On May 20, 2016, the FDA finalized the requirements for the new FDA Nutrition Facts Label for packaged goods. Primarily aimed at educating consumers with new scientific information about the potential health risks associated with certain diets, the new FDA Nutrition Facts Label format will offer a number of helpful features. A big step forward in keeping consumers informed about the health choices they’re making, these new requirements include updated nutrition science information, serving sizes, and labeling requirements for certain packages as well as a refreshed design.
What will the specific changes be?
Nutrition labels will now highlight caloric content in bold, as well as the servings per container information. Also changing is the serving size declaration. Manufacturers will be required to share the actual amount – not just the daily value – in Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Further, manufacturers have the option to declare the amount in grams for various other vitamins and minerals. The footnote will also be changing to read, “The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”
What do the FDA Nutrition Facts Label changes mean for CPG companies?
This is sure to present labeling challenges for many CPG companies. Increased regulations on product safety and transparency will call for companies to act quickly to stay ahead of these regulatory requirements. For many companies, the labels on hundreds or even thousands of public-facing SKUs will need to be carefully adjusted. How difficult this is depends largely on:
- The number of SKUs requiring an update;
- The ability to identify the SKUs’ digital assets; and
- Whether your workflow system is able to process the workload efficiently.
What are some of the potential risks?
Companies will have to identify their current digital assets and compare them against the proposed changes, then adjust accordingly. Companies with Digital Asset Manager (DAM) will be able to do this quickly and painlessly because all digital assets are stored in and accessible from a centralized database. Problems arise for companies that don’t have a DAM and are forced to search for their digital assets on employee hard drives and remote servers, thereby using employee hours to locate these assets or recreate them altogether – both of which incur unnecessary expense.
Another potential hiccup occurs when companies lack a workflow management system with online proofing functionality to handle the “heavy lift” of meticulously changing so many SKUs. Companies who are still using a manual system will not meet the deadline without placing an exceeding amount of strain on their workforce. Without online proofing, cycle times are long and high in volume. Errors are likely, causing recalls or potential lawsuits.
With Label and Artwork Management (LAM) software similar to the one utilized when USG beat the GHS deadline, keeping up with regulations can be worry free. An artwork workflow management system can help you perform exceptionally fast, efficient, and accurate labeling changes with workflow routing, timing benchmarks, online proofing, and more. The right Label and Artwork Management software can even help you meet the deadline with time to spare.
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