Nutrition labelling: Front-of-package nutrition symbol

We're improving food labels. A front-of-package nutrition symbol is required on foods that are high in one or more of these nutrients:

The food industry has been given until January 1, 2026 to make this change. However, you may start seeing the front-of-package nutrition symbol earlier.

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Why a front-of-package nutrition symbol

Frequently eating foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat can lead to increased health risks. Some of these risks are:

  • stroke
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • some types of cancers

The front-of-package nutrition symbol will:

  • help you make quick and informed choices when shopping for groceries
  • support health professionals in educating people about foods high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat

Infographic: Front-of-package nutrition labelling

Foods that must have a front-of-package nutrition symbol

The front-of-package nutrition symbol is mandatory for prepackaged foods that meet or exceed set levels for sodium, sugars or saturated fat.

Some foods do not need to display a nutrition symbol. These include:

  • foods exempt for technical reasons, such as:
    • packaged individual portions that are only intended to be served by a restaurant or other commercial enterprise to accompany meals or snacks (for example, individually portioned crackers served with soup or creamers served with a cup of coffee)
    • milk and cream sold in refillable glass containers
    • foods in very small packages
    • raw, single ingredient whole cuts of meat, poultry and fish that do not carry a nutrition facts table
  • foods with a protective effect on health, such as fruits and vegetables without added sodium, sugars, or saturated fat
  • certain dairy products, such as plain milk, plain yogurt and cheese because they are important sources of calcium that is needed to promote bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • raw, single ingredient ground meats and poultry to avoid giving the impression that they are nutritionally inferior to whole cuts that do not carry a nutrition symbol
  • butter, sugar, salt and other products used for the same purpose as butter, sugar or salt, such as:
    • honey
    • celery salt
    • maple syrup
    • vegetable oils
    • seasoning salt

What the front-of-package nutrition symbol looks like

The front-of-package nutrition symbol is black and white. It has a magnifying glass and highlights what the food is high in: sodium, sugars, saturated fat or any combination of these.

The words "Health Canada / Santé Canada" appear at the bottom of the symbol.

Figure 1. Examples of the front-of-package nutrition symbol
Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 1 - Text Description

Shown here is a figure that consists of two boxes, the first in landscape format, the second in portrait format. Both boxes show the bilingual front-of-package nutrition symbol for the principal display panel that indicates that a prepackaged product is high in saturated fat and sodium. The black and white symbol consists of a magnifying glass icon, and the following text: first line reads “High in”; second line reads “Sat fat”; and third line reads “Sodium”. The words “Health Canada” appear at the bottom of the box.

How we chose the front-of-package nutrition symbol

Feedback from people living in Canada and consumer research helped us choose the nutrition symbol.

Learn more: Front-of-package labelling consumer research and consultation

How the nutrition symbol must appear on the front of the package

The nutrition symbol must always appear in the same way, so that it is easy to find and use. There are specific requirements for its:

  • size
  • location
  • language


The size of the package determines the size of the symbol. This way, it can be easily seen on packages of all sizes.


The nutrition symbol will appear in the upper half of the label for most package shapes. It will appear on the right half of the package label, if the label is wider than it is tall.

Figure 2. Food packages of different shapes and sizes showing the size, location and presentation of the nutrition symbol
Figure 2 - Text Description

Shown here is a figure that consists of three prepackaged food items to illustrate the size, location and presentation of the front-of-package nutrition symbol. The food items consist of a chocolate bar, a bag of popcorn, and a bottle of fruit juice. The nutrition symbol (refer to Figure 1) is prominently displayed on the front of each packaged item in the top right corner.


The front-of-package nutrition symbol is in both English and French. There could be two separate symbols, one in English and one in French, or both languages on the same symbol.

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