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Will new FSSAI diktat on food labelling change packaging strategies of FMCG brands?

By Retail4Growth Bureau | May 27, 2022

The FSSAI has told the Delhi High Court that a declaration regarding any food article being non-vegetarian or vegetarian is mandatory irrespective of the percentage of an ingredient used in it and every package of non-vegetarian food shall bear a symbol and colour code to indicate its nature.

In what may be seen as having a bearing on FMCG brands’ packaging strategies, the FSSAI has reportedly told the Delhi High Court that a declaration regarding any food article being non-vegetarian or vegetarian is mandatory irrespective of the percentage of an ingredient used in it and every package of non-vegetarian food shall bear a symbol and colour code to indicate its nature.

It has been reported that in a response filed to a petition concerning the labelling of products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) informed that it has issued orders to all the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States and union territories and Central Licensing Authorities to ensure compliance of the mandate and a notification was also published in 68 newspapers across the country, in 26 languages, to inform the public at large.

It further said that an order was also passed on April 5 in respect of the declaration of Veg. or Non-Veg. logo for the source of ingredient including additives on the food label. Respondent no. 2/Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had issued orders dated 22.12.2021 to all the Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/UTS, and Central Licensing Authorities to ensure that all Food Business Operator should comply with the changed regulatory provisions i.e. 'Every package of 'Non-Vegetarian' food having ingredients including additives, from animal sources but excluding milk or milk products, honey or beeswax or carnauba wax or shellac, shall bear a symbol and colour code to indicate that the product is Non-Vegetarian Food. It is clarified that the declaration regarding Non-Veg. or Veg. Food is mandatory irrespective of the percentage of any ingredient in the food", said FSSAI in its counter-affidavit filed recently.

The order is likely to affect the packaging design and communication approach of FMCG brands, for whom the thrust on food safety and hygiene has already  attained greater significance in the wake of the pandemic and with greater number of consumers becoming more conscious about the origins of the foods they consume.  Packaging being the first point of contact is likely to see greater focus in terms of design, product information and brand communication.

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