Is Your Company Ready to Implement the New FDA Rules on Food Labeling?

556 566 Packaging Spec System

On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced new regulations regarding the labeling of food products along with a new look for product nutrition labels. While it’s only 20 years old, the FDA is retiring the current label in favor of a new, modern look designed to provide consumers with more recent and accurate nutritional information making it easier for consumers to make informed decisions.

According to the FDA’s Q&A on the subject, the changes are based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.

Changes to the design include a modified list of required nutrients, updated service size requirement and a new design. Notable changes include the addition of added sugars, plus vitamin D and potassium, as Americans don’t get enough of these nutrients, while vitamin A and C are now only included as voluntary for manufacturers.

Old label vs new

Manufacturers will have until July 26, 2018 to comply with the final requirements, and manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to make the changes.

To help manufacturers make a smooth transition, we’ve compiled some recommendations on how specright can help ease the transition towards the 2018 compliance date

1. Create a plan/timeline based on your company objectives to meet the deadline. Include in the plan the number of SKUs that will need a label review/change/

2. Get a specright account and let our Engineering Services Team enter your company’s packaging SKUs/BOMs, along with the accompanying labels into your specright account. specright manages all your specifications in a single controlled place. Built on Force.com, specright is easy to use, secure, scalable, and easily integrates into your ecosystem.

3. Analyze your SKUs for redundancy/duplicates (optional). Using specright’s powerful analytics functions, it’s easy to run reports for like-size packaging, which gives you the opportunity to reduce packaging SKUs by consolidating, plus reduce costs by negotiating volume discounts for the higher quantities of a single package type.

4. Identify the labels that need to change. Use specright analytics and reporting functions to identify all the labels that must change. This will enable you to identify key deliverables and possibly stagger delivery dates, if you have many labels to change by the deadline.

5. Assign tasks in specright to marketing/branding/quality – anyone who needs to review or approve the new labels. specright emails assignees with their task, along with a link to the document found in specright.

6. Upload new labels to specright. For every change to a BOM, specright maintains a historical record of the change, the date it was made and who made it.

7. Send new labels to suppliers using the specright Exchange. The Exchange makes it easy and convenient to send specifications to designated suppliers, enabling you to keep track of what has been sent.

8. Audit your suppliers to ensure compliance with the new label designs/regulations. specright’s intelligent 3-point audit process improves quality and reduces non-conformities. Regular audits keep your specs compliant and confirm your labels matches the certified spec, ensuring accuracy and minimizing returns and recalls.

If you want to get a jump on updating your product labels, get a demo of specright and let us show you how to make labels changes a smooth process.

 

About The Author:

Rebecca Janzon is Marketing Manager for specright. She has 20+ years in experience in the areas marketing/communications/PR working in marketing roles at SKF, Atlas Copco, Nobel Biocare and Cochlear. She brings a wealth of knowledge in SaaS, engineering services, computer software, and the medical devices segments.