FDA Food Labeling Changes

FDA Food Labeling Changes: How to Update Your Nutrition Facts Panel Affordably

Grocery store shelves will look a little bit different come January 2020, the compliance date to implement the new nutrition facts panels.

Grocery store shelves will look a little bit different come January 2020, the compliance date to implement the new nutrition facts panels. Image Source: Unsplash user NeONBRAND.

Food manufacturers have been waiting with bated breath to find out when they must implement the new FDA nutrition facts panels. After the Obama Administration’s May 5, 2017, deadline was delayed, the FDA recently released a statement declaring January 1, 2020, as the new compliance date for the updated nutrition facts panel. The government has, however, granted an additional year for food manufacturing companies with less than $10 million in annual food sales to comply.

This extension gives you plenty of time to sell all your products with the old label formats, create new nutrition labels, and update your packaging accordingly. While there are undoubtedly expenses and labor associated with making the FDA food labeling changes, using an FDA-compliant nutrition analysis software will allow you to update your nutrition labels quickly and affordably so you can be ready for the new compliance date.

How to Implement the FDA Food Labeling Changes Quickly

While the proposed changes for the new nutrition facts panel may seem subtle to the naked eye, they are meant to have a significant positive impact on the health of the American public. Bold typeface will draw consumers’ attention to calories and serving sizes so they are more likely to make a connection between the two rather than assuming the calorie count is the value for the entire package.

In addition, new values are being added, including:

  • Added sugars
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium

Values that won’t be featured on the new labels include:

  • Calories from fat
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

While it may seem like it will be a lot of work to update your labels, online nutrition analysis software makes the process simple and quick. Unlike food lab analysis or independent consultants, online analysis doesn’t require you to ship samples of your food product or your recipe out to be analyzed, saving you up to a month on wait time. Instead, simply create an online account, enter your recipes using the extensive database of ingredients, and watch as your new nutrition labels instantly generate. Then, all you will need to do is select the new label format, and it will switch automatically.

Even though you have two or three years to make these changes, it is helpful to know that they shouldn’t take up much of your time. Plus, the intuitive and user-friendly nature of the software won’t require the training and manpower typically needed for complicated CD-ROM analysis.

The Most Affordable Way to Get New Nutrition Labels

One of the reasons why the compliance date was initially delayed in May 2017 was because some large food manufacturing companies expressed concern about the costs associated with updating their nutrition labels. The original legislation under the Obama Administration, like the new legislation, intended to give businesses with under $10 million worth of annual food sales revenue an extra year to comply in an attempt to give companies more time to work out the costs. And while financial output is certainly necessary in order to make new nutrition labels, it is possible to update your labels without breaking the bank.

Online nutritional analysis software is by far the most affordable way to perform nutritional analysis of your product and generate new nutrition facts panels. Food labs can cost as much as $800 per recipe analysis and label, while independent consultants can range anywhere from $350-$500 per analysis and label. Although CD-ROMs seem less expensive, they are often difficult to use and may require special training for employees, as well as costly add-ons for additional features, like getting nutrient content claim information.  

The best part? Online nutrition analysis software often offers several pricing options, so you can choose the one that is most appropriate for your business. LabelCalc, for example, has the cheapest pricing in the industry, with a per recipe analysis price of $225. This is the best option for small food manufacturing businesses with fewer than 14 products. For larger companies, an unlimited plan costs $3,250 and allows you to analyze as many recipes as you want.

Whenever you decide to update your labels to the new format, it’s important that you minimize the associated time, effort, and costs. After all, just because you have a few years until the compliance date doesn’t mean you should waste resources and money updating your labels or wait until the last minute to do so. In fact, the sooner you implement the new label, the better. That way, you can avoid potentially paying a premium for nutrition analysis when the demand increases close to January 1, 2020, and you can ensure you won’t be penalized for noncompliance.

LabelCalc provides food manufacturers with the most user-friendly and affordable nutrition analysis software on the web, making it easy to update your nutrition facts labels. Contact us today to start creating your labels.

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