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Chapter 5
Nutrition Labelling
Sections 5.5-5.8

5.5 Displaying the Nutrition Facts Table

The Food and Drug Regulations specifically prescribe where and how nutrition information must be displayed on each prepackaged food, whether on a Nutrition Facts table affixed to the container or by some other permitted mechanism (such as on a tag - see 5.11 of this Guide). The remaining sections of this chapter explain the rules governing the correct usage of both standard and specialized formats of the Nutrition Facts table, in a variety of situations. Later sections in the chapter explain in detail the use of the nutrition labelling required on:

Regardless of the type of food product to be labelled, the first step in determining the appropriate size, shape and configuration of a Nutrition Facts table depends on accurately determining the available display surface of the product's packaging.

5.5.1 Defining the "Available Display Surface" [B.01.001]

In general, the Nutrition Facts table must be displayed on the available display surface (ADS) of a package. This is defined as the total surface area of a package on which a label can be physically applied or on which information can be legibly set out and easily viewed. For conditions pertaining to small packages see 5.10; for tags see 5.11; and for ornamental containers see 5.12 of this Guide.

The available display surface refers to the area which is physically available for labelling. It includes all unlabelled surfaces on which information can be legibly set out and easily viewed. Also included is any surface that has any printing, designs or graphics already printed on it, whether mandatory, optional or promotional (other than the area occupied by the universal product code, see 5.5.2 of this Guide). For example, any label surface containing any printed information, such as a list of ingredients, a name and address of a manufacturer, a brand name, graphics, claims, promotional information, recipes, etc., is considered part of the available display surface. If the UPC is printed more than once on the label, the area occupied by the additional copies is also considered part of the available display surface.

The available display surface includes decorative textured surfaces (e.g., glass or plastic beverage bottles) if similar containers in the marketplace have labels applied to these types of surfaces. It also includes transparent parts of packages (e.g., clear windows in bacon flat packs and pasta boxes, plastic bags, etc.). However, cut out spaces and open windows are not included.

For egg cartons (pulp flat, foam flat, clear plastic), the Nutrition Facts table may be printed on the underside of the lid. The underside of the lid is considered part of the available display surface calculation when any information (e.g., nutritional, promotional or otherwise) is printed on it.

The bottom surface of a container must be included if the contents will not leak or be damaged when the package is turned over to view the Nutrition Facts table. For example, the bottom of a box containing a meringue pie or a decorated cake would not be counted as available display space, nor would the bottoms of some plastic-wrapped foam trays of ground meat which are not completely sealed against moisture leakage.

The "available display surface" is also defined in B.01.001 as

  • the total surface area of both sides of a tag (see 5.11 of this Guide) attached to a package to which a label cannot be physically applied or on which information cannot be legibly set out and easily viewed by the purchaser or consumer under the customary conditions of purchase, and
  • the bottom of an ornamental container or the total surface area of both sides of a tag attached to the ornamental container (see 5.12 of this Guide), whichever is greater.

5.5.2  Elements Not Included as Part of the Available Display Surface

The available display surface does not include the area occupied by the universal product code (also known as a bar code or UPC). It also does not include:

  1. any area of a package on which a label cannot be physically applied and/or be legibly set out and easily viewed by the purchaser or consumer under the customary conditions of purchase (e.g., under the gables of milk and juice cartons, under some seam flaps of packages of bar-shaped foods, on irregular or uneven surfaces of some moulded glass or plastic containers, over handles on jugs, on crimped edges used to seal some flat bags, on box seams, and on some container surfaces which are textured to give structural integrity to a container (i.e., it is not just decorative), etc.). See 5.10 of this Guide for "small packages" exemption;
  2. any "continuous surface" of 12 cm2 or less (e.g., bottle caps and lids) which is too small to accommodate even the smallest available Nutrition Facts table, provided that this continuous surface does not already have printed mandatory, optional or promotional labelling on it; and
  3. any part of the package that is destroyed upon opening (e.g., a tear strip, a band straddling a bottle cap and a bottle neck, a single label made up of several lids on a multi-pack of individual yogurt-type containers [each unit is snapped off, destroying the Nutrition Facts table], etc.) unless the product is a single-serving package (i.e., the entire contents can be reasonably expected to be eaten by one person during a single eating occasion).

5.5.3 Available Display Surface on Individually Packaged Products Sold Together in a Larger Package [A.01.016, B.01.406(2), B.01.451]

When individually packaged products are sold together inside another package, the Nutrition Facts table must be clearly and prominently displayed on the available display surface of the outside package, and be readily discernible to the purchaser or consumer under the customary conditions of purchase and use.

Each individual product does not have to display a Nutrition Facts table if the Nutrition Facts table is displayed on the outside package. However, the manufacturer has the option of declaring the Nutrition Facts on each individual product if he chooses to do so. For example, for a box of six individually-wrapped cereal bars, the Nutrition Facts table must appear on the box rather than on the individual bars inside the box, although the individual bars may also display a Nutrition Facts table.

If the outside package of individually packaged products is opened to allow each product to be offered for sale individually (i.e., without the outer package label in a convenience store), each individual product must display the Nutrition Facts table.

5.5.4 Language and Location of the Nutrition Facts Table [B.01.451(1), B.01.450(6)]

The Nutrition Facts table must be in both of Canada's official languages (i.e., French and English), unless otherwise exempt from bilingual labelling.

When there are two separate English and French tables, both must be placed either on the same continuous surface* (see description below) or on two separate continuous surfaces of the same size and prominence. A single Nutrition Facts table, whether bilingual, unilingual English or unilingual French, must appear in its entirety on one continuous surface.

*A continuous surface is not defined in the regulations but is generally understood to be a single flat surface or slightly curved surface that is unbroken or uninterrupted by defined edges, large angles, rims, sides, corners, seams, etc. For example, on a breakfast cereal box, any single panel is considered to be a continuous surface (e.g., front, back, top, bottom, side). For a cylindrically-shaped package (e.g., a can or bottle), the entire circumference of the container is continuous. A continuous surface might also include some small "rounded" angles which do not appear to hinder a consumer's ability to read the nutrition information spread over adjacent panels (e.g., the shoulder of a milk carton).

In a bilingual Nutrition Facts table, the order of languages may be reversed from the order shown in Schedule L., (i.e., French before English).

Some foods are exempt from bilingual labelling. Mandatory information on labels of foods which meet the definition of a "local food", "test market food" and "specialty food" is permitted to be displayed in only one language [B.01.012(1), B.01.012(3), (7)]. When the basic mandatory information is permitted to be shown in only one language, the Nutrition Facts table may also be shown in only that language [B.01.451(2)].

