FDA Nutrition Label Updates - What You Need to Know | Digital Color Inc.

FDA Nutrition Label Updates – What You Need to Know

The FDA’s updates to the nutrition facts labeling regulations are among the most extensive changes to food labeling in decades. The new label requirements are designed to make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices. With over 30 years in pre-press and food packaging and label design, Digital Color is here to help as you update your labels and packaging. We’ll coordinate with your packing and canning or legal team to ensure that your new labels stay within FDA compliance.

What’s Changed with the NLEA Updates?

The FDA’s updates include two new rules.

One rule addresses a design change which is meant to make the label easier to read as well as reflecting a change in nutritional recommendations including:

Added Sugars

Labels will distinguish added sugars from naturally occurring sugars to end the confusion on how much sugar was added to the package versus how much is naturally found within the foods.

Potassium and Vitamin D Required

Potassium and Vitamin D are now required nutrients as they play important roles in bone health and blood pressure but are not consumed in adequate amounts. Vitamins A and C are voluntary because most people get enough of these nutrients.

Calories from Fat Removed but Total Fat, Saturated Fat, and Trans Fat Are Required

It’s been found that the type of fat is more important information than the total amount of fat. Choosing the healthier types of fat leads to a lower risk of heart disease rather than simply decreasing the total amount of fat intake.

Calories, % of Daily Value, and Serving Sizes More Prominent

This is in place to address public health concerns related to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease by helping consumers see the most important information first and understand how the food fits into their total diet.

The second rule updates serving size requirements and labeling requirements for packages of a certain size:

New Requirements for Serving Size Labeling

Serving sizes are now legally required to reflect the amount that people usually eat. Portions are generally larger than they were two decades ago so reference values for serving sizes will increase at scale to be more realistic. A drink that is typically consumed in one sitting will no longer contain multiple servings and the nutritional value amounts will reflect this. In addition, packages that could be consumed with one sitting or in multiple sittings will provide dual column labels to indicate both per serving and per package nutritional information.

What Do Companies Need to Do?

There are a number of formats available for companies to use in their new nutritional facts labels. For companies with questions on the new regulations or that need assistance in preparing their packaging designs to be in compliance with the new format, Digital Color will coordinate with the proper counsel to assist in the design and prepress process.

When Do FDA Nutrition Label Regulation Updates Need to Be Completed?

The initial compliance date for updated FDA nutrition label regulations was set at July 26, 2018 for companies with over $10 million in annual food sales. Companies with under $10 million in annual sales are given an extra year and will need to be in compliance by July 26, 2019.


  • Manufacturers with more than $10 million in annual sales have until January 1, 2020.
  • Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales have until January 1, 2021.

Ready for a Refresh? Let Digital Color Help!

While at the very least you’ll need to update your labels to accommodate the nutrition label requirement updates, this is a great time for a cost effective revamp of your packaging as a whole. At Digital Color, we’d love to help bring new imagery, art, branding, and design to your food packaging and labels. Take a look at some of our portfolio pieces and see the possibilities.

Whether you’re simply updating your nutrition labels or going with total refresh, let Digital Color help. Get in touch, we’d love to work with you.