What is the Healthier Choice Logo?
The Healthier Choice Logo (HCL) is a symbol of recognition for food and beverage products that meet a set of nutrition criteria by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The logo is used on packaged foods, and it helps consumers identify healthier options in their shopping.
The Healthier Choice logo should not be confused with the MyChoice logo, which is for restaurant meals and menus.
Why Should You Apply for the Healthier Choice Logo?
While it is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged for companies that produce food products to apply for HCL certificate.
The Healthier Choice Logo can be a part of your food packaging along with other information such as the nutrition facts label, nutrition claims, and ingredients lists.
In a way, food businesses can benefit from the logo because it helps customers identify their products as healthier, which can help them stand out from competitors.
It also gives consumers confidence in the quality of your product by showing that it has undergone rigorous assessment for nutritional value and ingredients.
In addition to that, there are some other benefits that you can unlock by obtaining the Healthier Choice Logo:
Increased brand awareness
The logo will allow customers to easily identify your brand as one that cares about their health and well-being, increasing their opinion of your company and products.
By displaying the logo on your packaging label, you will be able to increase sales by being perceived as a healthier product, which is an important aspect of any business.
The certification tells consumers that your product is healthier than others in its category. This gives them peace of mind knowing they ARE making a smart choice when purchasing from you.
How to Apply for the Healthier Choice Logo
Fill an application
To apply, you must fill out the application via the HCL online system. The system can be accessed at http://myhcl.moh.gov.my.
Each food group has a set of criteria, and your product must meet all of the criteria for each food group for which you choose to submit an application.
For example, below are the nutrient criteria for cereal, cereal products & flour confection group.
You may check the rest of the nutrient criteria here.
Send the certificate of analysis
On top of that, you must also send the certificate of analysis of the products during the submission of the application.
Laboratory tests must be carried out by accredited and recognized laboratories from the Department of Standard Malaysia under the Skim Akreditasi Makmal Malaysia (SAMM).
However, do bear in mind that any costs related to the submission of the application (including analysis and laboratory test), will be borne by the applicants.
Submit labels for approval
All artworks or labels using or with reference to HCL must be submitted first for approval.
The label submitted must:
- have the Front-of-Pack (FOP) Energy Icon;
- display the nutrients specified in the criteria on the nutrition information panel (NIP);
- and display a specific HCL statement under the Logo
Issuance of HCL certificate
Once you have obtained the HCL certificate, it will be valid for a duration of two years (24 months).
To renew the certificate, you must submit your renewal application no later than six months prior to the expiration of your current certificate.
Additionally, approved products are randomly selected for analysis to ensure that they continue to meet the standard nutritional criteria.
Meanwhile, any companies whose products fail to meet the criteria will be investigated and may be disqualified from the program.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that all food products comply with the requirements of the Food Act 1983, Food Regulations 1985, and HCL Certification Conditions.
Summary of Healthier Choice Logo Application Procedures
Beat Your Competition with The Healthier Choice Logo
Applying for the Healthier Choice Logo is a great branding strategy that you might want to consider.
By indicating that your products are healthier, it can help to increase sales while enabling you to compete more effectively in an already crowded food market.
But first, you must have proper product packaging and labeling for it to work.
Your food packaging could mean the difference between a customer who buys from you and one who doesn’t.
So, if you are looking for forward-thinking food packaging to draw customers to your products, Foodipedia got the perfect labeling and packaging services in Malaysia for you.
This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Please opt for a one-to-one consultation with us or a relevant professional for your specific concerns regarding food business solutions in Malaysia before making any decisions.