5.5.5 Orientation of the Nutrition Facts Table [B.01.452]

The Nutrition Facts table must be oriented in the same manner as the other information on the label when there is sufficient space to do so. That is, the Nutrition Facts table must be either printed standing "upright" or turned or tipped "on its side" (i.e., rotated 90º) so that the words in the table read in the same direction as the other words on the same panel (e.g., as viewed on the store shelf).

When there is insufficient space, the Nutrition Facts table may be oriented in another manner (e.g., the standard format may be tipped on its side), provided there is sufficient space to do so and the food contained in the package will not leak out or be damaged when the package is turned to view the Nutrition Facts table.

When the Nutrition Facts table is displayed on either the top or bottom of the package, it may be oriented in any manner without regard for any other information already appearing there, if any.

5.5.6 Presentation of Information in Nutrition Facts Tables

The information in the Nutrition Facts table must be listed in the correct order, using the required nomenclature, units, rounding rules and the appropriate format. See the tables to B.01.401 and B.01.402 and Chapter 6 of this Guide for further information, including details about serving sizes and reference amounts.

All versions of the Nutrition Facts table must be set out in accordance with the format specified in the applicable figure in Schedule L, FDR, with respect to such matters as order of presentation, dimensions, use of upper and lowercase letters, spacing, indenting, and use of bold type [B.01.450(1)].

5.5.7 Fonts

The characters (letters and numbers) in the Nutrition Facts table must be displayed in a single standard sans serif font that is not decorative [B.01.450(3)].

"Single" means that only one font is permitted throughout the Nutrition Facts table. "Standard" means a font which has been developed by a font designer. Since the designing process "standardizes" the font, a "standard" font is basically any font which has been developed and registered or trademarked. "Sans serif`" means that the characters must appear in a type that does not have a finishing stroke or line projecting from the end of the main stroke.

There are a variety of acceptable fonts which fall into this category. However, specific fonts are not prescribed in the Regulations. The Helvetica font is an example of a sans serif font that is not decorative and is the one used in the Figures published in Schedule L. Examples of unacceptable fonts are Courier (e.g., "font - courier"), Times New Roman (e.g., "Font- Times New Roman") and other fonts that are decorative or not "sans serif" (e.g., "font - Allegro BT", "font - amazone BT Regular", etc).

Graphics software, such as QuarkXPress, will use any fonts that are already available on your computer. If you want to use the templates mentioned in 5.6.2 of this Guide which were developed using Helvetica and Helvetica Condensed fonts, you may have to purchase these fonts if they are not already installed on your computer. Otherwise, the artwork software will provide you with the option of using another sans serif font. If you do use another sans serif font you will have to ensure that graphic elements will still comply with the specifications of the corresponding regulated figure.

Standard Format

Click on Image for Larger View
Image - detailed description of fonts on label
Figure 1.1(E)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

"Normal width font" is mentioned in the notes around Figure 1.1(E), and "condensed font", which is a narrower and more compact version of a type design is mentioned in the notes to Figure 1.3(E). Standardized fonts include both normal width and condensed fonts. Characters must be displayed in such a manner that they never touch each other or the rules (the horizontal and vertical lines - see 5.5.10 of this Guide) [B.01.450(3)(a)]. Further narrowing of type is not permitted as it may decrease legibility. Certain combination of ink and packaging materials used to print the nutrition information may be subject to "bleeding",  making it necessary to use a Nutrition Facts format with a larger type, even when, based on the area of the available display surface, a smaller type would otherwise be acceptable. Characters may be displayed with larger dimensions than those specified in Schedule L, FDR, provided all the characters in the Nutrition Facts table are enlarged in a uniform manner [B.01.450(3)(b)].

"Medium type" is mentioned in the notes around Figure 1.1(E) in Schedule L. This is compared to the "bold type" also mentioned in the notes around Figure 1.1 (E) in Schedule L.

5.5.8 Point Size

A "point" is a unit of measurement for type size. An Anglo-American point is equal to 0.3514598 mm. [B.01.400]

The value of the point varies from one system of typographical measurement to another. For the purposes of the Nutrition Facts table, the definition in B.01.400 must be used.

Some Common Point Measures in the Standard Formats

Type Size

  • 6 point = 2.11 mm
  • 8 point = 2.81 mm
  • 13 point = 4.57 mm

Leading

  • 10 point = 3.51 mm
  • 12 point = 4.22 mm
  • 14 point = 4.92 mm

Rules

  • 0.5 point = 0.175 mm
  • 1 point = 0.35 mm
  • 2 point = 0.70 mm

Indents / Spacing

  • 3 points of text = 1.05 mm
  • 5 point spacing = 1.76 mm
  • 6 point indent = 2.11 mm

5.5.9 Leading

Leading is the space between lines of type. It is also known as "linespacing" in English and "interligne" in French.

Leading is measured from the baseline of the letters in one line of type to the baseline of the letters in the line of type above it. In the example below, the leading is the distance measured between the bottom of the letter "a" in "apples" and the bottom of the letter "m" in "mangoes" in the line above.

These mangoes are not ripe yet.
These apples are really red and juicy.

There is no leading prescribed above the first line of type. Therefore, leading is only applicable to lines of type below the first line. For example, in Figure 1.1(E) in Schedule L, there is no leading above the heading "Nutrition Facts" because there is no line of type above it. The lines in the box around the entire Nutrition Facts table are not lines of type and are not considered when measuring leading.

A "descender" is that part of a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline (applicable to the letters g, j, p, q, and y). The descender is not considered in the leading measurement (e.g., use only the round portion of the letter "p"). "Descenders" normally rest on the implied "descender line" which demarcates, in most instances, the lowermost limits of the characters of the font.

An "ascender" is that part of a lowercase letter that extends above the x-height (the main body of the typeface) in the letters b, d, f, h, k, l, t. "Ascenders" and capital letters (i.e., uppercase letters) normally reach to the implied "ascender line". Leading is not measured to the ascender line, but rather to the baseline of the line of type above.

5.5.10 Rules

A horizontal or vertical "line" is called a "rule". (It can be drawn by a ruler!) "Rules" enclose the Nutrition Facts table in a box shape and divide or run between lines of type. These rules do not affect the leading measurement as the rule is a line, not a line of type.

For example, in Figure 1.1(E) of Schedule L, information in the Nutrition Facts table must be enclosed by a box with 0.5 point rule within 3 points of text. A Point Rule refers to the thickness of the rule. For example, a 1 point rule would be 0.35 mm thick, a 2 point rule would be 0.7 mm thick, a 0.5 point rule is 0.175 mm thick, etc.

