The first major revision to the nutrition label in nearly 20 years was revealed on February 27 this year. The FDA has proposed a whole new look and added tons of content to the traditional label designed in 1993. This is huge for the packaged-good industry and the advertisers that represent them. The new changes make it easier to find hidden ingredients and to differentiate healthy foods from foods with few health benefits.
- Calorie contents in larger, bolder type
- List “added sugars” rather than the current “sugars” listing
- Update to serving sizes to reflect the amounts people currently eat i.e. instead of half a cup of ice cream to a full cup
- Packages that are typically eaten in one sitting but split into multiple servings on the label will have to list the nutrition facts for a singular serving and consumption of the whole package.
- Vitamin D and potassium contents will be added onto the label.
- Calories from fat will be removed. The FDA believes it is more important to include the specific kinds of fat.
- The FDA plans to reduce the daily values of several nutrients, including sodium.
These changes could force producers to adjust ingredients of food and beverages to healthier options, as well as adjusting advertising and packaging. The consequence to food producers and packagers could be extremely costly. Companies would be responsible for funding the FDA label changes as well as incurring the cost to adjust advertising and packaging claims. It is estimated to cost the industry around 2 billion dollars, but the Obama administration believes it will lead up to 30 billion dollars in benefits over time.
Discussion of the proposal has been extended until August 1, 2014 with a public meeting on June 26 to discuss the revisions. Find out more here.
With contributions by Kali Lantefield