The FDA has completed their revisions of the proposed new Nutrition Facts Panel and revised recommended serving sizes and have passed them on to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for their review. This is the last step before the final ruling is announced.
Although, no exact date has been announced by the FDA, our sources tell us that this should happen by the end of this month. The final ruling is expected to come out by the end of May.
What does this mean for your food business and what should you be doing at this point?
1.) First thing to do...don’t panic! You will have plenty of time to swap out to the new label. In the FDA’s proposal, food manufacturers will have two years to comply. You would be expected to make the change when going to reprint on labels and packaging – within that two year period. In addition, the FDA has also proposed giving the industry six months to prepare for the change prior to the start of the two-year compliance window.
2.) Understand the proposed changes and the potential impact on your current packaging and marketing efforts. If all of the proposals go through, then this will be a very significant change to the layout and size of foot print, as well as new additional nutrients that will need to be tracked. It is important to begin to understand the scope of these changes and how it will affect your current marketing of your food product. We have put together a helpful infographic that provides an overview of the proposed changes. Click here for the infographic.
3.) Gather your team and begin the discussions. If you haven’t had meetings already within your company about the upcoming nutrition label change, then now is a great time to start. Everybody on your team should become familiar with the proposed changes. Purchasing should forecast label and packaging inventory to plan when to change out; marketing should understand how the foot print size and other changes will affect the entire label /package layout; and R&D needs to understand the new nutrients added and if there will be any impact on Nutrition or Health Claims.
We, here at RL Food Testing, are excited that the final ruling is almost in and we are ready to help your food business navigate through these changes. Whether you are a long-time customer or new to our family business, we will be able to update your nutrition facts when all is finalized.