A "1 point rule" or "2 point rule" specified in Schedule L may be displayed with larger dimensions in the Nutrition Facts table [B.01.450(4)].

5.5.11  Colour in the Nutrition Facts Table

Characters and rules must be printed in a single colour that is a visual equivalent of 100% solid black type on a white background or on a uniform neutral background with a maximum 5% tint of colour [B.01.450(2)]. This means, that as a minimum, the type is so dark that it is almost black and the background is so pale that it is almost white.

Colour in the Nutrition Facts Table
For purposes of illustration  only. Copying may distort the shading.

As a general rule, where information appears in black type on a label, the Nutrition Facts table should also be printed in black type. Where no information appears in black type on the label, the Nutrition Facts table should be printed in the darkest colour used elsewhere on the label, excluding pastels but including the colour used for the universal product code (also known as the UPC or bar code).

5.5.12  Indents

In Figure 1.1(E) of Schedule L, "Saturated" is listed under "Fat". It has been indented 6 points. The 6 point indent is measured from the "F" in Fat, not from the edge of the box that is around the Nutrition Facts table.

Note the specification to the right of the Nutrition Facts box illustrated in Figure 1.1(E). It explains that the edges of the enclosing box are "3 points of text" away from the type: "Text enclosed by a box with a 0.5 point rule within 3 points of text".

Therefore, the word "Fat" must be 3 points from the edge of the box, making the word "Saturated" 9 points from the edge of the box.

5.5.13  Abbreviations and Symbols in the Nutrition Facts Table [column 2 of tables to B.01.401 & B.01.402; and various Figures in Schedule L]

Public consultations have supported the idea that readers often have problems with comprehension when abbreviations are used. The number of abbreviations permitted in the Nutrition Facts table is therefore limited to the following:

  • "%" and "% DV" when the term "Daily Value" is provided in English
  • "%" and "% VQ" when the term "valeur quotidienne" is provided in French
  • "Vit" for vitamin.

The common symbols or abbreviations below are also acceptable in the Nutrition Facts table. They are considered bilingual unless otherwise noted. The use of the abbreviations for teaspoon and tablespoon (in both French and English) should be limited to those labels where the full words will not fit. Short words such as "cup" and "tasse" should be written out in full.

kilojoule kJ
grams g
millilitres ml or mL
milligrams mg
teaspoon tsp (English only)
tablespoon tbsp (English only)
cuillère à thé c. à thé or cuil. à thé (French only)
cuillère à soupe c. à soupe or cuil. à soupe (French only)

5.6 Formats for the Nutrition Facts Table [from the Figures described in Schedule L of the Food and Drug Regulations]

There are three basic Nutrition Facts table formats:

  • standard
  • horizontal;, and
  • linear.

There are also some specialized Nutrition Facts formats:

  • Simplified Formats [B.01.455]
  • Dual Format – Foods Requiring Preparation [B.01.456];
  • Aggregate Format – Different Kinds of Foods [B.01.457];
  • Dual Format – Different Amounts of Food [B.01.458];, and
  • Aggregate Format – Different Amounts of Food [B.01.459].

These Nutrition Facts table formats are listed in the following Table 5-1 along with their corresponding Figure number from Schedule L of the Food and Drug Regulations.

Table 5-1 Figures in Schedule L of the Food and Drug Regulations

Standard

  • 1.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]
  • 1.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]
  • 1.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]
  • 1.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]
  • 1.5(E)&(F)- [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]
  • 1.6(E)&(F)- [Table Part 1 to B.01.454]

Narrow Standard

  • 2.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.454]
  • 2.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.454]
  • 2.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.454]
  • 2.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.454]

Bilingual Standard

  • 3.1(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.454]
  • 3.2(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.454]
  • 3.3(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.454]
  • 3.4(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.454]
  • 3.5(B) - [B.01.454(3)(a)]
  • 3.6(B) - [B.01.454(3)(a)]
  • 3.7(B) - [B.01.454(3)(a)]

Bilingual Horizontal

  • 4.1(B) - [Table Part 4 to B.01.454]
  • 4.2(B) - [Table Part 4 to B.01.454]
  • 4.3(B) - [B.01.454(3)(b)]
  • 4.4(B) - [B.01.454(3)(b)]
  • 4.5(B) - [B.01.454(3)(b)]

Simplified Standard

  • 5.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455])
  • 5.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455]
  • 5.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455]
  • 5.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455]
  • 5.5(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455]
  • 5.6(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.455]

Bilingual Simplified Standard

  • 6.1(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.455]
  • 6.2(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.455]
  • 6.3(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.455]
  • 6.4(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.455]
  • 6.5(B) - [B.01.455(3)(a)]
  • 6.6(B) - [B.01.455(3)(a)]

Bilingual Simplified Horizontal

  • 7.1(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.455]
  • 7.2(B) - [Table Part 3 to B.01.455]
  • 7.3(B) - [B.01.455(3)(b)]
  • 7.4(B) - [B.01.455(3)(b)]

Dual Foods Requiring Preparation

  • 8.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]
  • 8.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]
  • 8.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]
  • 8.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]
  • 8.5(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]
  • 8.6(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.456]

Bilingual Dual Foods Requiring Preparation

  • 9.1(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.456]
  • 9.2(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.456]
  • 9.3(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.456]
  • 9.4(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.456]
  • 9.5(B) - [B.01.456(2)(a)]
  • 9.6 (B) - [B.01.456(2)(a)]

Aggregate Different Kinds of Foods

  • 10.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]  
  • 10.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]  
  • 10.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]  
  • 10.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]  
  • 10.5(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]   
  • 10.6(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.457]   

Bilingual Aggregate Different Kinds of Foods

  • 11.1(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.457]
  • 11.2(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.457]
  • 11.3(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.457]
  • 11.4(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.457]
  • 11.5(B) - [B.01.457(2)(a)(i) & (b)(i)]
  • 11.6(B) - [B.01.457(2)(a)(i) & (b)(i)]

Dual - Different Amounts

  • 12.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]
  • 12.2 (E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]
  • 12.3 (E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]
  • 12.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]
  • 12.5(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]
  • 12.6(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.458]

Bilingual Dual - Different Amounts

  • 13.1(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.458]
  • 13.2(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.458]
  • 13.3(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.458]
  • 13.4(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.458]
  • 13.5(B) - [B.01.458(2)(a)]
  • 13.6(B) - [B.01.458(2)(a)]

Aggregate - Different Amounts

  • 14.1(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]
  • 14.2(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]
  • 14.3(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]
  • 14.4(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]
  • 14.5(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]
  • 14.6(E)&(F) - [Table Part 1 to B.01.459]

