The New Nutrition Label Deconstructed

The Lempert Report
January 28, 2020

Your shoppers have noticed subtle changes over the past couple of years on their package labels.

The effort was started by Michele Obama and although many lobbyists have tried for further delays and changes to the nutrition facts label the reality is that earlier this month – on January 1 the regulations changed. Large manufactures had to comply, while smaller companies get an extra year to conform – although that seems to me to be a mistake that adds further confusion for shoppers.

The good news is that according to IFIC, 59% of shoppers almost always read a label before buying a new food.

The biggest news is all about sugar and the new label specified a call-out for total sugars and added sugars.

Listing Vitamins A and C are no longer mandatory, but vitamin D, potassium, calcium, and iron are. Actual amounts in milligrams, micrograms, and other units of measure are listed now, too, not just percentages.

Daily value percentages have been upgraded. For example, total fat increased from 65 g to 78 g, dietary fiber increased from 25 g to 28 g, and sodium decreased from 2,400 mg to 2,300 mg.

Serving sizes for about 30 commonly consumed foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and carbonated drinks changed. Serving sizes are based on how much people are actually eating not how much they “should” be eating.  Food packages small enough that they could be eaten all at once even though they contain multiple servings (a pint of ice cream or candy bar, for example) will have dual-column labels. One column has the values of one serving and the other column is what’s in the full package.

Use your retail dietitian to educate ALL your team members to these changes as shoppers WILL be asking about them to your produce, meat, deli and all service teams.