The race is on! The FDA has finalized the Nutrition Facts label requirements on all food and beverage packages. For the first time in 20 years, the update addresses changes in modern food consumption, now drawing attention to calories, serving sizes, and the newly introduced “Added Sugars” row – all important elements for consumers to make healthier food choices.
Brands must not underestimate the amount of preparation and work these regulatory changes will require. To avoid rushing as the compliance deadlines approach, commit to an action plan now.
For more resources on the FDA label update and to test your readiness for these changes, visit Schawk’s Label Central and make sure you stay ahead of the competition and comply on time!
Manufacturers will be required to have new labels in place by June 26, 2018 – this also applies to food imported into the United States. Those with annual food sales less than $10 million will have another year to comply.
Key changes that will impact food and beverage brands most are:
- Added sugars
- Dual column labeling
- Serving size
Added sugars. For the first time, “Added Sugars” will be called out separately as a component of Total Sugars. With this update, the concern for brands is consumers may reduce or even stop purchasing, or may decide to replace certain foods that seem healthier after learning they are actually packed with added sugars (e.g. yogurt or cereal), putting brands under new scrutiny.
This may require brands to reformulate or resize the size of their product to maintain customer loyalty. The FDA is requiring grams and percentage of Daily Value to be included on the label for added sugars, clarifying that added sugars are a subset of total sugars.
Dual-column labeling. Individually packed foods that contain between 200% - 400% of the RACC may require a dual-column label, indicating nutrition information per serving and per package.
Now, certain larger packages that can be consumed in one sitting or in multiple sittings will need a dual-column label. This may make food appear less desirable once the entire container’s content is revealed. For example, a 3oz (90g) bag of chips would be labeled per serving and per package.
Serving size. Based on recent food consumption data, some serving sizes will increase and others will decrease because by law, the serving sizes must be based on the amounts of food and drink that people typically consume, not on how much they should consume.
For example, the reference amount used to set a serving size of soda was previously 8 ounces and now is changing to 12 ounces. The reference amount for yogurt is decreasing from 8 ounces to 6 ounces.
In order to ideally touch packs only once, audit and assess all of your current packaging files to determine how many SKUs will need to be updated in the graphics supply chain—a process that requires meticulous planning in its own right. Depending on the extent of packaging redesign that will be necessary, you may want to consider external resources for project management and audit assessment.