For the first time in more than 20 years, Americans may be seeing Nutrition Facts in a completely new light. After being introduced in 2014 by First Lady Michelle Obama, an updated Nutrition Fact layout will be mandated by the FDA for all food products by July 2018. Here are the biggest updates.
Calories Are King – Although Calories from Fat will no longer be listed, total Calories per Serving will get a major boost in prominence. They’ll soon be listed at the same large font size as “Nutrition Facts” as a nod to their importance in healthy eating. Some multi-serving packages may even include a second column showing Calories per Package, eliminating the need for any mental math.
Sugar In The Spotlight – As the push toward a healthy America shifts it’s sights from fat to sugar, new information about sugar content will become highlighted in the update. The new label will include Total Sugars as well as Added Sugars, helping teach consumers what portion of their sugar intake is coming from natural sources like fruits or vegetables, and which is, well…not.
Serving Sizes Get Real – 120 calories doesn’t seem like too much for a bottle of soda, until you realize in the fine print that bottle you downed was actually 2.5 servings. The FDA recognized this flaw and set out to recalibrate serving sizes for 2018 to better fit our nation’s eating habits. So don’t be surprised when your print of Ben & Jerry’s switches from four serving per container to three. (Although we think one might be more realistic.)
With the label change now being officially imminent, many food brands have an opportunity to update packaging and highlight benefits. If you’ve made the conscious effort to use natural sugars in your product, nows the time to flaunt it. See the FDA Q&A for more info on the label changes and more.