Juices or Dabur Homemade cooking pastes and purees, the names “Real” & “Homemade” are merely trademarks and do not necessarily reflect its actual nature. However, under the new regulations, brands will be required to display this information prominently on the front of the packaging in specific font sizes. 

If your food product claims to reduce the risk of a particular health condition or disease, you will have to specify the amount of food that needs to be consumed per day for the claim to be valid. Additionally, there are other disclosure requirements related to the quantities of nutrients and micronutrients present in food items.

Also Read: FSSAI is changing the game: Is your packaged food brand ready?

As a brand operating in the packaged food space, it is crucial to keep up with these changing norms from the FSSAI. Here are some tips for you to ensure you are complying with the new regulations:

  • Revisit packaging design: With the introduction of new regulations, it is important to revisit your packaging design. You need to ensure that the new labelling requirements are incorporated into your existing packaging design in a manner that is both visually appealing and easily understandable to your consumer.
  • Ensure compliance with new labelling requirements: Review the regulations carefully like it's the latest Harry Potter book release. The new regulations mandate brands to make clearer disclosures on food packets, holding them responsible for advertisements and claims on labels. Just as you would check yourself out in the mirror before a first date, check thoroughly and ensure your products meet the new requirements, including the use of accurate nutrient information and clear labelling of allergens.
  • Invest in nutrition education: To help consumers make informed choices about their food, you should invest in nutrition education campaigns to highlight the reasons why they should choose your brand basis nutritional merit. These campaigns can help consumers better understand the impact of their food choices on their health, and help them make informed decisions in your favour.
  • Be transparent with consumers: Try and be more and more transparent with consumers about the ingredients and nutritional value of your products. This can be achieved by providing detailed nutritional information prominently on the packaging, as well as by making this information available online and through other channels.
  • Stay up-to-date with changing regulations: Don't forget to keep up with any updates - these regulations are like your ex, they can change their mind at any moment. As the FSSAI continues to update and refine its regulations, it is important for you to stay up-to-date with these changes to ensure you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to providing consumers with the information they need.

The FSSAI's new regulations are aimed at improving food safety and nutrition for consumers in India. As a brand operating in the packaged food space, it is important to stay up-to-date with these changing norms and take the necessary steps to ensure compliance. By doing so, brands can build trust with consumers and position themselves as leaders in the industry when it comes to providing clear and concise information about the nutritional value of their products.

This article is penned by Shashwat Das, Founder – Almond Branding.

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