FDA Considers Front-of-Package Nutrition LabelsFDA Considers Front-of-Package Nutrition LabelsFDA Considers Front-of-Package Nutrition LabelsFDA Considers Front-of-Package Nutrition LabelsFDA Considers Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels

FDA Crack Down

Within the last 6 months, we’ve seen the FDA crack down on food regulations with unprecedented precision! Last September, the agency imposed their new definition of the nutrient content claim term “healthy” (7). This sent shock waves throughout the food and beverage industry as manufacturers scrambled to keep their products on the right side of the wellness trend. Developers reevaluated their formulas overnight—they couldn’t risk losing consumer trust! This mad dash increased operation costs across the board. Meanwhile, the companies who were already compliant, happily took over the market.

A New CPG Labeling System

Will your products be prepared for the next step? During the White House’s conference on Food Insecurity, “The Biden administration [proposed] a European-style CPG labeling system on the front of food packaging that adds clarity…” (1). The intention of this conference was to form “a plan to help reduce rates of diabetes, obesity and hypertension among Americans and accelerate efforts to end hunger across the nation” (7). Since then, the FDA has hyper focused their attention on nutrition and wellness standards. “On Jan. 25 [the FDA] issued a 60-day procedural notice on its plans to… explore the establishment of a standard, science-based scheme for front-of-package labeling that could help consumers identify foods that are part of a healthy eating pattern…” (3). Regarding how this impacts the food and beverage industry, a newsletter from The Stockout noted that “consumers want healthier foods without compromise and capital is available for companies addressing those trends. The public perception on healthy eating has evolved away from avoiding fats to also shunning foods that have limited positive nutritional value and also limiting sugar and salt intake” (1).

Color-Coded Callouts

On a scale of “Green for Go” to “Red for No” where do your nutrients lie? That’s right! The new front-of-package labels will be created in a Spotlight-Style color scheme. The red end of this scale will be calling attention to high sugar and high sodium levels (1). These new labels have already hit the European market. A study “by the Joint Research Centre concerning the effects and potential impacts of front-of-pack schemes [found that] evaluative schemes that use colour-coding, with or without a graded indicator, appear most promising in improving the nutritional quality of food choices” (6). While it’s true that these changes will push food and beverage manufacturers to reconsider their formulas, the new front-of-package labels will empower consumers to take charge of their own nutrition! The primary color scheme will transcend language and reading barriers in a way that the current black and white chart simply isn’t capable of. Inclusive designs are the key to progress (5)!

Schools Take Notice

This new health initiative has begun taking root domestically as well. On Friday, February 3rd, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack… announced proposed changes to school food guidelines that would both limit added sugars and reduce sodium limits” (4). The objective will be to reduce diet-related diseases by increasing nutritional knowledge, starting at the elementary level. New food programs will focus on retraining the palate to encourage children to eat healthier products on a regular basis (4).

60-Day Comment Period

It’s not too late for your voice to be heard! The FDA first approached front-of-package labeling through a series of focus groups in 2022. The next phase of testing will involve a randomly selected control group of 3,000 US adults. A 15-minute web-based questionnaire will be used to collect information (3). While you may not be selected for the questionnaire, you can still submit comments electronically to www.regulations.gov to Docket No. FDA 2023-N-0155 prior to March 27, 2023 (2).

It’s Time to Reformulate!

How can Icon Foods help your team stay ahead of the curve? Easily!

When you decide who you want to have as your supply chain partner, take into consideration whether they are single-sourced or multi-sourced. At Icon Foods, our diversified supply chain has enabled us to continue functioning at regular capacity, despite global price increases and shortages. To help reduce operations costs even further, we create custom sweetening blends!

Just like a seasoning house combines blends of spices, colors, and flavorings, Icon Foods utilizes blends of sweetening compounds to deliver the optimum sweetness profile for your products. We can customize these blends to meet your specifications! Maximizing synergies among sweeteners and other ingredients in the formula can reduce the overall cost. Our dedicated R&D Team functions in tandem with the Quality Control Team, to ensure the privacy of your formulas and quality of the sweetening blend. Still unsure? Let us help you get started! Click on the red button at the bottom of this page to receive your free Clean Label Sugar Reduction Tool Kit! A representative will reach out to help you determine your business needs. From there, you’ll be sent free samples and informative guides.

  1. Baudendistel, Michael. “Startups Target Sugar Reduction.” FreightWaves, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.freightwaves.com/news/startups-target-sugar-reduction?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%2BStockout%2B1.27.23&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.freightwaves.com%2Fnews%2Fstartups-target-sugar-reduction&utm_id=314016&sfmc_id=121832812.
  2. “The Federal Register.” Federal Register: Request Access, Food and Drug Administration, 26 Jan. 2023, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/01/26/2023-01551/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-collection-comment-request-quantitative-research.
  3. Gelski, Jeff. “FDA Seeks Comments on Front-of-Package Labeling.” Food Business News, Food Business News, 26 Jan. 2023, https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/23094-fda-seeks-comments-on-front-of-package-labeling?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&oly_enc_id=6566G1067734D8A&utm_campaign=The%2BStockout%2B1.27.23&utm_term=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foodbusinessnews.net%2Farticles%2F23094-fda-seeks-comments-on-front-of-package-labeling%3Futm_source%3DSosland%2BMorning%2BBrief%26utm_medium%3DNewsletter%26oly_enc_id%3D6566G1067734D8A&utm_id=314016&sfmc_id=121832812.
  4. Howard, Tre’Vaughn. “USDA Proposes Limits to Added Sugars and Sodium in School Meals.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 5 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/usda-proposes-limits-added-sugars-and-sodium-in-school-meals/.
  5. Levanier, Johnny. “The Principles of Inclusive Design.” 99designs, 2021, https://99designs.com/blog/tips/inclusive-design/.
  6. “Nutrition Labelling.” Food Safety, European Commission, 2023, https://food.ec.europa.eu/safety/labelling-and-nutrition/food-information-consumers-legislation/nutrition-labelling_en#:~:text=There%20are%20currently%20six%20front-of-pack%20schemes%20developed%20or,which%20is%20also%20present%20on%20the%20Irish%20market.
  7. Sullivan, Kate. “White House Will Host First Food Insecurity Conference in 50 Years | CNN Politics.” CNN, Cable News Network, 4 May 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/04/politics/white-house-conference-food-insecurity-jose-andres/index.html.

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