Here’s everything you need to know about the new rules and how we can help!
If you produce a pre-packaged food product in Canada or export your product to Canada and make Canada nutrition labels for those products, then you need to be aware of the new front package labels rules added to the requirements for Canada nutrition labels going into effect January 1, 2026.
Food product labels are essential to letting customers know what is in their food and how healthy it is for them. Consumers today want and need to know precisely what they are consuming. That means your food nutrition labels must have all the relevant information on from the Government of Canada’s website, especially the front package Canada rule, which we will discuss.
But don’t worry because this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get your food product nutrition label ready for the change. It will cover:
- Why you need a front-of-package nutrition symbol
- Foods that must have a front-of-package nutrition symbol
- What the front-of-package nutrition symbol should look like
- How the front-of-package nutrition symbol was chosen
- How the nutrition symbol must appear on the front of your food package
So let’s dive into the new rule for food nutritional labeling in Canada.
Why You Need Front-of-Package Canada Nutrition Labels
The Government of Canada has decided to institute a front package Canada rule. They now require front-of-package Canadian nutrition labels on all food products that are high in:
The Canadian government has decided to add a front package Canada rule about putting a front-of-package label on products with high sodium content, sugar content, and saturated because those ingredients can all lead to increased health risks.
Some of these risks include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancers
With a front-of-package label notifying customers of these high levels, they will help consumers make quick and informed decisions when they are shopping and better assist health professionals in educating people about foods that come with health risks.
Foods That Must Have Front-of-Package Canada Nutrition Labels
The new front package Canada rule is mandatory for pre-packaged foods that meet or exceed standard sodium, sugar, and saturated fat levels.
However, some foods will be exempt from displaying a nutrition symbol. These include:
- Foods exempt on technicalities
- Individually packaged portions intended to be served by a restaurant or other commercial enterprise to accompany meals or snacks (such as individually portioned crackers for soup or creamers with coffee)
- Cream and milk sold in refillable glass containers
- Certain foods in tiny packages
- Raw, single-ingredient whole cuts of meat, fish, and poultry that do not have a nutrition facts table
- Foods with a positive effect on health, such as fruits and vegetables without added sodium, saturated fat, or sugars
- Certain dairy products, such as plain milk, plain yogurt and cheese — essential sources of calcium needed to promote bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Raw, single-ingredient poultry and ground meats to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts that do not carry a nutrition symbol
- Butter, salt, sugar and other similar products such as
- celery salt
- maple syrup
- seasoning salt
- vegetable oils
If you are making packaged food that falls under the exemption category, then you may not need to change your product’s nutrition label, and the new front package Canada rule may not apply.
What the Front Package Canada Rule Nutrition Symbol Should Look Like
The front package Canada rule has a few specific guidelines that your food product package must follow. The new Canada nutrition labels are black and white, have a magnifying glass, and highlight what the food is high in: sodium, sugar, saturated fat, or any combination.
Here is an example of a label on a pre-packaged product that is high in sodium and saturated fat.
The symbols are bilingual, with English as the first language. You’ll need to add these labels to your pre-packaged food product to make them compliant with the new Canada front package rule.
How the Canada Nutrition Labels Were Chosen
The new Canada nutrition labels were chosen with feedback from people living in Canada. Consumer research helped them choose the nutrition symbol.
Here is a link to learn more about the research and consultation process.
How the Nutrition Symbol Must Appear on the Front of Your Food Package
There has to be uniformity for Canada nutrition labels with how and where the nutrition information is displayed on Canadian products. Therefore, the new Canada front package rule states the specific requirements for the label’s size, location, and language.
The size of the label will be determined by the size of the package and be proportional. The new label needs to be clearly visible on packages of all sizes.
The Canada nutrition labels must appear on most package shapes’ upper half. If the label is broader than tall, it must be placed on the right half of the package.
The new front package Canada rule states that the nutrition label must be written in English and French. You can have one label in English and one in French, or you can have both languages on the same label.
For a more detailed explanation of every detail of the new front package Canada rule, go to this link provided by the Government of Canada, scroll down to the figures, and click on the figure’s text description.
There you have it: everything you need to know about the front package Canada rule regarding pre-packaged foods. The new front package Canada rule for Canada nutrition labels is not a massive change but one that everyone making food products headed for Canada needs to be aware of, especially before the law goes into effect on January 1, 2026.
Nutritionist Pro™ offers a proprietary software for easy, do-it-yourself labeling. With our nutrition label-making software, you can quickly create and see your food’s nutrition data. Once you have the nutrition data for your food, you can then decide if you need to display a front package alert for any of the 3 nutrients (Sodium, Sugar, Saturated Fat).
Click the link below to sign up for Nutritionist Pro™’s label-making software and see how it can help you make Canada Nutrition Labels.