I familar with correct US product labeling requirments but I'm stumped on how to get my correct nutritional data and bar code strips ready for print. I've seen two different software programs that offer nutritional calulators, but neither appear to offer bar code strip printing too. Can someone point me in the right dirrection where I can inexpensively produce my own accurate product labels?
Not sure of your question - you seem to be asking two unrelated things...
1) nutritional calculator
2) UPC bar code printer
Is it that you're looking for a single program that does both? There is no requirement to bar code anything for nutritional information.
A number of years ago, i was unhappy with the commercially available recipe, spec, and nutritional programs - so i built my own. I've no idea what goes into bar coding, but my guess is with a little elbow grease you could figure it out - perhaps building your own is the way to go if you're not finding what you want?
Here in Canada, bar codes aren't required. Having said that, in most cases bar codes will be required by the retailer, as they almost all now use scanning devices to speed check out and manage inventory. As such, there is a national barcode database that you can register your product with, and have a standard bar code associated with it.
If you are selling your product through retailers, then you will probably be asked to have bar code. However if you are selling it yourself as an artisan, unless your POS system requires it, you don't need bar codes. (at least here in Canada).
One very important thing to add: You MUST make sure your ingredient list includes all ingredients need to make the ingredients you use! For example: If you use dried blueberries, the producer will often use sulphites as a preservative, so in your ingredient list you must do something like: Ingredients:blah, blah, blueberries (blueberries, sulphites), blah blah.
Also, if you are an artisan, making and selling the product, and you aren't selling it through anyone else, the nutritional panel is not necessary because the customer always has access to the source of the product. It's only when the consumer doesn't have direct access to the source of the food item that all of the nutritiional information is mandated.
Thanks for the quick responses!! I'm not retailing my own product, I'm only selling through other businesses. I've been wholesaling in bulk to restaurants where I didn't need individual packaging labels. I'm just getting ready to sell to retail stores. I do qualify for some labeling exemptions, that makes things much easier for me to start.
I did have 4 weeks to get my labeling ready..........but an sales opportunity has popped up where I now need to be ready in 2 weeks with small boxed samples. I need to print my own labels NOW, asap. No time to purchase labels for this first roll out.
1. I'd like to find a nutritional calulator I can use for free on line. (I've found several through google searches but none were truely accurate.) Does anyone know of such a site? Or can I bargin with anyone here that does have a nutritional calulator software to punch in my recipe and email me the results???
2. If I can't find a free source for a nutritional calulator I'll have to buy a software program. Can anyone reccomend a reliable easy to use program (that I can purchase asap)? I've seen two programs online, one was $199.00 the other was $399.00 and I'm not knowledgable enough about my future labeling needs to know which program would be the wisest one to purchase.
I think I can put together my own labels and desktop publish it following examples and FDA guidelines once I have my nutritional info..
3. Barcodes...........maybe I don't need them since I'm only targeting small retailers for now?
If you know anyone who works at a bakery, deli or the like, you may be able to input your recipe and use their nutritional calculator to output the information you need for free.
As far as bar codes, I recently did some legwork on this. You may buy a lot of 100 UPCs directly from the official source (I forget the exact name, but just Google "buy a barcode" and you'll easily find the info). Only need a few? I bought a set of five from a legal reseller for much less. The downside of this is that the first numbers of the code identify the reseller, not you. Allegedly, only Wal-Mart and Macy's care about this. Each product, in each size, needs its own barcode. But as far as I know, there's nothing that legally requires you to have a barcode. It's just a matter of convenience for retailers to be able to scan your items, not have to hand-ring them.
Thanks for the help Robyn. I did find a source to buy UPC codes from. Although I never explored it further to see what kind of prices were involved. Is this the source you mentioned: http://www.gs1us.org/membership/benefits-of-membership ?
It looked more expensive then I was interested in exploring at this time. I didn't come across the fact that there are resellers, so it's interesting to know! Would you mind sharing how much you paid, so I can use that as a reference when I shop?
For any future readers I did find an online source where I could calucate my own nutritional info. here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp and good helpful info. on making my own labels here: http://www.claytowne.com/beats-digging-ditches/how-to-make-a-nutrit... But I already found most of that info. at FDA.gov. In the long run, I'm still creating my own labels in excel........but it's not that hard.
The last thing I'm still stumped about is establishing the FDA's RDI for sugar and fats. Since they aren't required nutrients the goverment ignores including them in the mg's per day list they have of all the other nutrients. I've been able to figure out that sugar comes to 65mg but I haven't been able to establish what the RDI number is for fat, so I can calucate what my fat percentage is. Does anyone know how many mg's of fat the FDA considers as the average for a 2,000 calorie diet?
The US gov't absolutely requires labeling of both sugar and fat on nutrition labels.
Total Fat 65 g
Saturated Fatty Acids 20 g
Cholesterol 300 mg
Sodium 2400 mg
Potassium 3500 mg
Total Carbohydrate 300 g
Dietary Fiber 25 g
Protein 50 g
Hugs...........thank-you Sebastian........that's the best list I've seen to date.