Bilingual Aggregate Different Amounts

  • 15.1(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.459]
  • 15.2(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.459]
  • 15.3(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.459]
  • 15.4(B) - [Table Part 2 to B.01.459]
  • 15.5(B) - [B.01.459(2)(a)]
  • 15.6(B) - [B.01.459(2)(a)]

Linear

  • 16.1(E)&(F) - [B.01.454(3)(c)]
  • 16.2(E)&(F) - [B.01.454(3)(c)]

Simplified Linear

  • 17.1(E)&(F) - [B.01.455(3)(c)]
  • 17.2(E)&(F) - [B.01.455(3)(c)]

Additional Information

  • 18.1(E)&(F) - [B.01.460(1)(a)]

Bilingual - Additional Information

  • 19.1(B) - [B.01.460(2)(a)]

5.6.1 When to Use Standard, Horizontal and Linear Formats

The Standard Format is used when displaying the nutrient information for:

  • one serving of a food, as sold [B.01.406(1)];
  • an entire product that contains separately packaged ingredients or foods that are intended to be consumed together, e.g., a combination of taco shells, seasoning and salsa sauce in a taco kit [B.01.406(2)] (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide);
  • one of the foods in an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of only one of those foods, and the nutrition information for each is the same, e.g., multi-pack of individually wrapped drinks in a variety of fruit flavours [B.01.406(3)(b)]. (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide for other types of assortments); and
  • all foods in an assortment of foods as a composite value, when the assortment of foods is of the same type, the typical serving consists of more than one of these foods, and the nutrition information for each is different, e.g., a box of assorted chocolates, [B.01.406(4)]. (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide for other types of assortments).

The standard format displays the Nutrition Facts table (i.e., the box) vertically and has been consistently identified as the easiest and fastest to read and use. The Regulations contain criteria to maximize the use of the standard format for the Nutrition Facts table and require that the standard format be used whenever the available display surface is large enough. The three variations of the standard format, i.e., the standard, narrow standard and bilingual standard formats, are illustrated at the beginning of this Chapter.

The bilingual horizontal format (and simplified horizontal - see 5.6.2 of this Guide) is used when displaying the nutrition information on narrow panels of packages, such as narrow candy bars, that cannot accommodate a horizontally-oriented version of the standard format. However, its use is limited and is only permitted when the continuous surface of the package is not adequate to accommodate, in any orientation, any of the three variations of the standard format. With the horizontal format, the eye must travel down and up, then across, resulting in the nutrients not being seen in the same predictable order as when the label is read from left to right, as is the case with the standard format. Searching for a particular item therefore becomes more difficult.

The use of two separate English and French horizontal formats offer no space saving over the use of the Bilingual Standard Format or the Bilingual Simplified Standard Format and are not permitted. [Part 4 of the table to B.01.454, Figures 4.1(B) and 4.2(B)]; Part 3 of the table to B.01.455, Figures 7.1(B) and 7.2(B) of Schedule L, FDR]

The linear format (and simplified linear - see 5.6.2 of this Guide) is used to display, on very narrow panels of packages, the same nutrient information as the standard and horizontal formats. However, its use is only permitted when the continuous surface of the package is not adequate to accommodate any of the three variations of the standard format, nor the bilingual horizontal format, in any orientation. The linear format is restricted because it is more difficult to read and understand than the standard and bilingual horizontal formats. However, because the linear format is the only format that will fit some packages, it is more important to have the nutrition information displayed in a linear format than not to have it displayed at all. A bilingual linear format is not permitted since it greatly compromises readability.

In summary, the standard format for the Nutrition Facts table is required most often, the use of the horizontal format is limited, and the linear format is restricted.

The three variations of the standard format, as well as the horizontal and linear formats, are listed in Table 5-1 of this Guide, along with their corresponding Figure number from Schedule L FDR.

5.6.2 Simplified Formats [B.01.401(6), B.01.455]

Simplified Standard Formats

Image - Simplified Format (English)
Figure 5.1(E)
Image - Simplified Format (French)

For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion

The Simplified Standard Format or the Bilingual Simplified Standard Format may be used when the Nutrition Facts table does not have to contain the entire "Core List" (i.e., information listed in the table to B.01.401). These simplified forms of the standard format are permitted when seven or more items (i.e., the energy value and/or quantities of nutrients in the core information list) are permitted to be expressed as zero.

For example, if seven nutrients are zero the energy value does not have to be zero. If six nutrients are zero then the energy value has to be zero in order to total seven. In these cases, a simplified Nutrition Facts table may be used, with only the following information required to be declared:

  1. serving of stated size;
  2. energy value (even when "0");
  3. fat;
  4. carbohydrate;
  5. protein;
  6. any nutrient that is the subject of a nutritional or health-related claim or representation (including nutrient content claims set out in the table following B.01.513, health claims set out in the table to B.01.603 and biological role claims) [B.01.311];
  7. any added sugar alcohol, vitamin or mineral nutrient, (other than iodide added to salt for table or general household use, and fluoride added to prepackaged water or ice);
  8. any vitamin or mineral nutrient declared as a component of an ingredient (other than flour);
  9. any nutrients (listed in the table to B.01.401) that may not be expressed as zero; and
  10. the statement "Not a significant source of (naming each nutrient listed in the table to B.01.401 that has been omitted from the Nutrition Facts table") [B.01.401(6)].

Additional nutrients may be listed voluntarily in the simplified Nutrition Facts table.

The bilingual simplified horizontal format may only be considered for use when the continuous surface of the package is not adequate to accommodate, in any orientation, either the simplified standard format or the bilingual simplified standard format.

The simplified linear format may only be considered when the continuous surface of the package is not adequate to accommodate, in any orientation, either of  the two versions of the simplified standard format, or the bilingual simplified horizontal format.

Although the regulations do not specifically provide for a "simplified aggregate format", one may be used provided the criteria for using a simplified format and an aggregate format are both met . (See 5.6.4 below). The statement related to the simplified declaration (i.e., "Not a significant source of . . . ") should be placed directly beneath the nutrient declarations and the DV statement (i.e., DV = Daily Value) should be placed directly beneath the "Not a significant source of . . . " statement.

The simplified formats are listed in the preceding Table 5-1, along with their corresponding Figure number from Schedule L of the Food and Drug Regulations.

5.6.3 Dual Format - Foods Requiring Preparation [B.01.406(5), B.01.456]

The Dual Format and the Bilingual Dual Format are used when manufacturers want to optionally declare, for a non-ready-to-eat food, the nutrient content of the food as prepared. This is in addition to declaring the nutrients for the food as sold (as required by B.01.406(1)).

