Food Products Should Be Labeled for Cross-Border Sales

by Jim Scanio, on September 7, 2017

Food and beverage items have become relevant in e-commerce.
Food and beverage items have become relevant in e-commerce.

In the present age of high-speed shipping and omnipresent e-commerce, all categories of products have entered the international market. This presents a great opportunity for businesses in industries such as food and beverages, but challenges naturally come along. After all, consumable products are governed by strict regulations which differ by country. Manufacturers need strong, flexible food and beverage labeling to suit this web of ever-changing rules.

Exploring New Markets
Rapidly digitizing countries such as China are sites of enormous e-commerce opportunity. An eMarketer report on internet shopping throughout Asia confirmed that food and beverages have become popular cross-border commodities. The share of people who have bought food internationally differs by country, from 11 percent in Japan to a hugely promising 44 percent in China. Companies hoping to break into this market should begin considering their labeling strategies now.

Taking an even wider view of cross-border e-commerce, Multichannel Merchant contributor Mike O'Brien named food and beverage as a sector with great growth potential. Ambitious companies can expand their internet operations beyond product categories that are commonly successful online, such as fashion and electronic devices. Those that succeed in making this transformation could be the brands that rise to the challenge posed by global labeling regulations like those associated with FSMA compliance and GMO labeling.

Changing with the Times
Creating labeling systems that obey international laws isn't a one-off process. Companies need to be ready to change their strategies quickly. China in particular has tightened its restrictions in recent years, adding concepts such as genetically modified ingredient disclosure. Merchants hoping to make progress in this large and promising market will have to become familiar with these rules.

Having a modern labeling system that can quickly incorporate changes is a valuable practice for any food and beverage brand with its eyes on the international market. Even companies that never want to sell outside of their countries of origin should stay on top of labeling to meet the rules laid out by domestic laws.

Learn more about how you can keep up with food labeling regulations and check out this on-demand webinar "Navigating FSMA and Reducing the Risk of Recalls."

Watch the FSMA Webinar Now



Topics:RetailLabelingFood & Beverage