I’m sure if you asked any of our designers what their favorite part of a packaging project is, “setting up the nutrition facts label” will not top the list of responses! While it’s never the sexiest part of a design project, it is crucial to get the FDA-regulated labeling components right. And the rabbits pride themselves on being great at the sleek design and the “boring” details. Here, we share some of our knowledge, especially given recent changes.
You’ve likely already started to see some changes to nutrition facts labels in the marketplace. The updates include more prominence given to key facts like calories, treating servings differently, and including newly required information (such as breaking out sugars versus added sugars).
There are interesting nutritional science components of the changes (read more about those here), but for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on implementing their design aspects.
The Facts on the Facts – What You Need to Know
Below is the FDA’s most recent language* on compliance dates, however, we are encouraging our consumer product goods (CPG) clients to think about it now, especially if they are engaging us for any new or updated package designs.
The FDA extended the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label final rule and the Serving Size final rule, from July 26, 2018 to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would receive an extra year to comply – until January 1, 2021.
When Healthy Truth (formerly Organic Living Superfoods) approached us to redesign their brand and packaging, it made sense to take on the new format early, while they are already making the investment in design and printing.
This foresight allows you to order larger print runs, often for a significant per-unit cost savings, to last through the compliance date and beyond.
The Format – What’s New
What do you need to know about the labels themselves? Here’s a high level overview of what’s changed; the FDA also has a more comprehensive outline on their website (if you’re looking for all the gory details).
- Servings/Serving Size:
- Servings is larger, and in bolder type
- Parameters for serving sizes are now different, and more reflective of how people actually eat (be sure to check the specifics AND your math!)
- Calories are now significantly larger
- In addition to total sugars, “added sugars” are now broken out
- Added (now required): Vitamin D and Potassium
- Removed (no longer required): Vitamin A and Vitamin C
- Recommended daily values have also changed, so again, be sure to check the specifics AND your math
- Footnote copy has changed to better explain recommended daily values
Hungry for More? Additional Resources
- Handy, high-resolution examples of labels in the new format, including multi column and linear (condensed) variations (PDF)
- Highlights of serving sizes changes infographic (high level)
- Details of serving size changes (full text, final rule)
- Additional resources for those in the industry (from the FDA)