Available Display Surface (ADS)
Elements Not Included as Part of the Available Display Surface

Elements included and excluded as part of the Available Display Surface
Package Area Include in ADS Exclude from ADS
Areas Destroyed upon Opening - e.g., tamper seals, tear strips
  • area destroyed (unless product is in non-reusable or single-serving containers package)
Bag Closures - Zip Lock, Cut Line, Heat Seal
  • bag closure
  • area past bag closure (area usually cut off when opening)
Curves
  • gently sloping curves that may support a label
  • sharp acute curves on rigid packaging
Eye Spot
  • area that incorporates the width of the eye spot and whole length of package, unless area is already labeled
Gabled Ends
  • whole area of gabled ends unless already printed
Gathered ends of packaging material
  • If area is covered by sticker, the total panel where the sticker appears, even if the sticker covers only a small portion of the gathered material (e.g. roll of cookies).
  • These areas are excluded from ADS as the information is not legible. The NFT should not be in this area.
Labelling information on non-ADS surfaces (e.g. top of tin can)
  • whole area labelled
Lids on jars and tubs
  • top
  • sides
  • very small lids with no print information
  • sides with spirals or groves that inhibit legibility.
  • sides <10 mm wide.
  • top – raised ridges – unless already printed
Paper Labels on Inside of Clear Packages
  • entire area occupied by the paper label, plus rest of the same label panel that is not occupied by the paper label (e.g. clear egg carton)
  • other panels that do not have inner paper labels
  • no consideration for minor ridges and uneven surfaces
Ridges in Packaging Material
  • ridges that do not interfere with labelling
  • closely repeated ridging that may support a label
  • ridges that will not support a label or interfere with legibility when label is printed directly on package
UPC symbol
  • if UPC present more than once, area occupied by additional UPCs is included
  • when UPC enclosed in box, entire box containing UPC code
  • in the case of non-boxed UPC, only area covered by the UPC
Very small areas of continuous surface (≤ 12 cm2)
  • whole area if not practical to be labelled, e.g. small caps, folded corners
Windows and Transparent Packaging
  • flexible or rigid transparent packaging materials (e.g. plastic-covered window)
  • open window with no inner covering

Areas Destroyed Upon Opening

Any part of the package that is destroyed upon opening (e.g., a tear strip, a band straddling a bottle cap and bottle neck, a single label made up of several lids on a multi-pack of individual yogurt-type containers where each unit is snapped off, destroying the Nutrition Facts table, etc.) is not considered part of the ADS, unless the product is in a non-reusable container or single-serving package (i.e., the entire contents can be reasonably expected to be eaten by one person during a single eating occasion).

On this rectangular package, the Nutrition Facts table is destroyed upon opening a tear strip.

Bag Closures

Bag closures such as zip locks, cut lines, or heat seals and the area past these closures (i.e., area often cut off when opening the package) are not considered ADS.

peanuts in a zip lock
tortillas in a package with a cut line
rice in a package with a heat seal

Curves

Acute curves on rigid packaging are not considered ADS.

  • Note: gently sloping curves that may support a label or printed information (if printing appears directly on the package), are considered ADS.
This cake package has sharp ridges around the lid which do not support a label or printed information.
Not considered ADS (acute curves)
This rectangular chocolate milk package has gently sloping curves that can support a label or printed information.
Included in ADS (gentle curves)

Eye Spot

Certain packaging processes use an electronic eye to cut packaging material to the correct length. An "eye spot", usually a dark oblong spot, is printed onto the continuous film of labelling material to trigger the cutting process. On the final package the eye spot is usually present on the seams. The area that incorporates the width of the eye spot and whole length of package is not considered ADS, unless the area is already labeled.

packaging with an eye spot

Gabled ends

Gabled ends of packaging, such as those found on milk cartons and on cookie bags, are not considered ADS unless label information (mandatory or non-mandatory) appears in these areas.

  • Note: Public service information (e.g., Kids Help Phone), recycle information, opening instructions, or coding would not cause this area to be considered ADS.

milk carton with gabled ends

Gathered Ends of Packaging Material

Packaging material that is gathered, making any written material impossible to read (e.g. the end of a bread bag, gathered ends of a tube of cookie dough or gathered ends of a prepackaged tube of ground beef) is not considered ADS.

If this area is covered by a flat sticker, then the whole area is considered ADS. Note that ADS includes the whole area, even if the sticker is small. Examples include the end of a roll of biscuits or cookies and the back of a round of cheese packaged in a paper overwrap.

  • The NFT should not be placed in gathered areas where printing is not legible at time of sale.
bread with gathered packaging is not considered available display surface
pasta with gathered packaging is not considered available display surface
Gathered packaging material is not considered ADS.
round of cheese - the presence of a sticker over the gathered packaging renders the whole area available display surface
The presence of a sticker over the gathered packaging renders the whole area ADS.

