When rolling out a food product or service, labeling and legal requirements can get pretty specific. Consider this checklist of questions along the way:
Task #1: Choosing the name of your product or service.
- Should you apply for a federal trademark registration, or are you better off merely using the name without registering it or applying for a state trademark registration?
- Does it make sense to apply for one name or your top three names?
- Should you apply to register the words in your product name, the logo that accompanies it, or both? Is there any benefit to applying for your logo in the colors in which it is used?
- If you get a federal registration, how readily will you be able to stop others from using your name?
- What are the chances that third parties will take issue with your name, possibly resulting in a cease-and-desist letter?
Task #2: Creating your product packaging.
- Do you qualify for the small-producer exemption?
- Are the name and flavor of your product correctly stated?
- Does your label inadvertently make health claims?
- Does your label comply with regulations related to claims about nutrient content?
Task #3: Promoting your product or service.
- Are your advertisements compliant with FDA and FTC regulations?
- Do your promotional emails and social-media efforts meet relevant standards?
- Are you using terms such as “natural,” “organic,” “artisanal,” and “local” properly?
- Might you be unintentionally using copyrighted material or violating someone’s right of publicity?