FDA releases new guidelines for nutrition labels

December 15, 2016

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Consumers will soon see new and improved nutrition labels as they shop for their favorite food, beverage and nutraceutical products. This announcement came in May from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after 20 years of stagnant design and policies. The refresh includes a plethora of changes, but overall, the new look aims to provide shoppers with more useful and accurate information and promote healthier lifestyles. Labels must be updated by 2018.

Updated design

When it comes to Packaging Design, brands will have to adjust to ensure they have the appropriate information. However, the overall aesthetic appeal the nutrition label has will remain relatively the same. According to the FDA, the two-panel, black and white look is here to stay. What will change, though, is font size. The words calories, servings per container and serving size will appear bolder so consumers can more easily spot the information.

Nutritional information

With new and improved research happening every day, the FDA determined nutritional information must be updated on the labels to reflect more accurate and realistic findings. A product's added sugars will show grams and percent daily value measurements so consumers can understand how much of this sweetener they're taking in. This is important considering the significant impact consumption of sugar has on maintaining a healthy weight.

The FDA also adjusted its requirements of what nutrition facts must make it on the label. While calcium and iron will remain a necessary component, Vitamins A and C will become voluntary. The FDA has added Vitamin D and potassium as essential data, and labels must include the gram amount for this information. This addition is meant to curb people's risk for chronic disease.

Additionally, the data regarding calories from fat will be removed. Updated research demonstrates that knowing this measurement has minimal impact on healthy eating, while the amount of fat - in grams - is more important.

Packaging adjustments

To accommodate for modern eating habits, serving sizes have become larger for some products. Bottles of soda are a good example of this. Nutrition labels often note the package contains between one and two servings, but consumers typically drink the beverage in one sitting. As such, brands will now be required to label the product as one serving and adjust the nutritional information accordingly.

Meanwhile, larger packages that contain enough product for people to consume in multiple sittings but could be interpreted as a single serving must have a dual column. This additional column will demonstrate the nutritional difference between per packaging and per serving. This will be especially common for products with resealable containers like ice cream and larger bottles of soda.

How Nosco can help

These new requirements create a link between Packaging Design and size to nutrition that has not been seen before. Not only does this FDA announcement mean nutritional information will depend partly on packaging size,. Companies must have a packaging partner that can adjust to these new regulations with quick turnaround file preparation while still delivering effective design.

And when brands are looking for that solution, they can find a successful partnership in Nosco. Nosco's ArtFlo service was designed with industry adjustments like the new FDA nutrition label regulations in mind. Our team offers accelerated file preparation, delivering a turnaround time of 24 hours or less. This allows us to help companies make quick changes to design while applying a complete understanding of FDA requirements. With Nosco, we put clients in direct contact with the ArtFlo team, with the goal of exceeding all customer expectations.

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