Food and beverage labeling, especially when it comes to healthy content, isn't something to be taken lightly. When deciding what type of promises are right for your products, it's important to consider whether there are any rules on the subject – and to be careful even if such regulations don't exist yet. With laws and accepted norms shifting over time, it could be time for an assessment and line-wide refresh. Recent cases show what happens when brands issue promises that their products can't keep.
PepsiCo agrees to make changes
The Center for Science in the Public Interest recently announced a negotiated peace in its battle with soft drink giant PepsiCo, specifically its health-conscious juice brand Naked. Considering the fact that a raw and natural health factor is a great part of Naked's appeal, it's unsurprising that the brand made many promises on its bottles. According to the lawsuit that led to the settlement and label changes, however, those claims went too far.
The CSPI noted that Naked products will clarify which of its offerings are "fruit juice," which are "veggie juice" and which earn the hybrid descriptor "fruit and veggie juice." While this may seem like a technicality, the CSPI explained that consumers could be making judgments based on the presence of vegetables – generally a healthier food and beverage option than fruit.
Furthermore, the words "no sugar added" will still be displayed, but in a new context. As the labels previously stood, they could potentially have been misconstrued as promising a low calorie count or overall sugar amount.
"Consumers deserve to know at a glance what they're buying, and Naked's labeling and marketing enhancements accomplish that. We commend the Naked Juice team for its cooperation and commitment to transparency," stated CSPI litigation director Maria Kats.
Added sugar is a current battleground in food and beverage labeling. But what might be next up? FoodDive recently gave one possibility: Legislation in California is designed to mandate warning labels on foods that use artificial coloring. These are based on a European labeling standard, one which focuses on the connection between dyes and behavior issues in children. The source noted that the CSPI is lending support to this campaign, as well.
Keep your labeling agile
When a new standard hits, or you debut a new version of your product formulated to suit consumers' health practices, it's time for fresh labels. If you bring your product labeling in-house, via a powerful printer such as the Primera LX900, you gain more control over this developing process. Find out more on our U.S. site or our Canadian page.