- Small food companies are preparing to adapt their packages to the new guidelines for nutrition labels set out by the FDA.
- Businesses that sell 100,000 units a year or less can seek an exemption, and about 3,000 have. However, those who don't qualify have to set aside time and money for the cause, as they lack departments dedicated to compliance found within bigger companies.
- Small food entrepreneurs and artisanal brands accounted for $88 billion in sales in 2013, slightly more than 10% of all food sales in retail, according to the latest data from the Specialty Food Association, a New York-based trade group.
The FDA's proposed food label changes has evoked reactions that range from applause to derision, as outlined in Food Dive's Can a new nutrition label improve America’s health? One of the prominent consequences of the proposed label is its estimated $2 billion cost to the food industry from packaging changes. Although the number is not insignificant, it represents the whole industry without allocating what the cost would be for individual businesses. Small businesses believe that the estimated cost of the new labels have very specific, concrete numbers representing considerable amounts of their overall budget.
For example, the owner of an organic iced tea line that sells 160,000 cases a year estimates that the new labels will cost her $30,000. It's not just a matter of changing the words but of coming up with a whole new design that looks good on the product: "You're looking at millimeters to fit on a bottle. If the new nutrition label is going to be a little larger, you've got to make sure it fits. Everything has to look appealing to the eye."