Canadian Packaging

U.S. wants nutritional data on front of packages

Grocery Manufacturers Association plans to introduce package-front labels showing nutritional data for food products.


October 28, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

After the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) heavily criticized the U.S. food industry for it Smart Choices labeling system that okayed some high-sugar and high salt foods as being nutritional, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has announced plans to develop a labeling system that will note up front on the package pertinent nutritional data like calories, fats and sodium. The GMA says it will deploy the labeling system sometime in early 2011.

The GMA, who represent over 300 large food, beverage and consumer product companies, will work in tandem with the Food Marketing Institute who represent food retailers. Looking into the new label system, the FDA will create guidelines detailing what information can and can not appear on the packages.

With the efforts to develop this new labeling system still in its infancy, it is not known exactly what data will be presented to the consumer. However, according to the GMA, it will not attempt to state whether a product is nutritionally good or bad like what is proffered in the U.K. with their green circles for healthy products and red circles for unhealthy products.

According to the FDA, it wants the food industry to create a label that will better enable the consumer with their efforts to follow a healthier eating lifestyle.

Currently, the U.S. has a nutritional facts label on its food and beverage products listing the percentage of nutrients supplied based on the daily human requirements.

Canada has, since December of 2007 required all prepackagd foods to provide ingredient contents via the Nutritional Facts label.

Image above is a partial nutritional label previously created by the California Asparagus Commission showing current U.S. labeling efforts.