NAMA Requests FDA Finalize Calorie-Disclosure Rule, Extend Compliance Date And Provide Flexibility

Posted On: 11/30/2017

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CHICAGO -- This month, the National Automatic Merchandising Association formally requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration extend the compliance date for front-of-pack (FOP) calorie disclosure on products sold in vending machines to align with the FDA's proposed extension of the Nutrition Facts Label specification, approved the font size for FOP, and finalize signage for gums, mints and roll candy.

With these actions, NAMA said the FDA can reduce consumer confusion, eliminate duplicative package redesigns, and provide operators flexibility to meet the agency's calorie-disclosure requirements. 

In October, the FDA proposed extending the compliance date for the revised Nutrition Facts Label until 2020, a move NAMA supports. However, an extension for calorie disclosure in glassfront vending machines was not included in that proposal. 

"This misalignment will require food manufacturers to redesign their packaging multiple times, increasing costs and potentially confusing consumers and operators," said NAMA director of state and federal government affairs Jason Eberstein. "By simply aligning the dates, the FDA will streamline the process of providing this valuable information to consumers and ease burdens on manufacturers and vending operators."

With an extension, the FDA will have the necessary time to finalize the required font size for front-of-pack calorie disclosure and detail the proper signage for the labeling of gum, mints and roll candy, according to NAMA.

In its request to the FDA, NAMA advocated for a font size that is at least 150% of the size used for the net quantity of contents statement. Additionally, NAMA urged FDA to allow compliance by displaying a sign in close proximity to gum, mints and roll candy noting that "Gum, Mints, and Roll Candy Provide 25 Calories or Less Per Serving." This will benefit both operators and consumers with a simple yet compliant disclosure method, NAMA said.

Click here to see NAMA's full letter to the FDA.