For example, the Nutrition Facts table must declare the nutrients for frozen beef patties, a powdered pudding mix, a condensed cream soup and a dry breakfast cereal as found in their respective packaging. Using the Dual Format Nutrition Facts tables, manufacturers may also declare the nutrients for these foods after they have been prepared (i.e., the cooked beef patties,  the finished pudding, the prepared soup and cereal with the added milk).

When information is optionally provided for the food after preparation, the Dual Format Nutrition Facts table must clearly set out the following information for the food as prepared:

  • for foods requiring preparation (e.g., a pudding mix), the serving size is expressed as either "about (naming the serving size)" or "about (naming the serving size) prepared" after the serving size for the food as sold [B.01.406(5)(a)(i)]. See specific notes in Figures 8.1(E)&(F) and 9.1(B) for details on how to express the serving size and associated subheadings;

Figure 9.1(B)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

Image - Food that requires preparation (Bilingual)

  • for foods commonly served with another food, (e.g., breakfast cereal), the amount of the other food (e.g., the milk) is expressed as a household measure and must be indicated in the heading for the column of information relating to the combined foods [B.01.406(5)(a)(ii)].

    See specific notes in Figures 8.1(E)&(F) and 9.1(B) with respect to expressing the serving size and subheadings. These clarify that in the case of combined foods, a serving size, such as "about ½ cup prepared", does not apply and the subheading "Prepared" is replaced with the amount of added food (e.g., "with ½ cup skim milk");
  • Calories [B.01.406(5)(a)(iii)];
  • Calories from fat, if declared for the food as sold [B.01.406(5)(a)(iv)]; and
  • % Daily Value of any nutrient that is declared as a % DV for the food as sold [B.01.406(5)(a)(v)].

The amount of any nutrient that is expressed as an absolute amount for the food as sold may also be provided for the added ingredients or the food with which the product is combined. The information is displayed in the form of a footnote [B.01.406(5)(b)]. See specific notes in Figures 8.1(E)&(F) and 9.1(B) for details on wording the optional footnote.

The dual formats are listed in Table 5-1 of this Guide, along with their corresponding Figure number from Schedule L, FDR.

5.6.4 Aggregate Format - Different Kinds of Foods [B.01.406(3)(a), B.01.457].

Image - Aggregate Format - Different Kinds of Foods (Blingual)
Figure 11.1(B)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

The Aggregate Format or the Bilingual Aggregate Format – Different Kinds of Foods is used to list the nutrient information for each food in an assortment of foods of the same type where the typical serving consists of only one of those foods and the nutrition information for each is different, (e.g., for each type of cereal in a variety pack of single-serving breakfast cereals) [B.01.406(3)(a)]. Although declaring a composite value for an assortment using the Standard Format is an option for certain assortments, it is not an option for this type of assortment (see 5.6.1 of this Guide).

As discussed in 5.6.1 of this Guide, the Standard Format can be used to display the nutrient information for

  • an entire product that contains separately packaged ingredients or foods that are intended to be consumed together, (e.g., a combination of taco shells, seasoning and salsa sauce in a taco kit) [B.01.406(2)];, and
  • all foods in an assortment of foods, as a composite value, when the assortment is of the same type of food, the typical serving consists of more than one of these foods, and the nutrition information for each is different, (e.g., a box of assorted chocolates) [B.01.406(4)].

Instead of using the Standard Format in these situations, a manufacturer may display separate nutrient information about these types of foods, using the Aggregate Format or the Bilingual Aggregate Format – Different Kinds of Foods, in which case the Nutrition Facts table must set out the nutrient information as follows:

  • for each separately packaged ingredient or food when these are intended to be consumed together, (e.g., separate declarations for the taco shells, seasoning mix (to add to your own meat) and salsa sauce in a boxed taco kit) [B.01.406(2), Parts 1 and 2 of the table to B.01.457, B.01.457(2)(a), Figures 10.1 to 10.6(E)&(F), 11.1 to 11.6(B)]; and
  • for each food in an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of more than one of those foods, and the nutrition information for each is different, (e.g., each kind or flavour of chocolate in a box of assorted chocolates) [B.01.406(4)].

Note that for each food in an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of only one of those foods and the nutrition information for each is the same, (e.g., each flavour of individually wrapped drinks in a multi-pack of fruit-flavoured drinks) the nutrition information is required to be set out on the basis of one of the foods. This means that the Aggregate Format is not permitted for these types of assortments. [B.01.406(3)(b)]. (See also 5.6.1 of this Guide.)  

The Aggregate Formats - Different Kinds of Foods are listed in Table 5-1 of this Guide, along with their corresponding Figure number from Schedule L, FDR.

5.6.5 Dual and Aggregate Formats - Different Amounts of Foods [B.01.458, B.01.459]

Image - Dual and Aggregate Formats - Different Amounts of Foods (Bilingual)
Figure 13.1(B)
Image - Dual and Aggregate Formats - Different Amounts of Foods (Bilingual)
Figure 15.1(B)

For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

In order to better reflect different uses and different units of measurement, certain Nutrition Facts table formats allow manufacturers to provide additional sets of nutrient values for different amounts of a food.

The Regulations require the information in the Nutrition Facts table to be declared per serving of stated size. However, the information may optionally be set out on the basis of other quantities to reflect different uses (e.g., 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk and ½ cup of evaporated milk), or different units of measurement (e.g., 1 slice or 2 slices of bread).

Information on different amounts of the food may be displayed using either the Dual Format or the Aggregate Format.

Regardless of whether the Dual Format or the Aggregate Format is chosen, the other amount(s) of the food for which information is provided must appear as a heading for the appropriate column of information, and must be given in a household measure [B.01.406(7)(a)(i)]. Furthermore,

  • in the Aggregate Format, the amount(s) must be expressed as a metric measure (i.e., in grams or milligrams as prescribed) [B.01.002A(1)(b), B.01.406(7)(c)(i)];, and
  • in the Dual Format, the amount(s) may optionally be expressed as a metric measure. [B.01.406(7)(b)].

The following information must also be set out for each amount:

  • Calories [B.01.406(7)(a)(ii)],
  • Calories from fat, if declared for the first amount of food [B.01.406(7)(a)(iii)],
  • % Daily Value for all nutrients declared as a % DV for the first amount of food [B.01.406(7)(a)(iv)], and
  • when using the Aggregate Format, the amount of all nutrients expressed as a metric measure, if that information is declared for the first amount of food [B.01.406(7)(c)(ii) and (iii)].

The Dual and Aggregate Formats - Different Amounts of Foods are listed in Table 5-1 of this Guide along with their corresponding Figure numbers from Schedule L, FDR.

