WASHINGTON — Retailers are contributing to a $50 million education campaign that will accompany a new, voluntary front-of-pack labeling system scheduled to appear on thousands of private-label and national brand products beginning next quarter, Food Marketing Institute spokeswoman Kathleen Thomas, told SN.
Designed by FMI in concert with the Grocery Manufacturers Association at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, the label is meant to present caloric information, and other nutrients to limit, in an easy-to-understand way as part of an effort to fight obesity. Retailers have contributed resources to the effort.
"We consulted a number of people from our member companies from dietitians to designers," noted Thomas.
GMA and FMI will finalize the label in the coming months, and decide how to provide consumers with information on nutrients needed to build a "nutrient-dense" diet and on "shortfall nutrients" that are under-consumed in the diets of most Americans.
Retailers and manufacturers have agreed to support an education campaign, both financially and otherwise, designed to raise awareness about the labels and promote their use. It will target parents who are primary household shoppers with print, radio and television ads, as well as in-store elements.
For a growing number of retailers, the new, front-of-pack system will supplement shelf-edge nutrition programs like NuVal and Guiding Stars.