FDA Issues Final Front-Of-Pack Calorie Disclosure Rule For Vending
by Emily Jed
Posted On: 10/28/2019
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Oct. 25 issued its final rule to revise the type size requirements for calorie labeling on packaged foods sold in glassfront vending machines.
This is a major victory for the National Automatic Merchandising Association, which strongly advocated to reduce the proposed front-of-package (FOP) declaration type size from at least 50% of the size of the largest printed matter on the label.
The final rule:
>> Confirms the NAMA recommendation on front-of-pack (FOP) calorie declaration type size, be at least one and one-half times the minimum required size of the net quantity of contents (i.e., net weight) declaration on the package of the vended food.
>> Reduces regulatory burdens on, and increases flexibility for the industry, while ensuring that calorie information is visible to consumers to help them make informed dietary decisions.
>> Exercises enforcement discretion regarding the calorie disclosure requirements for gums, mints and roll candy products sold in glass-front machines in packages that are too small to bear FOP labeling.
>> Allows for off-machine signage to share information on products not carrying FOP disclosure to accommodate for quickly changing products in machines.
The compliance date for type size FOP labeling requirements for articles of food sold from glassfront vending machines is July 1, 2021.
In 2014, FDA released its Vending Machine Final Rule: Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines, requiring operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines to disclose calorie information for food sold from vending machines, subject to certain exemptions. Vending machine operators could choose to rely on front-of-pack labeling to disclose calories on food items that consumers can see in glassfront vending machines.
In 2018, FDA published the proposed rule Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food Sold From Certain Vending Machines, allowing the vending machine operator to rely on the front-of pack calorie declaration to meet the calorie labeling requirements if the type size of the calorie declaration on the front of pack is at least 150% (one and a half times) the type size of the net weight declaration, and the front of the food package can clearly be seen through a glass front vending machine.
NAMA submitted comments supporting the font size being 150% the smallest font on packaged food (ie: net weight disclosure), and adopting discretion for items sold through vending too small to carry FOP. Today’s final rule is largely in-line with the proposed rule from 2018.
NAMA is continuing to review the final rule. Contact NAMA director of federal and state affairs Mike Goscinski at firstname.lastname@example.org further information.