5.7 Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables

The graphics for Schedule L, FDR, as originally published in Canada Gazette Part II, do not illustrate actual-size Nutrition Facts tables. In most cases, the tables are shown larger than required.

Health Canada has developed a Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables which includes 270 templates. These correspond to actual-size graphic illustrations of the various versions of the Nutrition Facts table permitted by the Food and Drug Regulations. These templates will assist label designers and members of the food and packaging industries in complying with the format specifications of the Regulations.

The Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables was created in QuarkXPress 4.1 and is available upon request from your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency office.

If the Acrobat (pdf) files are printed using Acrobat Reader or opened in commonly used artwork software packages such as Adobe Illustrator or Micromedia Freehand, the conversion will cause alterations in the graphic elements. Consequently, before using the converted templates, it is important to check them against the graphic specifications in Schedule L of the Regulations which can be found in Canada Gazette Part II (SOR/2003-11, Vol. 137, No. 5).

The Compendium is only partly available in web page (HTML) format since the images included in the document may not conform to the specifications in the Regulations. Do not use images from the HTML document for generating (e.g., copying, importing, printing) the Nutrition Facts table.

Graphics software (e.g., QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator) will calculate the dimensions and surface area for the largest version of the selected format version when appropriate data is entered in the program. When separate English and French versions of the Nutrition Facts table are used, the surface areas of both tables must be added together.

5.8 Step-by-Step Guide to Using the Formats

Step 1
Measure the available display surface
of your package. The Nutrition Facts table is not required to occupy more than 15% of the available display surface of a package, except in the case of smaller packages.

EXAMPLE

If the available display surface is 278 cm2, the maximum size required for any Nutrition Facts table would be 41.7 cm2 (i.e., 15% of 278).

Step 2
Choose a Nutrition Facts table format
, the one which is most appropriate for the food, from among those listed below:

  • Standard Format [B.01.454, see 5.6.1];
  • Simplified Format [B.01.455, see 5.6.2];
  • Dual Format – Foods Requiring Preparation [B.01.456, see 5.6.3];
  • Aggregate Format – Different Kinds of Foods [B.01.457, see 5.6.4];
  • Dual Format – Different Amounts of Food [B.01.458, see 5.6.5];, or
  • Aggregate Format – Different Amounts of Food [B.01.459, see 5.6.5]

Questions to ask when deciding upon which format to use include the following:

  • Is the food ready-to-eat, as sold? See 5.6.1 of this Guide;
  • Does the product contain separately packaged ingredients or foods that are intended to be consumed together? See 5.6.1 and 5.6.4 of this Guide;
  • If the food is packaged within an assortment, does the typical serving consist of more than one food in the assortment or just one? See 5.6.1 and 5.6.4 of this Guide;
  • If the food is  packaged within an assortment, is the nutrient information for each item in the assortment the same or different? See 5.6.1 and 5.6.4 of this Guide;
  • May seven or more nutrients and/or energy (from the core list set out in the table to B.01.401) be expressed as zero? See 5.6.2 of this Guide;
  • Does the food require preparation or is it usually combined with or served with one or more other foods before eating? See 5.6.3  of this Guide;
  • Would it be preferable to display nutrient information for different amounts of the food so that the information reflects different uses or different units of measurement? See 5.6.5 of this Guide;, and
  • Is the food intended solely for consumption by children under two years of age? See 5.13  of this Guide

NOTE: Precedence must always be given to the standard format. At this point, it is not possible to make a selection among the standard, horizontal and linear formats. The horizontal and linear formats may be used only under certain circumstances. See Steps 7 and 8.

Step 3
Select the variation of the format
(selected in Step 2) which is most suited to the product in question from the following options:

  • separate English and French tables;
  • a single bilingual table; or,
  • in the case of the Standard Format only, the narrow form of the separate English and French tables.

NOTE: Precedence must always be given to the standard format. At this point, it is not possible to make a selection among the standard, horizontal and linear formats. The horizontal and linear formats may be used only under certain circumstances. See Steps 7 and 8.

See Table 5 -1 of this Guide  for a list of figures of the Nutrition Facts table formats, including  their corresponding format variations, from Schedule L of the FDR.

EXAMPLE (continued)

Let's assume your first choice is the standard format that uses separate English and French tables [Figures 1.1 (E) and Figure 1.1(F) in Schedule L, FDR].

Step 4
Determine which pieces of information must be included within the table.
The Nutrition Facts table often must contain not only core nutrition information, but also Additional Information (see 5.4.1 of this Guide).

Note that the Figures 18.1 (E) & (F) and 19.1(BF) are not prescribed formats. They only illustrate the order of presentation, the use of indents and the presentation of footnotes.

For all other matters,  the specifications applicable to the chosen format must be followed. For example, when presenting additional information in the Standard Format,   all specifications in Figure 1.1(E) are used, except that the order of presentation, indents and footnotes are as set out in Figures 18.1(E) and 18.1(F). When presenting additional information in the Dual Format for foods requiring preparation, all specifications for Figure 8.1(E) are used except the order of presentation, indents and footnotes are as specified in Figures 18.1(E) and 18.1(F) [B.01.460].

The use of indents illustrated in Figures 18.1(E) and 18.1(F) is not applicable when the additional information is set out in the linear format or in the simplified linear format [B.01.460(3), B.01.454(3)(c), B.01.455(3)(c)].

Step 5
Determine whether the available display surface of your package is large enough to accommodate the largest specified version (size) of the format variation selected in Step 3.

The appropriate Nutrition Facts table size to be used on the package is governed by a 15% ceiling. This means that the Nutrition Facts table is not required to (but may) occupy more than 15% of the available display surface.

Next, the surface area of the selected format variation of the Nutrition Facts table is compared to the area of the available display surface of the package. When there are two separate English and French tables, the area of the Nutrition Facts table is the combined area of both tables.

When the package is not large enough to accommodate the largest version of the format variation within 15% of the available display surface, it is necessary to work through a hierarchy of specifications for type size and leading (e.g., the space between the lines - see 5.5.9 of this Guide) as set out in the Regulations, comparing the area that the Nutrition Facts table will occupy to the available display surface, and reducing the table size accordingly. (See Table 5-2 below).

