Editor's Note

Same old label needs an update

April 8, 2014
KEYWORDS food trends
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

I’m an avid reader of food labels. On a typical trip to the supermarket, I get some of my most useful reading accomplished. When buying a new food or beverage product, I always check the total number of calories per serving and per container, as well as the trans fat, fiber and sugar levels. But when I look at other shoppers in the grocery store, they’re not catching up on label reading. They’re usually trying to control their children, reading their text messages while waiting in the checkout line or calling their significant others to make sure they’re bringing home the correct, obscure ingredient from the baking aisle.

While I enjoy label reading, it’s usually the same old story with a few points of difference in the percentage of daily value column. So, when it was announced recently that the food nutrition facts label would be getting a makeover, I was delighted. But when I saw the new label mock-ups, I was a bit disappointed.

Key nutrition facts such as serving per container and calories are much more prominent—definitely a step in the right direction for consumer health. But in our fast-moving, visually obsessed world, couldn’t stakeholders do a little better with the graphic design?

For instance, a dash of color or big red circles around pertinent information might help boost readership. Of course, different aspects of the label appeal to different people. Someone looking to add calcium to his or her diet may not care about dietary fiber. But a more modern and eye-catching design couldn’t hurt.

Someday, perhaps, nutrition facts labels will become marketing tools because of certain ingredients or a lack of them. For example, I never dreamed I would be eating a product called Fiber One and trading in my favorite diet soda for water and homemade, unsweetened iced tea. I may have changed, but the labels have remained pretty much the same.

 Let’s check back in five years. I hope the nutrition facts label not only will be even more useful to consumers, but more visually enticing to boost shopper readership.  

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how robotics can play a role in pick-and-place, packaging, case packing and palletizing processes, and know where to implement robotic automation.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.