Will the New Nutrition Facts Affect The Design of Existing Packaging?
The nutrition label received a makeover last year — which means product and brand managers need to start thinking how that will impact their brands. All conventional and supplemental food manufacturers will need to implement the changes. Even though the FDA has recently extended the deadline to an unknown date, the time to start planning is now.
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.
Will your packaging need design edits?
The simplest and fastest answer is: It depends. The food nutrition label was standardized in 1990 and after specific label requirements were introduced in 1994, the label has received only one major change. This latest upgrade will impact almost every packaged food product, including imported products. According to the FDA, the new nutrition label reflects “new scientific information” and will “make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices.”
How does it translate into a new look?
On the surface, to consumers, the changes are probably subtle. For brands, not so much.
Here are the highlights of some changes:
- The type size was increased for calories, servings per container and serving size.
- The calorie count and the serving size are now in bold.
- The statement of calories from fat is gone.
- Added sugar has to be included.
More changes are included in the nutrients and daily values sections. For example:
- The list of nutrients that are required or allowed to be listed was updated. Vitamin D and potassium are in; vitamins A and C are optional.
- Nutrients have to include not only the percentage of DV but actual amounts, too.
- The DV footnote is different — a tidier, abbreviated version.
Various other changes related to the calculation of serving size and percentage of daily values will result in new numbers. From a design perspective, those are small things — and the great news is that for most products the new label should fit into the old footprint. However if your product requires the new Multi-Serving Nutrition Label then you will need a designer to fit the larger nutrition fact panel into the over all design. Read Part 2 to learn more about the larger panels
Does that mean you can get away with a simple artwork edit?
Can your printer handle it? Possibly. But you may still need new plates and a new setup, even though you’re just changing a few lines. Prepress is impacted by various factors, such as a panel that’s built with rich black or ingredients that are knocked out of four colors. It may feel like you have plenty of time to figure this out but don’t keep this on the back burner. Consider your options now because this change could open the door to a much bigger opportunity (we’ll dive deeper into this next time).
This is a great time to call us for a review of your product line. We’ll take a look at your packaging for free and evaluate your options. We will recommend a course of action that aligns with your brand goals and delivers optimized results.