Energy drinks are a popular way to stay caffeinated and alert, especially for people who don’t like coffee. However, these highly caffeinated drinks can be harmful. From FDA requirements to providing sufficient warnings to avoid legislation, your energy drink labels demand careful planning and the right labeling systems.
Here’s a brief overview of energy drink labeling standards, and the labeling systems that can help you meet them.
Energy drink labeling requirements and best practices
The FDA recommends that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine each day. However, FDA labeling guidelines are considerably out of date. Currently, energy drinks have the same labeling requirements as soft drinks. Companies are not required to state how much caffeine is in the drink, nor add advisory statements. However, if manufacturers sell their drinks as supplements, they must include caffeine in their labeling.
Currently, the FDA requires that energy drink labels include three components: a list of ingredients, a declaration of allergens (if applicable) and the Nutrition Facts panel.
However, you may wish to include additional information to avoid liability. The American Beverage Association self-regulates their energy drink labels. While this information isn’t mandatory under law, members of the ABA have committed to the following best practices:
- Caffeine content: Labels should include the caffeine per serving, per container or both, separate from the Nutrition Facts label.
- Warnings: The label should note that the beverages are not recommended for people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or breastfeeding people or children.
- Consumption: The label should not promote “excessive consumption” of the energy drinks.
- Marketing to children: Manufacturers agree that they will follow the Council of Beverage Associations’ marketing policy for children, such as not advertising to children under 12.
- Categorization: The beverages are sold as beverages, not supplements.
- Alcohol agreement: Labels and marketing should not suggest mixing the drink with alcohol, or imply it will help the consumer sober up faster.
Some manufacturers, however, do categorize their drinks as dietary supplements, whether they’re marketed as a drink or exceed recommended caffeine limits. These labels need to include a Supplement Facts panel, rather than a Nutrition Facts or Drug Facts panel. This information includes active ingredients, calories and other information required by law.
Energy drink labeling solutions
Once you’ve designed your energy drink label and check to make sure it meets all industry and regulatory standards, you’ll need the right energy drink labeling system. Quadrel’s labeling solutions will help you efficiently and accurately label your energy drinks, whichever container type you use.
Our bottle labeling machines can label sports and energy drink bottles at speeds of up to 300 products per minute, depending on the machine you choose. Alternatively, try a shrink sleeve label applicator, which can take advantage of 360-degree label design and add a tamper-evident seal. If you’re labeling cans, one of our wrap labeling systems may be suitable for you.
Not sure which solution you need, or would like to discuss designing a custom labeling system? Reach out to Quadrel today.