Nutrition Facts Label Changes

The Food and Drug Administration announced a new standard for the Nutrition Facts label required on all food products back in May of 2106. We’re starting to see some these new labels popping up on products and will continue to see more and more until all manufacturers adopt the new label format before the compliance deadline next year (2018).

The required updates to the nutrition facts label are an attempt by the USFDA to make nutrition information more realistic and relevant in todays culture. Let’s walk through the changes to the nutrition facts label.

nutrition facts label

Nutrition Facts Label Guidelines

Here is a side by side comparison of the old and new food nutrition facts label. The old (current) label is on the left and the new (appearing soon) label is on the right. They look very similar, but there are some key updates which we will outline below.

Nutrition label

Here is a quick summary as to the actual changes that are beginning to show up on nutrition labels. Each label change is then followed by a more detailed explanation of the changes.

Nutrition label
  • Font
    The words “Calories,” “Servings per Container,” and “Serving size” have been bolded and enlarged.

  • Amounts
    Manufacturers must now print the actual amounts (in addition to the current percent daily value) of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium. It will be voluntary to also print the amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

  • Footnote
    The footnote will now read “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

  • Added Sugars
    A line will appear for “added sugars” to be consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This number should be kept below 10% of your total daily calories.

  • Change to Required Nutrients
    Vitamin D & Potassium will now be required on the nutrition label.
    Vitamins A & C are no longer required (but may appear voluntarily).
    Calcium & Iron will remain unchanged (they are still required).

  • The words “Calories from fat” were removed
    The type of fat will remain, since that’s now deemed more important than the amount.

  • Updated Daily Values (% DV)
    Based on new scientific evidence, daily values are being updated.

  • Updated Serving Size
    Have you ever been almost finished with a package and then turned to the nutrition label to realize that you’d eating two, maybe even three servings? Since package size affects serving size, serving sizes are becoming more realistic. The law now requires that serving size reflects what people are eating, not what they should be eating!
    This means that packages that are generally considered 1 to 2 servings, such as a can of soup or soda, will provide information as if that container was one serving because the majority of people consume the entire container once opening.

  • Nutrition facts label

    Larger containers must provide 2 columns on their nutrition label. There will be “per serving” information and “per container” information… just in case you were thinking of chugging that liter of orange soda in the fridge!

  • Compliance Date
    Manufacturers must comply with this new nutrition label by July 26, 2018.
    However, manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply (July 26,2019).
  • Nutrition Label Changes

    Additional Info

    Reference: USFA nutrition label.

    If you haven’t heard about the new industry standards for food dates, then be sure to give it a click so you know the date terms that should be soon taking over all food and drink products that choose to use some type of printed date.

    To give your comments to the government about serving size recommendations on particular products, visit their comment section.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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