FDA Explains Food Labels

In the “What’s In It For You?” campaign, shoppers learn about new changes to Nutrition Facts.

March 16, 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a consumer-facing public awareness campaign to educate shoppers about the most up-to-date Nutrition Facts label changes, reports Food Dive. The Nutrition Facts label updates, announced in 2016, are the first to occur in nearly two decades.

Manufacturers with at least $10 million in annual sales were required to comply with new labeling standards by January 1, 2020. Though the new campaign, “What’s In It For You?,” is going live months after most consumer packaged goods were required to update their format, many consumers still may not be aware of the changes.

The campaign uses video, fact sheets, social media and newsletter posts to educate consumers, as well as an interactive label that users can click on to learn where to find and how to understand information.

“This campaign highlights that the new Nutrition Facts label has been designed to assist consumers in making better informed food choices,” Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a press release.

The new label makes a variety of changes, including “recalculating serving sizes, displaying calories per serving more prominently and including information on added sugars and dietary fiber.” The new labels also include the amounts of vitamin D and potassium per serving.

A study from the International Food Information Council and American Heart Association found that 59% of consumers said they always looked at labels when shopping for food. Additionally, 70% prioritize the Nutrition Facts panel's information. Labels also reduce calorie intake by 6.6%, according to a study from Tufts University