With too many poor diet choices and high rates of obesity in the United States, the FDA wants to ensure a clearer understanding of packaged food and drink nutrition facts. After more than 20 years, and new research findings, The FDA published the final nutrition label rules for packaged goods on May 27, 2016 in the Federal Register. A compliance date has been set and Silver Creative Group a Norwalk based advertising agency with years of experience in food branding and packaging, is here to help guide you through the transition. Read on to learn about the new nutrition label.

Design Changes for Better Visibility and Understanding:

•There will be an increased type size of the following declarations – “Calories,” “Servings per Container,” and “Serving Size.”

•The calories and serving size numbers will be made bold to stand out.

•Along with percent daily values, actual amounts will be listed for vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Other vitamin and mineral amounts listed in grams can be included willingly.

•The definition of daily value in a footnote will change to give a more accurate description, reading “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

Updated Nutrition Science Results for Accurate Information:

•The percent daily value and amount in grams will be included for “added sugars.” According to the FDA, “Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar, and this is consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”

•The declaration of required nutrients will now include Vitamin D and potassium, along with continued calcium and iron listings. Vitamin A and C listings will no longer be required but can be included if desired. This change comes as vitamin A and C deficiencies are generally rare today while Vitamin D and potassium intake is often lacking.

•While the label will continue to include “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat,” the listing of “Calories from Fat” will be removed. Studies show that it is important for consumers to understand the type of fat that they are consuming, rather than just the total calories from fat.

•There will be updated daily values for sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D based on the latest studies from the Institute of Medicine, the 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee Report, and other scientific findings.

Updated Serving Sizes for Realistic Consumption

•By law, serving sizes should include actual consumption facts rather than assumptions from recommended serving size listings. People’s consumption sizes have changed since the previous rules were made in 1993, making the new serving size listings more relevant.

•Packages that are between one and two servings will now require a one serving label because smaller packages are often entirely consumed in one session. Packaging size affects how much people consume, in turn affecting the required listing of nutrition values.

•Packages that can be consumed either in one session or a few sessions will be required to have double listings with a “dual column” label, separately listing the calorie count and nutrients for the two serving types. These nutrition facts will be provided for “per serving” and “per package”/ “per unit” measurements.

Manufacturer Deadline for Compliance:

Use of the new label is required by July 26, 2018. Exceptions include companies with less than $10 million in annual food sales, which have a deadline of July 26, 2019. These new rules also apply to food imported into the U.S.

Easier to read listings, updated serving sizes, and study backed nutrition facts will result in the opportunity for better decision making by the consumer. The FDA has issued the new rules and deadlines for nutrition label requirements, but don’t wait until the last minute. If you need help updating your food or drink packaging, please contact Silver Creative Group today – food branding and packaging is our specialty.


(images courtesy of fda.gov)


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