2012 could be the Year of the Label. As public policy groups, health advocates and food industry stakeholders themselves talk up the idea of a single national nutrition rating system, the coming year promises to bring all sorts of new labels that emphasize education, though they could also cause more confusion in a marketplace already cluttered with logos.
Among the most anticipated is an extension of the Natural Product Association's certified label to cover fresh foods and grocery items. Currently, the certified natural logo is approved for use on home cleaning products and health and beauty items, and the goal is to expand coverage to the food side of the supermarket in 2012.
Meanwhile, club retailer Costco Wholesale and manufacturers Seventh Generation and ConAgra have committed to help roll out new voluntary recycling labels developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, starting in January.
The national pilot program is aimed at simplifying consumer recycling efforts by replacing the current number system with easier-to-understand terminology such as “Widely Recyclable.”
On-pack labeling has become a preferred method of communicating both the wellness and sustainability attributes of a product. Indeed, the goal behind the development of a single nutrition rating system is to consolidate the various programs currently in use into one federally approved program. The industry can expect to hear more from the feds about that in the coming year, too.