By Jon Bernard
National Account Manager, Stomp Stickers
(Visit Stomp Stickers during KombuchaKon at Booth #404)
As a kombucha maker, you know the power of the ‘booch is strong. And whether you market your product as a gut-friendly health elixir, the fermented nectar of the gods, or a plain old delicious tonic, no doubt you’ve already given serious thought to how you’re going to package and present your brew. A killer label is going to be part of your packaging plan.
But while an eye-catching label is certainly a top priority, your kombucha labels need to do more than get somebody to grab that bottle. There are specific labeling requirements with which your kombucha labels need to comply. Let’s take a look at those requirements, and make sure your ‘booch is labeled correctly.
FDA or TTB?
Before creating a requirement-compliant kombucha label, you’ll need to know which requirements to follow. The difference between following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) requirements lies in alcohol content. Why? Because kombucha is a fermented drink, which means it naturally contains trace amounts of alcohol.
The difference between the two agencies and who will regulate your kombucha labeling requirements is in how much alcohol your product contains. If your kombucha contains more than 0.5% alcohol by volume it will fall under the TTB label regulations. Anything under that percentage, then you’ll need to comply with FDA guidelines instead. You’ll also want to review the Kombucha Code of Practice to ensure that it is labeled correctly according to the code.
Because the bulk of commercially-produced ‘booch falls well below that 0.5%, we’ll be focusing on the FDA guidelines below.
1. Main Display
This part of your requirement-compliant label is a bit flexible in terms of presentation. In other words, this means you can play with the layout – including name, logo, and graphic elements – to your heart’s content. Just make sure the following elements are easy to find and read.
- Your brand name. The name of your business must be clearly displayed.
- The name of the food product. You must use the word “kombucha.”
- The net amount of product. Display how much ‘booch is in your bottle.
2. Informational Panel
This is the panel many of us are familiar with, the white square on the back of bottles that tells you what’s inside. It’s critical to adhere to FDA guidelines when including information about calories and serving sizes by calculating those amounts using the 2,000 calorie-a-day diet that is the FDA standard.
- Business name and address. The manufacturer’s information must be legible and easy to find. If your kombucha is made and distributed by different companies, both names and addresses need to be on your label.
- Ingredients. While you don’t have to give away any secret recipes, you do need to list the ingredients of your brew.
- Nutrition facts. This includes calories per serving, calories from fat, amount of sugar, vitamins, etc., with both amounts and percentages displayed. How to describe “added sugars” is explained in this article.
- Allergy warning. You’ll need to check the ingredients you use in your kombucha against any potential allergens and make note of them somewhere on this part of your label.
3. Organic Statements
Labeling your brew as “organic” can be a big selling point, but it also has to be verifiably true. A company or product needs to meet strict requirements in order to become certified as organic. This is true for any ingredients you source for your brew that you want to label as organic as well. So before you add an organic claim to your label, make sure you’re actually qualified to do so.
If you are using organic ingredients, they may be listed as such in the ingredients panel; however, the word “organic” may not be used elsewhere on the bottle unless the brand is certified. To learn more about organic certification, KBI members can check out this presentation from VKK20.
4. Health Benefits
You have to be careful with any claims to potential health benefits you make around your kombucha. The FDA has very specific rules about health claims, breaking them down into three sub-types. Each type of health claim has its own set of guidelines you need to meet before you can use one on your label.
- Nutritional. Any claims to the nutritional benefits of your kombucha are easy to list. If it is genuinely low in calories, fat free, contains high levels of a vitamin or mineral, you’re allowed to state that on your label.
- Qualified. These health claims need to have scientific evidence supporting them. Beyond mere nutritional content, these claims usually make a statement about what your kombucha can do for someone. For example, if you have evidence supporting how the probiotics in your kombucha may help with stomach issues, go ahead and make that qualified health claim.
- Authorized. Authorized health claims must have scientific support, meet the Significant Scientific Agreement (SSA) Standard and pass an FDA review.
To sell your kombucha, your label needs to comply with all regulations and requirements specific to kombucha labels. FDA requirements govern your main label, informational label, and any health or organic claims you make about your brew. Once you know what your custom kombucha label has to have in order to be FDA compliant, you can brand your brew and design your label around all of that necessary information.
VISIT STOMP STICKERS AT BOOTH# 404 – Enter the Passport Program to win 500 free labels up to $200 from Stomp.
Author Bio: Jon Bernard is a National Account Manager at Stomp Stickers. Stomp is an e-commerce business that offers high-quality custom labels, stickers, boxes, canopy tents and more. Jon’s passion is helping his customers brand and market their products through a variety of custom printed items. To get help with your custom printing needs, visit Stompstickers.com or email Jon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Company Profile: Stomp Stickers offers the highest-quality custom stickers and labels to fit every industry’s needs. Our production facility has been printing premium-quality stickers and labels for more than 30 years, working with a wide variety of industries: cannabis, CBD, health & beauty, corporate, weddings, breweries, craft foods, restaurants, and beverages.