The food and beverage industry has renamed its new, voluntary front-of-package nutrition labeling system, from "Nutrition Keys" to "Facts Up Front," reports MediaPost. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced the new name, as well as the launch of a Web site, FactsUpFront.org, a first effort in a $50 million consumer awareness/education campaign that will go into full throttle next year.
The new name was selected because "it clearly communicates the program's objective, to move fact-based information from the Nutrition Facts panel on the back or side of the package to the front, so shoppers can more easily find the information they need to make more informed decisions when they shop," says GMA's Senior Communications Director Ginny Smith. Icons show calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar per serving, the daily value percentages for saturated fat and sodium, plus up to two icons showing "nutrients to be encouraged," such as fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins. It does not disclosure trans fats. Consumer products bearing the icons are expanding in line with makers' seasonality and production/distribution schedules, and that the consumer campaign will launch early next year, when the icons will be on a majority of products in the marketplace.Meanwhile, according to Christine Stencel of the press office for the Institute of Medicine, the IOM's Phase II report on front-of-pack labeling is in the peer review stage. Once the Phase II report is released, the FDA plans to release guidance on FOP. FDA officials said that any FOP labeling system would be voluntary, although participants would be required to comply with its specifics. In its Phase I report, released last October, IOM concluded that FOP labeling should disclose calories, serving size, saturated fats, trans fats and sodium content information, as these address "the most pressing diet-related health concerns and challenges" for consumer nutrition education and compliance purposes. Too much information, including beneficial nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, could result in consumer confusion and encourage the addition of unnecessary nutrient fortifications in food/beverage products for marketing purposes.