Preparing For The Artificial Trans Fats Ban

Preparing For The Artificial Trans Fats Ban

Preparing for the artificial trans fats ban.

There’s no “fake news” about Health Canada’s latest big announcement.  If you missed it, on September 15, 2017, Canada’s Minister of Health announced the banning of artificial trans fats from all foods sold in Canada.*  This applies to all foods sold on Canadian shelves, either manufactured in the Country or imported.  It also refers to foods prepared and served in restaurants and food service establishments.

PHOs or partially hydrogenated oils are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in all food sold in the country.** After September 15th of 2018 it will become illegal to sell any food containing PHOs and so — are you ready to prepare for the changes you may have to make?


Trans fats are used in the production of pastries, other baked goods and some packaged goods to extend shelf life such as:


Your role as a Canadian food manufacturer or importer is to assess everything you manufacture and import.  Do your products contain partially hydrogenated oils (or PHOs)? If so, take a few moments to consider the steps you will need to take.

1. Assessing Food Product Composition

The food industry is charged with reformulating and finding healthier substitute ingredients for products containing PHOs.  You are tasked with finding a suitable oil replacement with an appealing flavour and mouth feel that remains shelf stable.  Will the industry turn to palm oil fractions and palm oil blends? Or coconut oil?**** Or perhaps science has something else in store such as “Soymalaze” or “Vistive Gold”?***** In the end, the choice must ultimately meet Health Canada’s approval.

2. Adjusting + Analyzing Ingredients

Once you have found an acceptable reformulation the next step is lab analysis for the Nutrition Facts Table and to revise your ingredients listing.  Make sure you get this step right.  If you do not have a design department, outsource the branding and package design of the food label to an expert.  A good graphic design agency will recommend the best design options.  It is only in your best interest to keep your brand attractive and relevant to shoppers.  While providing your revised ingredients listing to your agency, discuss your goals.  They can adjust any changes as necessary, even taking care of French translation.

3. Amending the Product Label

And once you have your lab analysis your package design agency can take care of the nitty gritty details involved with size, style and format of the most suitable Nutrition Facts Table.   Allow them to sew up the details of your labels to help you get your product back on the shelf and selling again as quickly as possible.

As a friendly reminder: you have one year from the above announcement to address these action items.


While you still have another eleven months, take some time to consider your options.  How would it be best to leverage the artificial trans fats ban to your advantage?

Subtle Changes or Go Big?

In terms of branding strategy, you may want to reposition your products in their category, to highlight the positive effects of the changes you’ve made.  Which begs the question, do you simply want to subtly adjust your current label? Or perhaps you want to take this opportunity to “go big or go home” and refresh the look of your label or overall branding, ensuring you capture the trust of your consumers, and stand apart from neighbouring items on the shelf in a fresh new way.

No matter the route you take, we strongly urge you to get ahead of the crowd! Show you care about shoppers’ health by creating a positive impression to consumers: prepare for the Artificial Trans Fats ban well ahead of the deadline.  Remember how Kraft positioned itself in eliminating artificial flavours, preservation and dyes from the beloved Kraft Mac & Cheese? Kraft made it all about a response to the consumer, and how they have “listened and evolved“.******  That’s a pretty clever way to retain your target market, if you ask me.


You know what it’s like when you have a trusted supplier, so ask yourself now:  do I have access to a design agency with specific food label expertise? And that have a track record of quick turnaround any time I need them?

With decades of food and beverage label experience, put The Freelance Portfolio to work on your revised labels or overall branding right now.  We will meet all Health Canada food labelling rules and regulations for ingredients and Nutrition Fact Tables and help you meet or beat the Sept.15, 2018 artificial trans fats ban deadline.

The Freelance Portfolio is small by design to address your project personally + efficiently + on budget.  Fast.  Accurate.  Creative.  #whateverittakes


FOR YOUR FREE QUOTE call The Freelance Portfolio:  1-877-804-4841 |

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Canadian Food Label Changes - The Freelance Portfolio

by Eira Braun-Labossiere