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Food Label Changes: What You Don't Know Or Haven't Thought About

Effective Dates:

  • January 1, 2020: Companies OVER $10 million in annual food sales
  • January 1, 2021: Companies UNDER $10 million in annual food sales
  • July 1, 2021 - Manufacturers of single-ingredient sugar products such as honey, syrup and certain cranberry-based foods

RACC-Chart.pngIncreased Single Serving Size Amount:

A Single Serving Size will be redefined as a serving that can reasonably be consumed by a single person in one sitting.

For example:

  • A serving size of ice cream will increase from a half cup to 2/3 of a cup.
  • Beverage cans and bottles will be counted as one serving because people tend to drink an entire beverage at one time, regardless of size.

For more specifics, visit the FDA’s RACC (Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed: CFR 21 §101.12) which is updated regularly.

Dual-Column Data: Per Serving AND Per Package

Products that are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in a single sitting or multiple sittings must provide a dual column label to indicate the number of calories and nutrients on both a Per Serving AND Per Package or Per Unit basis.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The addition of the dual column format may require significant changes to the existing packaging design.


Other Important Changes:

  • Serving Size: Must be in large, bold, easy-to-read print
  • Calories Per Serving: Will reflect new serving sizes and be in large, bold, easy-to-read print
  • Calories From Fat: This section is being removed. However, Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat will remain on the label.
  • Added Sugars: Will be listed by weight and percent of daily value
  • Required Nutrient Changes: Must list the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value, of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.
    • Newly Required - Vitamin D and Potassium
    • No Longer Required - Vitamins A and C
  • Daily Values Updates:

    Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D are being updated. The most up-to-date FDA charts detail nutritional values by age as well as segmenting out pregnant and lactating women.



  • The Footnote:
    The small-print footnote at the bottom of the label will better explain the percentage of daily value and how it applies within the context of the total daily diet for the average person.

    The new footnote will read: The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.



Some manufacturers may be exempt from the labeling requirements, including low-volume producers with fewer than 100 full-time equivalent employees and moving less than 100,000 units per year.

Bottom Line

All of the changes implemented by the FDA will require changes to the nutritional label itself.

When the dual-column format must be used for Per Serving and Per Package food items, the entire package may need to be redesigned. These changes could take time to implement as a new design needs to be created and new plates made. If you haven’t started this process already, submit a contact form and we’ll get you on the path to compliance today.

Reference Information:

FDA Regulation on Food Labeling CFR Title 21.101

Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC)

Sample label templates

FDA’s Quick Reference Guide of Changes