FLMA Coming In Early 2016; What Does this Mean for Brands?

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FLMA Coming In Early 2016; What Does this Mean for Brands?

In early 2016, the FLMA, or Federal Label Modernization Act, is scheduled to be finalized. This regulation is the result of consumers' desire for labeling on packaging of foods that is more informative and easier to understand. According to a recent article at Packaging Digest, VP of client engagement at SGK, Bruce Levinson, believes that the act will result in a "fantastic opportunity for brands to gain a competitive advantage." Levinson advises that brand owners go beyond complying with the new regulation and labeling, and consider how it will impact labeling and packaging. The new regulation is basically about companies becoming more transparent regarding serving size portions and the calories corresponding with those portions. Manufacturers of food products must comply with FLMA by early 2018, which is expected to affect manufacturers of approximately 60,000 consumer packaged goods, and more than 740,000 products/UPCs. How will this affect brands? According to Levinson, FLMA will be an opportunity for companies who create new labels with consumers in mind to not only build stronger relationships with existing customers, but gain new customers as well. During his "Turn FLMA Into Your Competitive Advantage" seminar held last week, Levinson went into detail about how the label update could impact brands, and revealed specific steps recommended for brand owners who desire to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. A key takeaway from the seminar was for brand owners to react proactively to the regulation. Levinson advised that brand owners should also anticipate changes to serving sizes, in addition to understanding consumer expectations and what should be changed because of these expectations. Other things brand owners should bear in mind are:

  • Be aware of what today's consumers expect from their brands
  • Consider product reformulation and repackaging with promoting consumptive behavior in mind, which also helps brands capture a competitive advantage
  • Foresee serving size changes and understand what labeling changes should be made due to the expectations of consumers
  • Touch the label one time, while thinking how other design changes could impact brand trust or awareness among consumers
  • Take action immediately once understanding what you can afford to remove, move, or change in terms of your assets and true design equities
Ultimately, Levinson urged brand owners to think beyond the regulation and really listen to the expectations of consumers, while considering a new size or format in packaging, or a method of packaging that would give brands an advantage over their competitors. Nutrition labels are highly important to consumers today, more so than ever before. Not only do consumers demand to know what ingredients are in the foods they eat, but nutrition information that is clear and easy to understand as well. At Markem-Imaje, we understand how every nuance of labeling and packaging impacts consumer trust and awareness. For all of your coding and marking solutions, trust us to deliver beyond your expectations with industrial printing equipment that is not only top-notch in terms of quality and reliability, but is cost-effective as well.

January 10, 2014
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