Below is the next guest post in our campaign to help the Private Brand community during these trying times. The post comes from Maria Dubuc, President, MBD.

We live in challenging times, with the talk of COVID-19 overshadowing our everyday lives, our business, private brand has been at the center of the retail response to the pandemic. With shoppers flocking to stores to fill their carts with private brands from every aisle. Whether they are a long time, private brand fans, or shoppers left with no choice, private brand products are now in their pantry and on their dinner table.

2.03.2020 UPDATE: The Food and Drug Administration is temporarily relaxing some nutrition labeling rules to facilitate the distribution of some food products during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary rules apply to restaurants selling packaged food to consumers, food manufacturers with inventory intended for food service, and for manufacturers when retail packaging for certain foods is unavailable. The FDA will also work with manufacturers through the end of 2020 in the use of the updated Nutrition and Facts labels and will not focus on enforcement.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the long-awaited updated Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks. The FDA requires changes to the Nutrition Facts label based on updated scientific information, new nutrition research, and input from the public. The move is the first significant update to the label in over 20 years. The change has been in the works for many years, so it should not come as a surprise.

After reading the post from earlier this month on My Private Brand, The New Nutrition Facts Label  I reached out to my network of retailers, manufactures, and vendors, I asked a simple question, “Are you ready for the Nutrition Label Change?” Many of you are ready or have a plan in place. However, there was a surprising contingent who have been dragging their feet.

The Deadlines

The FDA extended the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label final rule and the Serving Size final rule, from July 26, 2018, to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Which means if you are dragging your feet, you are late.

Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have an extra year to comply – until January 1, 2021. Manufacturers of most single-ingredient sugars such as honey and maple syrup and certain cranberry products have until July 1, 2021, to make the changes. Manufacturers of certain flavored dried cranberries have until July 1, 2020, to make the changes.

The Opportunity

Take advantage of the change. A positive perspective will shift this from a burden to an opportunity. I believe there are two significant opportunities

  1. Embrace the Nutrition Facts Label change as an opportunity to serve American consumers better.
  2. Take advantage of the transition to make a change.
  3. Does your private brand or packaging need a refresh? Is it keeping up with competitors or taking advantage of current trends? Is it a design follower or leader?
  4. Is your packaging meeting today’s consumer expectations for sustainability? Is it the best packaging material? Can packaging be reduced or optimized? Is the packaging recyclable? Etc.

The Federal Nutrition Facts label is now the law, are you ready?

Maria Dubuc, President, MBD; Vice President, Big Red Rooster

A 25-year pioneer in creative management, Dubuc’s key talent is to combine a career’s worth of branding experience into something personal and unique for every client. 7-Eleven, B.J.’s Wholesale Club, Natural Grocers, Smart & Final, The Home Depot, and PetSmart are among the retailer programs she currently runs.