FDA Proposes to Extend Compliance Dates for Nutrition Facts Label   

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to make sure consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their diet and the foods they feed their families. So, it is proposing to extend the compliance dates for the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts label final rule and the Serving Size final rule from July 26, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020.

The new date applies to manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales would receive an extra year to comply – until Jan. 1, 2021.

The proposed rule only addresses the compliance dates. The FDA is not proposing any other changes to the Nutrition Facts Label and Serving Size final rules.

The agency is proposing to extend the compliance dates because of requests from companies and trade associations. These stakeholders expressed concerns about their ability to update all products by the original compliance dates and the importance of obtaining clarification from the FDA on several technical issues relating to the final rules.

SC Johnson Leads with Ingredient Transparency Initiative
In Asia Pacific

SC Johnson is expanding its industry-leading global ingredient transparency program across Asia Pacific. The move gives another 4 billion people access to a comprehensive list of product ingredients for such iconic brands as Glade, Mr Muscle and Raid.

In Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe, if anyone wants to know what is in an SC Johnson product and why, all the details are available at WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com – written in clear and straightforward terms. In these markets, SC Johnson now discloses the ingredients in every major product, regardless of whether required to do so by law. Among global companies, SC Johnson says its ingredient transparency program is the industry’s first and most comprehensive.

The company launched its pioneering WhatsInsideSCJohnson.com ingredient website in 2009, and expanded to Europe in 2016.

Companies to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020

“Sell by,” “Use by,” “Display until,” “Best before,” what do they all mean? Consumers around the world navigate a range of date labels on food products, and the resulting confusion costs families up to $29 billion annually in the United States alone.

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) – a network of 400 of the biggest consumer goods companies across 70 countries – along with Champions 12.3 has approved a Call to Action to standardize food date labels worldwide by 2020.

The CGF Board of Directors unanimously adopted the Call to Action to simplify date labels, including companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour and Unilever.

The Call to Action says retailers and food producers should take three important steps to simplify date labels and reduce food waste by 2020:

  • Only one label at a time
  • Choice of two labels: one expiration date for perishable items (for example,  “Use by”) and one food quality indicator for non-perishable items (for example, “Best if used by”). The exact wording will be tailored to regional context.
  • Consumer education to better understand what date labels mean.

The announcement expands national efforts to streamline date labels in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan to the rest of the world.

In addition to the labels on products, the Call to Action recommends companies partner with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to educate consumers about how to interpret date labels. Education efforts could include in-store displays, web materials and public service announcements. Many consumers don’t know, for example, that many products are still safe to eat past the “Best if used by” date.

Amazon Online Grocery Sales Surge with Whole Foods Acquisition

In the first week after its acquisition by Amazon, Whole Foods’ branded product web sales reached $500,000, after Amazon placed about 2,000 items from Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand on its site.

On June 16, 2017 Amazon rocked the grocery world by announcing plans to acquire Whole Foods Market in an all-cash transaction valued at $13.7 billion. The acquisition, the largest in Amazon’s history, closed in August 2017.

Following the acquisition, Amazon immediately implemented high-profile changes, including:

  • Lowering prices on certain produce and refrigerated fresh food staples by 10 to 43 percent
  • Tying in Whole Foods to the Amazon Prime rewards program, including Amazon Visa cards and Amazon ACH debit rewards
  • Adding hundreds of Whole Foods items through a new Whole Foods category to Amazon Fresh
  • Merchandising Echo + Echo Dot in Whole Foods stores, providing physical touch-points for all things Amazon.

Whole Foods’ and Amazon’s shares rose 30 percent and 2 percent, respectively, following the unexpected acquisition.

More CPG Purchases Online

More than 130 million Americans now shop online regularly for consumer packaged goods (CPG) ranging from household and personal care products to alcohol and salty snacks. This poses a significant challenge to traditional manufacturers and retailers, according to a new study by Maru/Matchbox, a technology-accelerated consumer insights firm.

“The traditional paradigm of controlling physical shelf space to build market share is increasingly irrelevant,” said Matt Kleinschmit, Managing Director, Consumer & Shopper Insights at Maru/Matchbox.  “While it’s not yet exactly clear how this emerging digital shopping behavior will impact traditional buying decisions long term, the potential for major CPG manufacturers and brick & mortar retailers to face music industry-like disruption is increasingly real.”

Aussies Remain Loyal to their Country’s Brands

Shoppers in Australia love products made in their country.
New research from market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that as many as seven in 10 (72 percent) metro Australians make the effort to buy food or drink products with an Australian Made/Grown logo, while 17 percent always make it a point to do the same.

With safety scares more frequent than ever, Mintel research shows that 28 percent of urban Australians say that the Australian Made/Grown logo assures them of the health or safety level of food or drink products.


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                                                                         Early October 2017
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