Food labelling and packaging in Malaysia is crucial when you market your packaged food. Mostly because nowadays consumers are much smarter.
So, they rely on the food label so they make the right decision for their purchase.
You’re a food producer but do you actually know the rules and regulations of food labelling in Malaysia?
Don’t panic. The Food Regulations 1985 by the Malaysian Ministry of Health has some lengthy rules regarding food packaging.
So take a second look at your food product labels.
Do they follow all the compulsory rules to market in Malaysia? There’s a reason why it is a legal requirement to abide by the Food Regulations 1985.
Food Labelling Requirements in Malaysia
Here’s what you need to know about food labelling in Malaysia to make sure you’re marketing your food product the right and legal way.
If you intend to include pictures on your packaging, be sure to present no misleading images of your product.
For example, if you’re selling a bottle of chilli sauce, you can either display its ingredients such as chillies, salt and pepper and/or a picture of a serving suggestion.
However, if the picture includes other foods accompanied by your product, you must state the wording ‘Serving Suggestion’ / ‘Recipe’ so consumers are not misled by the information.
That’s not all, even the text has its own rules so keep that in mind if you wish to include illustrations.
Logos on Food Labelling
Is your product certified Halal, Mesti, HACCP or others? It would be a waste if you didn’t flaunt those logos on your food package.
They let consumers know that your food product has better quality than those brands that don’t.
Smart consumers keep their eyes open for such certification so you should be equally smart too.
But, you can’t just display them willy-nilly so you need to know how to present those logos correctly.
The size and colours are also stated in the Food Regulations 1985.
If your product is good, consumers will associate your whole product line are as good as what they’ve tried so far.
But how would they know which product is yours if you don’t present your brand on the product?
Imagine selling tasty mooncakes but with just clear packaging.
The next time consumers want to buy your product, they wouldn’t know or might not even remember which is which. Now you’ve lost sales that could’ve been your regular customers.
So do the right thing and clearly display your brand along with your product name so consumers are fully aware of their choice.
Nonetheless, it is against the law to include wordings such as ‘nutritious’, ‘tonic’, ‘health’ and others if your product does not fulfil the required conditions first.
Quantity of Food
Another important label to present is the quantity of your food product. So choose either to display your food product’s net weight, volume or number of content.
Usually, similar products have a standard volume such as canned products and frozen foods.
This helps consumers choose only what they need as they can differentiate with either other quantities of your product or other brand products.
As for food in liquids, you must display both the net weight and the drained weight of the product.
Ingredients on Food Labelling
One of the major labelling requirements is the ingredients information. It may seem simple enough to include all the ingredients on the label but some food producers still make common mistakes.
Contents must be stated CLEARLY and by their common name with a specific size and typeface of text.
Products that include beef, pork, lard or alcohol must be stated so (eg. CONTAINS PORK).
Also, foods with allergens should be stated on the ingredients list to let consumers know the product may cause hypersensitivity.
Nutrition Facts Label
Another similar component is the nutrition facts. Not many people know this but not all food products need to display nutrition facts.
This includes but is not limited to bread, canned meat, cereal food, canned fruit and soft drinks.
Be that as it may, food producers must also be aware of the allowed claims that can be on the food packaging.
Claims such as ‘free’, ‘low’ or ‘high’ need to follow the Food Regulations before they can be used on the label.
Get in touch with us to know how to get nutrition facts for your product in Malaysia.
Manufacturer / Importer
Is your food products made and packed in Malaysia or imported? If it’s a product of Malaysia, you must state the name and address of the manufacturer/packer/ owner of rights of the manufacture.
For food products that are imported, more information is required.
The name and address of the manufacturer/ packer/ owner of rights of the manufacture should be displayed along with the name and business address of the Malaysian importer and the origin country of the food.
Another compulsory label is the expiry date of the food product. Don’t take this lightly as it can risk your consumers’ health and impact your brand entirely.
So state the date of expiry clearly in the form of day, month and year with text a contrasting background.
If you’re retailing your food product or intending to, a barcode on your packaging is a must.
Especially if you’re mass producing your products, they need an individual mark that stores information so checkout and inventory are easier.
It is one of the most important food labelling regulations to follow.
Generating barcode labels isn’t all that difficult. Even online products can have their own barcode which can do wonders for your inventory tracking system.
Nonetheless, the bar code label itself also has its own rules to follow in terms of size and margins.
Descriptions on Food Labelling
Although non-compulsory, consumers appreciate those little anecdotes of the product.
You can either talk about your proud company or even some fun facts about your product.
Bear in mind that it should never mislead consumers on your product and must follow the Food Regulations 1985.
Last but not least is the instructions. If your food product requires additional details a consumer must follow to maintain its quality, display the instructions so as not to ruin the consumer’s experience.
This includes a direction of storage such as for frozen foods, instructions after opening such as for canned food and cooking instructions such as for cake mix.
Also, take note that if your food product needs other additions for example pasta or instant coffee, you should state so on the package as well.
Food Labelling Guidelines in Malaysia
All in all, now you know the labelling and packaging requirements in Malaysia. So take a good look at your packaged food.
Does it follow all of the above labelling guidelines according to the Food Regulations 1985?
Don’t worry if it doesn’t. We’re here to help with all your labelling and packaging needs to market your food product the right and legal way.
Once you’re labelling and packaging is done right, explore the Online Marketing Checklist to Boost Sales.