If the tone of the writeup below seems a bit odd, it's because two previous writeups in this node made the assumption that the phrase "not labeled for individual retail sale" was intended to somehow protect the profits of the manufacturer. This was intended as a good-natured jab at the knee-jerk "corporations are only concerned about the bottom line" crowd. These writeups have since been deleted.

This is going to come as a shock to most of you, so I'm going to try to be as clear and concise as possible. Corporations put this phrase on the individual units of a bulk pack to conform with Federal Trade Commission standards on labeling. It has nothing to do with profits.

I know some of you are mouthing that last phrase repeatedly, trying to make sense of it. "Corporations... nothing to do with profits..." Give it a few seconds before continuing and you should be all right.

That's right, the large food conglomerate or what-have-you has done this not because selling the individual units would cut into their profits (which it wouldn't anyway), but because the individual units in the bulk pack are missing information required by the FTC to be printed. With regard to food, this is usually nutrition information, serving size, any applicable health warnings, ingredients listings, and other such information. Often the bulk package will have all of this listed but due to space restrictions on the individual units, they simply can't fit all that on the wrapper.

The people buying the products have a right to know what is in them. If the individual units did not contain this warning, unscrupulous store owners could sell the individual units (at a significant markup of course) and blame the manufacturer for not including the FTC required information. With the warning, it becomes clear that the store owner has done something he wasn't supposed to do, not the manufacturer.

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