This post was written by Liz Gingold, a Boston-based Dietetic Intern with a background in advertising. She is a lover of all things food and fitness and a firm believer in a balanced lifestyle where all food fits.
This past May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new Nutrition Facts label for packaged goods to reflect new scientific information & a fresh set of ground rules. Added sugars will be in the spotlight, as the new label requires food manufacturers to disclose “Added sugars,” in grams and as percent Daily Value. With the labeling changes on the horizon & the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending no more than 10% of daily calories come from added sugars, food manufacturers are feeling the pressure to cut down on the sweet stuff.
With all the new “less sugar”, “naturally sweetened”, and “sugar-free” products hitting shelves, it’s no wonder why food companies are in a hurry to figure out how sugar fits into their brand. Too much added sugar is undeniably not so sweet for our health. However, here at FRESH we are champions of the “all food fits” philosophy and maintain that products with sugar don’t have to be doomed.
So, if your products have sugar…
Don’t panic! Sugar can add taste appeal to nutritious foods and (in limited quantities) can be part of a well-balanced eating pattern.
Highlight the good stuff: Does your product contain other key nutrients (like vitamins, minerals, fiber, or protein)? When it comes to branding, don’t be afraid to let these nutrients steal the spotlight from sugar.
Distinguish between added & natural sugars: Some nutritious food products have naturally occurring sugars such as fruit (in the form of fructose) and dairy (in the form of lactose). Therefore yogurts, cottage cheese, frozen fruits, dried fruits and more all have naturally occurring sugars. Until the new Nutrition Facts Label can do it for you, don’t forget to highlight these natural sugars from those added in processing.
You don’t have to be sugar-free to brag about less sugar: Have you recently cut down on the amount of sugar in your product? If so, feature your new formulation. Is your product lower in sugar than its competitors? Share that. Remember, the product doesn’t have to be sugar-free to be a healthy option and have brand appeal.
Wondering when you will see the new Nutrition Facts Label featuring “Added sugars” in stores? According to the FDA website, most manufacturers have until July 2018 to comply.