Table 5-2 Format Hierarchies
Figures from Schedule L of the Food and Drug Regulations

Bilingual Standard
[Table Part 3 to B.01.454]

3.1(B)
down arrow
3.2(B)
down arrow
3.3(B)
down arrow
3.4(B)

Standard
[Table Part 1 to B.01.454]

1.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
1.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
1.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
1.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
1.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
1.6(E)&(F)

Narrow Standard
[Table Part 2 to B.01.454]

2.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
2.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
2.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
2.4(E)&(F)

Bilingual Simplified Standard
[Table Part 2 to B.01.455]

6.1(B)
down arrow
6.2(B)
down arrow
6.3(B)
down arrow
6.4(B)

Simplified Standard
[Table Part 1 to B.01.455]

5.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
5.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
5.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
5.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
5.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
5.6(E)&(F)

Bilingual Dual - Foods Requiring Preparation
[Table Part 2 to B.01.456]

9.1(B)
down arrow
9.2(B)
down arrow
9.3(B)
down arrow
9.4(B)

Dual - Foods Requiring Preparation
[Table Part 1 to B.01.456]

8.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
8.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
8.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
8.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
8.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
8.6(E)&(F)

Bilingual Dual - Different Amounts
[Table Part 2 to B.01.458]

13.1(B)
down arrow
13.2(B)
down arrow
13.3(B)
down arrow
13.4(B)

Dual - Different Amounts
[Table Part 1 to B.01.458]

12.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
12.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
12.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
12.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
12.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
12.6(E)&(F)

Bilingual Aggregate - Different Kinds
[Table Part 2 to B.01.457]

11.1(B)
down arrow
11.2(B)
down arrow
11.3(B)
down arrow
11.4(B)

Aggregate - Different Kinds
[Table Part 1 to B.01.457]

10.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
10.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
10.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
10.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
10.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
10.6(E)&(F)

Bilingual Aggregate - Different Amounts
[Table Part 2 to B.01.459]

15.1(B)
down arrow
15.2(B)
down arrow
15.3(B)
down arrow
15.4(B)

Aggregate - Different Amounts
[Table Part 1 to B.01.459]

14.1(E)&(F)
down arrow
14.2(E)&(F)
down arrow
14.3(E)&(F)
down arrow
14.4(E)&(F)
down arrow
14.5(E)&(F)
down arrow
14.6(E)&(F)

When calculating whether a version of a Nutrition Facts table fits, the area occupied by "additional information" that is required to be included in the table, (e.g., vitamin D when added to the food) is included in the calculation. Other non-mandatory information (e.g. number of servings per container) may appear in the table, but the area it occupies must not be used to calculate whether the table takes up more than 15% of the available display surface [B.01.454(4), B.01.456(3), B.01.457(3), B.01.458(3), B.01.459(3)].

This means that in some cases, such as when the combination of package size and design results in limited continuous surface being available upon which to place the Nutrition Facts table, it may be necessary to remove some of the voluntary nutrition information in order to properly display the mandatory information in the required format and size.

If the surface area of the largest size Nutrition Facts table(s) is greater than 15% of the available display surface, you may consider the next smaller version of the format variation. Continue working through all permitted size versions of the format variation selected until you find a version that does not take up more than 15% of your available display surface. The largest version that occupies less than 15% of the available display surface represents the minimum size permitted for the Nutrition Facts table.

If all versions of the format variation selected in Step 3 take up more than 15% of the available display surface, the versions of another format variation must be considered to determine if any of these would require less space. All size versions of these format options must be worked through. For instance, if the standard format was chosen initially and Figures 1.6(E) and (F) do not fit onto the label, the Narrow Standard and the Bilingual Standard formats must be considered to determine if any size variations of these latter two formats would fit on the label. If none of the versions fit, continue on to Step 7.

EXAMPLE CONTINUED

Try all size versions of 1.1 (E) and 1.1(F) through 1.6(E) and 1.6(F) in the hierarchy set out in Part 1 of the table to B.01.454 until you find a Nutrition Facts table size that is closest to but that does not take up more than 15% of your available display surface.

Two separate English and French tables displayed according to Figures 1.1(E) and (F) would occupy about 61.2 cm2. However, as the maximum size required for your Nutrition Facts table is 41.7 cm2 (from step 1) you may continue and determine the area of Figures 1.2 (E) and 1.2(F) and compare. Continuing the process you would determine that the area of Figures 1.3(E) and
1.3(F) totals about 38.4 cm2, which is closest to the maximum size requirement without exceeding it. This is the smallest size you can use.

Step 6
Consider the orientation and location of the selected size version of the format variation, as determined in Step 5.

The Nutrition Facts table must be placed on a continuous surface area of the package. If the appropriate size of the Nutrition Facts table does not fit on a side panel, it will have to be placed on the principal display panel or on another larger panel.

If necessary, the Nutrition Facts table may be placed in a different orientation than the rest of the printed information on a particular panel (e.g., the "upright" table may be tipped on its side to a horizontal orientation). If the table cannot be positioned on any continuous surface of the package in any orientation due to the size of the table or the design of the package (e.g., rims, ridges, etc.), or if there is a possibility that the product will leak or be damaged when the package is turned over to view the table, the next smaller version in the hierarchy may be considered.

However, once a version that fits is found, this is the minimum size permitted for the package. (Certain combinations of ink and packaging materials used to print the nutrition information may be subject to "bleeding", making it necessary to use a Nutrition Facts format with a larger type, even when, based on the area of the available display surface, a smaller type would otherwise be acceptable.) Characters may be displayed with larger dimensions than those specified in Schedule L, provided all the characters in the Nutrition Facts table are enlarged in a uniform manner [B.01.450(3)(a) and(3)(b)]

If none of the versions of the selected format variation can be positioned on a continuous surface of the package according to the conditions described, one must consider whether the versions of other format variations would require less space (see Step 2 and 3). Work through all size versions of other format variations, in the manner described in Steps 5 and 6. If none of the versions fit, continue on to Step 7 or go directly to Step 8 if you are using the Dual or Aggregate Formats.

If the continuous surface is not adequate to accommodate any additional mandatory information beneath the mandatory declaration of iron, the remaining information may be moved to the upper right. This "remaining" information is enclosed in a box with a 0.5 point rule that shares its left rule with the main box. (See Figure 19.1(B)).

EXAMPLE (CONTINUED )

If Figures 1.3(E)&(F) fit on a continuous surface area of the package in any orientation, they are your correct format choice.

If they will not fit, then you must next try Figures 1.4(E) and 1.4(F). If they also do not fit , continue on and try Figures 1.5(E) and 1.5(F), then Figures 1.6(E) and 1.6(F).

If they also will not fit, go back to Steps 2 and 3, select another standard format variation (e.g., either the narrow standard (Figures 2.1 to 2.4(E) and (F)) or the bilingual standard (Figures 3.1(B) to 3.4(B)), then work through steps 5 and 6 again. If one of these fits, it is your correct format choice.

