On May 27, 2016, the FDA published the final updated NLEA (Nutritional Labeling and Education Act) regulation to the Federal register. The updated regulations dictate that manufacturers switch to the new Nutrition Facts label by January 1, 2020 (for companies with 10 MM or more in annual sales). The new nutritional facts panel is meant to better reflect new scientific information and better inform the public of what they are eating. You have no doubt seen the new nutritional facts both in your operation and in your home, but many companies are just now making the change, and some are taking the opportunity to clean up labels.
There are three main changes coming with the panels. First is the Facts Panel Design with the calorie count being increased in size and serving suggestions being bolded. The second is regarding declared nutrients. “Added sugars” is a new addition which is now required, and Vitamin D & Potassium are now required on all labels, while Vitamins A & C are no longer required. “Calories from Fat” is being removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount. Daily values for nutrients have been updated and might change. The last, third, change is on the serving size per container and should better represent realistic customer consumption.
As companies are facing significant expenses to update all labels as well as the possibility of having to dispose of label inventory should they not adhere to the requirements come Jan 1, many manufacturers are taking this opportunity to clean up labels and make sure they are up to date. Customers in both the foodservice and retail world should expect more changes than just what’s on the nutritional panel.
While change can always be scary and possibly confusing, please know that packaging changes are on the way industry wide, and almost all of them are regulation driven. If you have any question’s about the source of your product, or see a change that you have a question on feel free to call your local distributor or the contact information on the label itself.