- The new FDA requirements for the Nutrition Facts panel are an opportunity to better connect with consumers and build a strong, distinct brand presence, Carol Best, vice president of client engagement at SGK, told Packaging Digest.
- For inspiration, manufacturers with international operations can draw from experiences achieving labeling compliance in the E.U., or manufacturers can look at examples from other companies with an international presence. Also, consumer expectations of a brand (such as "healthy food" versus indulgence) can shape how a manufacturer decides to handle label changes.
- Other opportunities from the change include performing an honest evaluation of label design elements and marketing messages, revisiting brand guidelines, employing any other label design changes the manufacturer has been considering (to evade making multiple artwork changes to the same SKU), and being a leader in the category or industry.
The label update is "an opportunity to listen to consumers and give them even more of what they want—going beyond simple compliance to deliver a real brand advantage," said Best. "...The big winners will be brands that see this as a strategic opportunity, not just an imposed burden."
If a brand has been considering an overhaul of its ingredients, packaging, branding, or marketing claims, now's the time to do it. Manufacturers can take the opportunity to determine whether the design assets they currently use are effective in attracting consumers and make changes if necessary.
Manufacturers should strive to touch the packaging only once to handle any branding or marketing updates and regulatory compliance changes all in one revamp. This way, manufacturers save time, money, and prevent hassles caused by multiple versions of a SKU's label on store shelves at once.
Manufacturers that take the opportunity to evaluate consumers' expectations of their brand may be able to identify strategic ways to offset concerns that could arise from changes in serving size or the added sugar line. Innovative packaging sizes or highlighting the indulgence or convenience of the product are just a few ways companies can shape consumers' reactions to a product or brand following the overhaul.
The Nutrition Facts change also offers the opportunity for brands to assume the position of leaders in their category. Ingredient innovations could introduce reformulations never before seen in a category that address consumer demands for health and convenience. Or manufacturers can innovate packaging to promote more responsible consumption.