Food Engineering

Nutrition facts go front and center

December 1, 2010
Pure Protein bars locate important nutritional data such as protein, trans fat and sugar on the front, making it easy to compare the numbers with other products.


For consumers who turn food and beverage packages over and flip them upside down, only to find a wealth of nutritional data in three-point type that requires a microscope to read, help is on the way. Leading food and beverage manufacturers and retailers are joining forces to develop a new, front-of-package nutrition labeling system, making it easier to get important nutritional facts at a glance. To appeal to busy consumers, the information will be presented in a fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will finalize the details of the initiative, including the technical and design elements. In addition, details will be finalized on how to provide consumers with information on the nutrients needed to build a nutrient-dense diet and on shortfall nutrients that are under-consumed by most Americans. GMA and FMI will continue to work with stakeholders on these and other details in the coming weeks.

“The food and beverage industry is committed to empowering consumers by providing them with the products, tools and information they need to achieve and maintain a healthy diet,” says Pamela G. Bailey, GMA president and CEO. “This initiative comes on top of the 20,000 healthier product choices we have developed, the responsible marketing practices we have adopted and the tens of millions of dollars we spend annually on healthy lifestyle promotion.”

To build consumer awareness and promote use of the new label, America’s food and beverage manufacturers and retailers have agreed to support the change to their product labels with a $50 million consumer education campaign. The campaign, to be launched in 2011, will be aimed at parents who are the primary household shoppers.

“This is a landmark step forward in the industry’s commitment to help address the obesity challenge,” says David Mackay, president and CEO of Kellogg Company. “It represents the most significant change in food labels in the US in nearly 20 years. And our commitment to an ambitious consumer education campaign will amplify the impact the labeling change will have in households across the country.”