The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new Nutrition Facts Label was finalized in May 2016, and it reflects the most significant changes since its inception in 1993.
The new Nutrition Facts label will make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about the foods and beverages they eat and drink. The label reflects the latest scientific thinking about nutrition and the links between what people eat and chronic diseases, like obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The new food label is based on new nutrition and public health research, the most recent dietary recommendations from expert groups and input from four Advance Notices of Proposed Rule Making and various citizens' petitions.
Highlights of the Final Nutrition Facts Label:
- Features a refreshed design with increased type size for calories, serving size and servings per container
- Reflects updated information about nutrition science:
- Removes "calories from fat".
- Changes "sugar" to "total sugars" and requires labeling of "added sugars".
- Single-ingredient packages and/or containers of single ingredient sugars, honey, agave, and syrups including maple syrup are not required to declare the amount of added sugars in grams, but must still include the percent Daily Value for added sugars on their labels.
- Certain dried cranberry products and cranberry beverages must declare added sugars in grams and declare the percent Daily Value for added sugars. However, FDA guidance permits the use of a footnote on these products with an explanation in regards to the sugars being added to improve their palatability, if the amount of “total sugars” does not exceed the amount in a comparable unsweetened product. This will be noted by a “†” symbol immediately following the percent Daily Value for added sugars.
- Requires labeling of vitamin D and potassium (along with calcium and iron); gives the option of labeling vitamins A and C.
- Includes updated serving sizes to reflect commonly consumed portion sizes rather than recommended portion sizes.
The FDA issued a final rule on May 4, 2018, extending the original compliance deadline to January 1, 2020. An additional year for compliance has been granted to those with less than $10 million in annual food sales. This extension has been issued in order to allow adequate time for the implementation of the new Nutrition Facts label.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. March 15, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- Federal Register. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels and Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments; Proposed Extension of Compliance Dates. May 4, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. New and Improved Nutrition Facts Label. April 16, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Nutrition Facts Label Declaration of Added Sugars for Single-Ingredient Sugars and Certain Cranberry Products. Accessed January 28, 2020