Dispatches: Pack Expo 2014

How will Nutrition Facts panel changes hit snacks?

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition facts panel, Nutrition

Snack makers and suppliers will be under pressure to make fast changes across all packs once the FDA finalizes its ruling on the nutrition facts panel, but can suppliers keep up?

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago last week, president and CEO of the Snack Food Association (SFA) Tom Dempsey said changes would cause a ripple effect through industry.

“We’re going to have to re-do every SKU panel on the back both graphically and with the nutritional information however the daily recommended values come out,”​ he said.

Because the regulation impacted the entire food sector and every product within that, Dempsey said there would be queues to get these changes done.

“It’s not just on one size, it’s on every size so it’s on every SKU within that food group.”

Supplier time concerns

For printing, packaging and machinery suppliers, meeting these changes in good time would be the biggest challenge.

“Hopefully the government will give [snack makers] plenty of time to grandfather their old material out. But the shorter the lead time the more pressure; the more possibility for cost and mistakes,” ​said George Reynolds, sales manager at packing major PrintPack.

Blake Svejkovsky, product manager at Heat and Control, agreed that timing would be a big issue for the upcoming nutrition facts panel changes.

“I think the whole industry is hoping there’s going to be some grace period involved with this. If we all try and do this at the same time, I don’t think the regulations are going to work out the way they want to do.”

He said snack makers had started to ask for different equipment with a big trend towards higher accuracy.

“From an ingredients selection perspective, an ingredient dosing perspective and a finished product perspective, accuracy tends to be the word we’re hearing the most of.”

Hand in hand with safety

Svejkovsky said these new demands went hand in hand with safety regulations because manufacturers wanted quality and safety assurance with machinery.

Sanitation, for example, was increasingly important, he said. “We’re seeing a lot of impact on that and how we engineer and design our equipment, we’re also seeing a big impact on that from a purity of ingredient perspective as well.”

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