Our Newsletter:
Traceability Insider

August 2014
How Digitization is About to Change the Rules of Your Business

June 2014
Food Waste, We are Fed Up, and a Gladson Case Study

May 2014
Ag Tech and the Power of Catchy Criticism

March 2014
Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

January 2014
Oxymoronic Grocery Predictions and Big Data for the Produce Industry

December 2013
The Gift of Growing – Helping Kids Get Their Hands Dirty!

November 2013
Produce Brand Strategy, Visibility and Transparency

September 2013
A "Lean" Supply Chain, Knowing your Shopper

April 2013
Food Waste, The Rolling Stones, Raley's, and Tanimura & Antle

March 2013
First Look! FDA Releases IFT Traceability Report and Lessons from Europe's Horsemeat Crisis Every Fresh Food Brand Should Learn

January 2013
What Does the Future Hold?

September 2012
"Locale" Produce and Reducing the Impact of Recalls

January 2012
Making the Case for Traceability

September 2011
GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details

August 2011
Turbocharge Mobile Marketing with HarvestMark and QR Codes

May 2011
Traceability Insider

January 2011
It's a New Year. What's the latest on PTI?

May 2010
HarvestMark Makes its VoiceCode™ Solution Open Source

December 2009
IFT Publishes Traceability Report for FDA

Holiday Issue 2009
What Happened at the FDA/USDA Hearing on Food Traceability

September 2009
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

August 2009
How to Avoid Synching Without Trace

July 2009
What's the Value of PTI?

May 2009
Case-Level and Item-Level Traceability-What You Need to Know

April 2009
Still Have Questions about PTI? Don't Worry, You're Not Alone

March 2009
PTI, GS1, GTIN, GLN? HarvestMark's Got the FAQs

January 2009
The First PTI Milestone is Around the Corner

December 2008
A Pivotal Year for Food Safety

November 2008
FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability

October 2008
Produce Traceability Initiative Action Plan Released

September 2008
How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

Español - 01 2012
Elaborando el Caso para Trazabilidad

Español - 03 2012
La Más Reciente Norma de la FDA es Efectiva Inmediatamente. ¿Debería Usted Estar Preocupado?

August 2013
How Walmart Could Implement PTI, Crowdsourced Shopper Insights

June 2010
How to Interpret the PTI announcement of "Goal Unchanged, Milestones Adjusted"

December 2010
An Update on the PTI

July 2010
Produce Traceability in Foodservice

February 2010
What's Going on with the PTI

March 2010
Consumer Attitudes to Traceability

August 2010
HarvestMark Launches Consumer Campaign in Portland, OR

March 2011
Have you heard of the PLU DataBar Initiative?

November 2011
Traceability? There’s an App for That

December 2012
It’s all new. Introducing HarvestMark 2013.

March 2012
The FDA's Latest Ruling is Effective Immediately. Should You be Worried?

June 2012
Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

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March 2014: Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

Out With the Old, In with the...Marginally Different

Back in 1990 the FDA proposed that food companies put a standardized label on all packaged foods that informed the shopper about its nutritional value. This was a revolution. Shoppers could now compare products based on nutrition and were able to make decisions based on price, convenience and health benefits (is the old adage true:  You can pick any two?). Now, after 24 years, the FDA has proposed more changes:

  • Calorie counts are larger type
  • Calculated serving sizes are more realistic and more prominent
  • Added sugar is its own line item (this is going to be good news for fruits and veggies)

The proposal to make each label 3 feet tall was quickly rejected

However, an even more profound transformation is happening in the nutrition labeling world: personalization. By designing labels for the average American we are making the labels less useful for everybody who is not average.  Technology has made personalization possible to help anyone make sense of the ingredient and nutrition panel, without having to interpret a %DV calculation or know if they need more or less fiber.


“Thorny” food labeling law for restaurants delayed by FDA

The 2010 health care law mandated the FDA to develop a framework to display calorie counts on restaurant menus and vending machines. Proposed rules were introduced in 2011 but those will not become final as the restaurant lobby looks to expand the types of exemptions. We welcome the ability for consumers to know more about their food and we hope this will be someday expanded to include nutrition upfront alongside the calorie counts but we understand that slow and steady wins the regulatory race. Nutrition information will have to be available upon request, but we doubt that many people will know to ask for it.

The biggest restaurant chains are ahead of the law, printing calorie counts on their menus, and most patrons have welcomed the information. A study from Oklahoma State University verified that the calorie claims on menus by Applebee’s, Denny’s, Burger King, and MacDonald’s, among others were fairly accurate.  One solution we saw was to print the nutrition information on the receipt … clever (but of course, you’d already purchased the clam chowder by the time you realized it was 2800 calories).

Companies like healthydiningfinder.com are also going down the technology side-road.  On their website, you can enter a zip code, and find nearby restaurants sorted by your dietary goal – and even look at the nutrition information of individual menu items.