Since the FDA announced the changes in nutrition label design in May 2016, one of the most discussed topics has been the adjustment of serving and package sizes. These will impact both nutrition label information and design, especially with packages larger than one serving that can be consumed in one or multiple sittings.
Learn about the new FDA regulations so you can comply with them as soon as possible.
Serving size changes
When the FDA introduced the Nutrition Facts label in 1993, people’s dietary habits were very different from today. One of the main reasons the nutritional label is being changed is to offer information that is more accurate than the old labels. For instance, one serving of ice cream was a ½ cup, but it will now be ⅔ cup on the new labels. This isn’t to encourage people to eat more, but to give a better estimate of what is considered one serving per food or beverage and give people a better idea of the calories and nutrients they consume.
Package size changes
Considering that package size affects how much consumers eat and drink, there have been changes related to packaging size labeling. All packages that are between one and two servings will now be labeled as one serving. This is because they are typically consumed in one sitting. For example, a 15-ounce can of soup will be regarded as a one-serving package.
The dual column
The biggest change to the Nutrition Facts label is the introduction of dual column design for foods and beverages that are larger than a single serving, but can be consumed in one or multiple sittings. The idea behind the dual column is to tell consumers about the amount of calories and nutrients they are getting if they consume one serving or the entire package. The first column will contain information on a per serving basis, while the second column will have per package/per unit information. Two food/beverage examples that will have to contain a dual column label are a pint of ice cream and a 24-ounce bottle of soda.
The changes to the Nutrition Facts label may sound overwhelming, but with proper organization you can easily adjust your labels to comply with the new rules. To read other blog posts related to the FDA Food Labeling Regulation, click here.