Changes to Supplement Labels: What You Need to Know

Did you know it’s been 20 years since supplement labels were updated? Regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), these labels are finally seeing changes in 2018.

Much has changed in the past two decades, precipitating the need for these updates. There are 20 years of new insights and data to account for including nutrition and health research. Input from the public was collected as well. In the end, there are several major changes that you need to know about to ensure you remain compliant.

The goal of the FDA was to make it easier for consumers to make better decisions about food with updated information and a new design. Here’s what you can expect.

Design Changes Emphasize Servings and Calories

The new label isn’t completely unfamiliar. There was some significant reformatting to highlight certain areas so consumers pay attention to that information. Font size was increased for “Calories,” “Servings Per Container” and “Serving Size.” The numbers for calories and serving size have also been bolded to draw attention.

The FDA determined that calories, serving per container and serving size were important pieces of information that consumers needed to easily access, hence their new updated design. They wanted to convey to shoppers that those pieces of information should guide their buying decisions.

New Information Lands on Labels

The updated label also displays new information. In addition to the percent for the “Daily Value” line for mandatory vitamins and minerals, the actual amount will accompany this information. The footnote that explains the “Daily Value” field has been updated to better explain what this data point means.

Under “Total Sugars,” “Includes Xg Added Sugars,” has been added so consumers can better learn the distribution of sugar.

Compliance Deadline Extended to 2020

Manufacturers will have some time to comply. The original compliance date was July 26, 2018. An extension was proposed to give brands until January 1, 2020, with those under $10 million in sales having one additional year to comply. Some labels are already starting to see changes per the new layout but the extension grants manufacturers more time to make changes at scale.

More Accurate Amounts

With new nutrient and daily values, consumers will see ingredients in these products differently. This could change their behavior. It could actually force some manufacturers to reformulate their recipes for a more favorable label. But the change to daily values isn’t an attempt to make some products look undesirable, rather it reflects more accurate numbers. The numbers for the new sizes correspond with the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

Steps to Compliance for Your Supplement

To continue to be in compliance, your label will need a makeover. This not only includes the design and layout updates, but you may need to adjust the information itself. The important thing is to meet that compliance date. It may seem far in the distance but changing production can be a massive undertaking. Make and approve the changes to the label sooner rather than later. You can roll out the changes in stages as some have done if that’s more convenient.

The important thing to is to remain compliant so that your product can continue to be sold legally. Even if you only sell online, you still must have compliant labels. If not, you run the risk of returned product or fines from the FDA. Protect your business from noncompliance by changing out labels as soon as possible.

Informing Our Partners and the Supplement Community

As a merchant processing partner to the supplement industry, Pinpoint Intelligence wanted to share this information to ensure the community understands the changes and the new expected compliance data. You can protect your business from more than non-compliance, protect it from fraud with a merchant processor like us.

We take the approach of fraud prevention from the retailer’s perspective, keeping everybody in the transaction safer. You can keep more money in your accounts with a better processing partner, money you may need to facilitate label changes. View the benefits of working with us to learn more.

Posted in: blogs, Fraud Prevention

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