If none of the versions fit, continue on to Step 7 or go directly to Step 8 if you are using the Dual or Aggregate Formats.

Step 7
Determining whether the bilingual horizontal format is applicable.

Bilingual Horizontal Format

Image - Horizontal Format (bilingual)
Figure 4.1(B)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

The use of the horizontal format and the simplified horizontal format is limited and is only permitted when none of the versions of the standard format (or simplified format) identified in step 5 (Parts 1 to 3 of Table to B.01.454 or Parts 1 and 2 of table to B.01.455) will fit on the label.

To determine if the bilingual horizontal format fits, one compares the surface area of the largest version [e.g., Figure 4.1(B)] to the available display surface of the package. If the surface area is greater than 15% of the available display surface, the second version [e.g., Figure 4.2(B) may be considered]. If neither of these versions fit within 15% of the available display surface, continue to step 8. Similarly, if the second version fits within 15% of the available display surface but does not fit on a continuous surface, continue to step 8.

Step 8
Determining other options

When none of the versions tried in the previous steps fits within 15% of the available display surface, or on a continuous surface, several other options are available (in no particular order of preference, without regard for the 15% criteria):

Other Option 1.
A format version that occupies more than 15%
of the available display surface.

Other Option 2.
A format with reduced leading:

  • the bilingual standard format [B.01.454(3)(a), Figures 3.5(B) to 3.7(B)];
  • the bilingual horizontal format [B.01.454(3)(b), Figures 4.3(B) to 4.5(B)];
  • the bilingual simplified standard format [B.01.455(3)(a), Figures 6.5(B) and 6.6(B)];
  • the bilingual simplified horizontal format [B.01.455(3)(b), Figures 7.3(B) and 7.4(B)];
  • the bilingual dual format [B.01.456(2)(a), Figures 9.5(B) and 9.6(B); and B.01.458(2)(a), Figures 13.5(B) and 13.6(B)];, or
  • the bilingual aggregate format [B.01.457(2)(a)(i) and (ii), Figures 11.5(B) and 11.6(B); and B.01.459(2)(a), Figures 15.5(B) and 15.6(B)]

Other Option 3.

The linear format [B.01.454(3)(c), Figures 16.1(E) and (F) and 16.2(E) and (F)] or the simplified linear format [B.01.455(3)(c), Figures 17.1(E) and (F)] and 17.2(E) and (F).

The linear format (and simplified linear - see 5.6.2 below) is used to display, on very narrow panels of packages, the same nutrient information as the standard and horizontal formats.

Linear Format

Image - Linear format (English)
Figure 16.1(E)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

Image - Linear format (French)
Figure 16.1(F)
For purposes of illustration only. Copying may cause distortion.

A bilingual linear format is not permitted since it greatly compromises readability. However, as a space-saving measure, both the French and the English information in the linear format may appear in a single "box", provided that all of the information in one language follows all of the information in the other language (i.e., the languages must not be mixed together). The number of lines of text may vary from one product to another and depends on the package shape.

Other Option 4.
A shortened version of the statement required in the simplified format

The statement "Not a significant source of (naming each nutrient that is omitted from the Nutrition Facts table in accordance with B.01.401(6))" may be replaced with "Not a significant source of other nutrients" [B.01.401(6)(j)]

Other Option 5.
Any of the specific "alternative methods of presentation"
, which are listed in Section B.01.466(1):

  • a tag attached to the package (see 5.11 of this Guide);
  • a package insert;
  • the inner side of a label;
  • a fold-out label;, and
  • an outer sleeve, overwrap or collar.

A toll-free telephone number is not an acceptable way to provide the required nutrient information (see 5.10 of this Guide for small packages).

When the Nutrition Facts table is displayed on a package insert or the inner side of the label, there must be an indication of the location of the Nutrition Facts table on the outer side of the label in a type size of not less than 8 points [B.01.466(2)].

An alternative method of presentation is permitted to be used only in the following situations [B.01.466, B.01.454(3)(e), B.01.455(3)(e), B.01.457(2)(b)]:

  • for the entire product, when it contains contains separately packaged ingredients or foods that are intended to be consumed together, e.g., a combination of taco shells, seasoning and salsa sauce in a taco kit [B.01.406(2)] (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide)
  • for an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of only one of those foods, and the nutrition information for each is the same (e.g., multi-pack of individually wrapped drinks in a variety of fruit flavours). (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide);
  • as a composite value for an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of more than one of these foods, and the nutrition information for each is different (e.g., a box of assorted chocolates) [B.01.406(4)]. (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide);

    NOTE: In any of the above situations, the Nutrition Facts table must be displayed in your choice of any version (e.g., size) of the standard, horizontal or linear formats permitted by the Regulations. [B.01.466(3)(a) and (b)].

  • when displaying separate nutrient information for each food in an assortment of foods of the same type where the typical serving consists of only one of those foods and the nutrition information for each is different, (e.g., for each type of cereal in a variety pack of single-serving breakfast cereals). Note that declaring a composite value for this type of assortment is not an option (see 5.6.1 of this Guide). [B.01.406(3)(a), B.01.457(2)(b)]

    NOTE: In this case, the Nutrition Facts table must be displayed in your choice of any version of the Aggregate Format - Different Kinds of Foods permitted by the Regulations [B.01.466(3)(c)].

There is no provision to use an alternative method of presentation for the following formats [B.01.466(1)]:

  • the Dual Format - Foods Requiring Preparation [B.01.456] which is used when manufacturers want to optionally declare nutrients for the food as prepared (e.g., cooked beef patties, prepared pudding mix, prepared soup and cereal with added milk) for a non-ready-to-eat food (e.g., frozen beef patties, a powdered pudding mix, a condensed cream soup as it comes from the can, and a dry breakfast cereal)
  • the Dual [B.01.458] and Aggregate [B.01.459] Formats for Different Amounts of Foods which are used to optionally provide nutrient information for different uses of a food (e.g., 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk and ½ cup of evaporated milk), or different amounts of a food (e.g., 1 slice or 2 slices of bread);, and
  • the Aggregate Format - Different Kinds of Foods [B.01.457(2)(a)] when used to display information for separate ingredients or foods, as in the following cases:
    • when the product contains separately packaged ingredients or foods that are intended to be consumed together (e.g., a combination of taco shells, seasoning and salsa sauce in a taco kit) [B.01.406(2)] (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide);
    • when the product is an assortment of foods of the same type, where the typical serving consists of more than one of these foods, and the nutrition information for each is different, e.g., a box of assorted chocolates. [B.01.406(4)] (See also 5.6.4 of this Guide).

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