Since the FDA announced proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label, many in the foodservice industry have raised questions about the impact of the new labeling on business. Today, Tammy Weant, our EVP & GM of Enterprise and Supply Chain Solutions at NCR Retail, provides some insight into the concerns surrounding this issue.
On February 27, the FDA announced a proposed update to the 20-year-old Nutrition Facts label. The US government and the FDA are currently working together toward redefining a new nutritional label that better reflects actual consumption, highlights key fields, and is generally easier to digest. The goal of the intended changes is simply to make it easier for consumers to make better choices.
Nutrition Label Changes
These changes are about providing real-world examples of consumption. A great example of this is the typical 20 oz. beverage. We all tend to consider this a single serving, but upon reading the nutritional label, many might be surprised that the container in their hand actually holds 2.5 servings. The new labeling would list this container as one single serving—much more in tune with actual consumption. It is estimated that close to 20 percent of packaged food categories will be impacted by this sort of serving size change. The new format also makes the labels easier to read and understand, to help meet customers’ growing demand for nutritional information.
This is just one example of the many changes that will benefit us as the new label is confirmed and put into use. The FDA has released a suggested format and is accepting feedback prior to making a final decision later this year.
Proposed changes include:
With this announcement from the FDA, we’re now in a 90-day waiting period so that the public can make comments and suggestions. If you’d like to see the full listing of the FDA’s recommended changes to the Nutrition Facts label, you can read the official press release here.
While food manufacturers and foodservice distributors will be given a grace period to comply with the new regulations, it’s important to begin planning for this change by evaluating the systems and nutritional tracking procedures currently deployed within the organization. Many legacy systems have predefined data exports to generate nutritional labels, as the standard hasn’t changed since 1993. These businesses must now manage not only reformatting fonts and layouts for the new label but more importantly capturing, tracking and reporting on data never before required such as added sugars, vitamin D and Potassium. To be properly positioned for these changes, operators will require robust menuing applications that track nutritional data from sourced ingredients to finished food, such as our Power Menu solution.
NCR Power Menu will help foodservice providers meet the new standards once they roll out. Our customers who operate Power Menu today are in the best position to address these regulation changes – because Power Menu already tracks nutrients and will be automatically updated in the new label format once the new legislation is finalized! That’s great news, especially when you consider that the FDA estimates it will cost the food industry approximately $2 Billion to carry out this change.