Accelerate Your Brand or Product Launch in Canada

The changes you’ll need to make to your packaging and how we can help.

Accelerate Your Brand or Product Launch in Canada

Thinking of bringing your product to Canada? For any company/brand in that position packaging is an obvious concern, especially when you’re dealing with considerations like two official languages. The good news is, if you have existing packaging, you don’t need to start from ground zero. Harbinger can help you make the necessary modifications to adapt your packaging for the Canadian market.

Here are three key aspects of your packaging you will need to address before you land on Canadian store shelves:


One of the first areas you will want to look into is a review of your current trademark portfolio.

While the United States and Canada have similar processes and requirements for trademark applications, they are separate systems. If you have a registered trademark in the United States, you will need to confirm that that trademark is available in Canada and isn’t already in use. Then you can start the official registration process.


With few exceptions, all product packaging in Canada must have bilingual labelling. For products sold in Quebec, all copy must be in French and have at least equal prominence to any other language.

This can have several implications for your brand:

  • If you have any taglines or trademarks, you will want to get those translated first. Taglines can sometimes take more effort and creativity when it comes to their translation, particularly if there is any sort of wordplay in the English version. There may not be a direct translation of your tagline that captures the same meaning, so you will want to explore a few variations. Once finalized, you can then look into trademarking the French tagline for use in Canada.
  • Written French is often longer than the English equivalent. On packaging, where surface area is often scarce, you will need to take this into account. Working with a team like Harbinger, which includes seasoned designers and translators who can assist with the necessary packaging updates, is key to ensuring a seamless (and accurate) interpretation of your pack art.

(Above: An example of how an existing package was updated to meet Canada’s bilingual standards – Harbinger worked with milkadamia to create impactful, bilingual English/French artwork for Canadian milkadamia launch.)

Nutrition Labelling

In Canada there are specific nutrition Food Packaging Regulations that will need to be met, including the Nutrition Facts panel. U.S. and Canadian Nutrition Facts panels are different and, depending on the nutrients, there are rounding rules that may affect the stated nutrient values.

Harbinger works with several Registered Dietitians (RDs) and can coordinate a review of your Nutrition Facts panel for accuracy and compliance.

Your Trusted Partner

While the process of adapting your packaging to the Canadian market may seem daunting, it can be made much easier with the help of a trusted partner. Harbinger has extensive experience in brand and product launches, particularly with food brands.

We can help you navigate this process by: providing counsel on trademarks; facilitating the translation of packaging, localizing claims and key messages; and adapting your packaging artwork to the Canadian market, including Nutritional Labelling.

We have the experience to help you accelerate your new brand launch in Canada.  Take the first step by giving us a call today.

Harbinger is a Toronto-based North American marketing agency with expertise in product launches. We help brands get noticed and purchased.


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