FDA Nutrition Facts Labeling Update
This entry was posted on January 31, 2014.
Brands Need to Respond Quickly to FDA Nutrition Facts Label Update
The U.S. FDA nutrition facts label change will soon affect custom food labels. The Food and Drug Administration recently submitted changes in labeling guidelines to the White House. While it's not yet clear what businesses should expect from the new rules, brands always need to be ready to implement new federal labeling guidelines. Since knowledge about nutrition has increased since the early 1990s when the requirements were introduced, it makes sense to update them. Companies should implement the changes quickly to avoid fines and negative press. However, these changes can also be seen as an opportunity for businesses to be more honest about nutritional information on labels. Being open about ingredients helps to inspire consumer trust. Companies can take advantage of this time to improve overall labeling strategies.
FDA Label Guidelines Reflect New Research
Experts say the FDA label guidelines will likely incorporate new health-related discoveries. Currently, the label requirements are very focused on fat content. Now health care professionals are more aware that fats are different. Some are bad, but others are healthy. Some experts predict the calories from fat designation may disappear with the new requirements. However, they also believe the section for calories may become more prominent.
Many nutritionists and health professionals are hoping the labels will also pay more attention to sugar content. Many hope that the FDA will require brands to list sugars and syrups that do not naturally occur in products. Others advocate for different measurements on labels, for instance, using teaspoons in addition to grams. Some health advocates also hope the percentage of whole wheat will be a requirement to prevent misleading labeling of grain products.
Be Transparent in Nutrition Facts Labeling
Being informative in nutrition facts labeling is a good way to build consumer trust in brands. Consumers are using the nutrition information on packaging more frequently than in the past. An Agriculture Department study cited by the Associated Press found that 42 percent of working adults used the nutrition panel most or all the time in 2009 and 2010, up from 34 percent in the last survey. No matter what the federal requirements mandate, it is a good idea to be truthful in food labels. Food companies can also aim to be a helpful resource for consumers who are trying to eat healthier, by providing information on labels in addition to what is required. Regardless of the type of product, businesses should aim for honesty in ingredient labeling. For instance, aiming for clarity in lotion bottle labeling can also be beneficial for customers.
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