Labelling Information on Non-ADS Surfaces

This may include areas of the package where a label cannot be physically applied or where information cannot be legibly set out or viewed or the bottom of a package if the product would be damaged or leak if turned upside down to view the NFT. However, if labelling information exists on these surfaces (other than the UPC code or coding information, public service announcements (e.g., Kids Phone), recycle instructions, or opening instructions), then these areas become ADS.

For example, normally the bottom of a pie container is not considered to be part of the ADS. However, if an NFT is placed on the bottom of the container, the entire bottom of the product becomes ADS.

The top of the can is considered available display surfact because this area has been labelled.
The top of the can is considered ADS because this area has been labelled.

Lids on Jars and Tubs

Lids are generally considered ADS. However, raised areas and ridges that interfere with labelling are excluded from ADS. Sides less than 10 mm wide, sides with spirals or grooves, and very small lids are also excluded if no print information is in this area. In some cases, very small caps of bottles are considered very small areas of continuous surface and, consequently, not ADS.

The sides of a metal lid with spirals
Sides of plastic lid with spirals
Sides of metal lid with grooves

Paper Labels on the Inside of Clear Packages

When paper labels are on the inside of a clear packaging material, then the ADS includes the area occupied by the paper label, as well as the rest of the same label panel that is not occupied by the paper label. There is no consideration for minor ridges and uneven surfacing of these panels. Other panels that do not have inner paper labels are calculated as though they did have an inner paper label.

For example, in the case of a clear plastic egg carton with a paper label on the inside of the top of the carton, the entire top and sides of the lid are considered ADS. However, since it would be almost impossible to place an inner paper label in the bottom cups, the bottom half of the egg carton is not considered ADS.

Egg carton - paper labels on the inside of clear packages

Ridges in Packaging Material

Ridges in the packaging that make it impossible to affix a label or to print on the ridged sections are not considered ADS.

  • Note: In some cases, closely repeated ridging will support a paper label and in some processes, the printing takes place before the ridges are formed. In these cases, these areas are considered ADS.
This can has light ridges on top of the lid on which words can still be printed and can be easily read.
Ridged area is considered ADS, as it is possible to print on this area.
The bottom of this can is not considered available display surface.
Not included in ADS; impossible to add label due to the multiple ridges, key and raised circle.

UPC Symbol

Usually the UPC (Universal Product Code or bar code) symbol is not considered ADS and must not be included in the calculations for the ADS [B.01.001, FDR]. However, if the UPC is present on the label more than once, the area occupied by the additional UPCs would be included in the ADS calculation.

Since the UPC code is a machine-readable bar code, the definition between lines must be significant enough for the machine to register. As a result, the size of the UPC code may vary depending on the precision of the printing process. Some printing processes and packaging materials cause ink to spread. Consequently, on some packaging the UPC code may be 200 % larger, or more, than the standard size.

When the UPC is enclosed in a box, the entire box is excluded from ADS. When the UPC is not enclosed in a box, only the area covered by the actual UPC is deducted from the ADS. The area of the UPC includes the outer characters.

The entire box enclosing the universal product code is excluded from available display surface
Entire UPC box excluded.
where there is no box surrounding the universal product code, only the area covered by the universal product code is excluded from available display surface
UPC area excluded.

Very Small Areas of "Continuous Surface"

Any "continuous surface (definition)" of 12 cm2 or less (e.g., bottle caps, lids, folded triangles on package surfaces) which is too small to accommodate even the smallest available Nutrition Facts table is not included in the ADS, provided that this continuous surface does not already have printed mandatory, optional or promotional labelling on it.

On this milk carton, both the cap and the area for the 'Best Before' date are considered very small continuous surfaces and therefore, not included in the available display surface calculation.
On this milk carton, both the cap and the area for the "Best Before" date are considered very small continuous surfaces and therefore, not included in the ADS calculation.
This drink package has small V-shaped folded corners from the lid onto two sides of the package.
This frozen dinner package has small folded corners.

The small folded corners on these containers are "very small areas of continuous space" and are not considered ADS.

Similarly, the folded ends on a 1-pound foil-wrapped package of butter are too small of a continuous space to be counted in the ADS calculation.

Windows and Transparent Packaging

Flexible or rigid transparent packaging materials, such as those found on bacon packages or covering widows in pie and candy boxes, are considered ADS. However, if the window is open with no inner covering, then the empty window is not considered ADS.

pie box with covered window is considered available display surface
Covered window – considered ADS
Packages of multiple small puddings or apple sauces such as those in this image often include an open window on either side of the package.
This rectangular package includes an open window at one corner, revealing the inner product packaging.
Open Window – not included in ADS
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