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FDA considering changes to nutrition labels

According to the New York Times, approximately half of American consumers check the nutrition labels on food products before making a purchasing decision. This speaks to the growing desire of consumers to pursue a healthy lifestyle, even if they must pay a premium for higher quality or more nutritious goods.

Now, changes may be arriving that are intended to make it easier for consumers to quickly gauge the nutritional value of a product. The Food and Drug Administration is reportedly in the middle of an overhaul of their nutrition fact label design.

One of the most controversial elements of the proposed changes concerns added sugar in food products. Many food producers, including Campbell’s Soup Company and Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. have petitioned the FDA to exempt them from any added sugar labeling requirements. They argue that the average consumer will not be able to understand the difference between added and natural sugars. The American Beverage Association sent a letter to the agency stating that an added sugar label “may carry an unfair negative connotation that undermines the factual nature of nutrition information.”

Another proposed change that has drawn concern from food producers is a possible change to the serving size requirements. Foods that are intended to be eaten in one sitting, such as an ice cream bar or small bag of chips, will be required to be labeled as one serving. This will cut down on the long-running practice of increasing serving size to make nutritional claims more enticing.

While the industry awaits the FDA’s decision on the matter, producers need to be aware of the ways their current labeling strategy may be affected. On-demand product label printing is the best way to ensure that one isn’t stuck with store rooms full of unusable labeling backstock. Durafast’s printing solutions allow for organizations to cost-effectively produce the exact amount of labels required, helping save on both printing costs and storage space. The Epson TM-C3500, Primera LX900, and Afinia L801 all offer affordable means of removing the dependancy on expensive third-party label suppliers.

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