Larger Label Footprint Opens Door for Design Upgrades to Existing Packages
As we discussed in the last post, you have until July of either 2018 or 2019 (depending on your company size) to implement the new nutritional label changes that the FDA is mandating. If your company runs like a well-oiled machine, you’re probably thinking, “We’ve got this!” You’re not sweating it because you think your R&D or compliance department is on top of it. Your printer may even be telling your purchasing department that it’s a simple black-plate adjustment they can easily handle. Everyone is breathing easily because the change looks like a cinch. As a brand manager, however, you can’t sit back and let the R&D or compliance folks worry about it. Because if you are, you’re letting an opportunity slip through your fingers.
Update: On June 13, 2017, it was announced that the major upgrade to the nutrition labels on our food has been delayed. Those changes were supposed to happen by July 26, 2018. But on The FDA said it would give companies more time to make the shift. The agency did not give a new deadline.
New Multi-Serving Labeling
But first let’s look at specific changes that will impact many beverages, snacks and the like. First, the FDA is requiring a serving size recalculation, so the serving size is based not on what “people should consume” but on what they actually do. Soda, for example, will have a new serving size of 12 or 20 ounces, depending on the bottle size, instead of 8 ounces. Next, the FDA is adding a requirement for “certain products that are larger than a single serving but that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.” These are packages that contain two or three servings but could be consumed in “one sitting. For those products, a dual-column is being introduced. One will list calories and nutrients per serving and the other, per package or unit. If you have to make those types of changes — and even if you don’t — this is where that opportunity comes in that we mentioned above.
An Opportunity to Refresh Your Product Packaging
Think about it. Every single SKU will need a new label. As you’re evaluating the impact on your label or package, this is your chance to refresh your packaging and really dial in your existing brand messaging. How often does that occasion arise? You could try out new violators, change the cooking instructions, or add a recipe or illustration to the back panel. Maybe you didn’t consider the power of the back panel when you first launched your product. There are so many ideas that can make a back panel stand out, from photos and recipes to serving tips and enhanced illustrations. You can look at your back panel real estate with new eyes.
Make the Label Overhaul Work for Your Marketing Strategy!
As you can imagine, this kind of process takes some thinking and time. Which is why we said earlier that you really don’t want to keep this on the back burner — or let the decision rest with R&D. Get started now, especially if you have an extended product line. Give us a call for a free evaluation of your packaging and we’ll review your options. Your best course of action needs to be based on your brand goals as well as reflect your brand messaging in the best light.
Update: On June 13, 2017, it was announced that the major upgrade to the nutrition labels on our food has been delayed. Those changes were supposed to happen by July 26, 2018. The FDA said it would give companies more time to make the shift. The agency did not give a new deadline.