Just the “Nutrition” Facts, Ma’am!

Okay, we couldn’t resist. You don’t have to be Joe Friday to figure out the 2016 Nutrition Facts Label (NFL) Update, but it’s not quite yet ‘plug and play’ either.  Getting current with the new NFL format is still a little confusing.  As of September 8, 2016, the FDA website does not have a clear set of guidelines to download.

However, the information is there and if you’re determined, you can comply sooner than later, which could save you time and money down the road. We've created a PDF of the highlights to share with your team if you'd like, or keep reading for a few tips to get you there:

1. Key Dates for Manufacturers

First, the important dates to keep in mind:

  • Final Rule issued: May 27, 2016
  • Effective Date: July 26, 2016
  • Compliance Date (Folks with annual sales = $10MM+): July 26, 2018
  • Compliance Date (Folks with annual sales < $10MM): July 26, 2019

2. What's Changed?

Though the overall look has not changed, there are enough significant differences that prevent the simple transfer of numbers from an old NFL to the new NFL. Why? New data required, of course! This new data will require some homework on Manufacturer’s side to work with co-packers and/or compliance professionals to reevaluate nutritional information provided to internal and external graphic teams.

Servings per Container

Certain packages are now considered 1 serving when they used to be more; the client needs to confirm this.

Added Sugars

this had been quite the battle for some in the industry, but this new line is now required, along with a percent Daily Value (DV).

New Vitamins & Details

Vitamin D and Potassium have bumped vitamins A & C to be voluntary; and in addition, the new 4 required nutrients (Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D and Potassium) need to list both their actual amount as well as their percentages.

Dual Column?

Certain products larger than a single serving will now be required to employ the dual column format to show per serving as well as per package.

Please beware: all NFL formats (there are still about 9 basic types) are now different, including the most “basic” of them, the Linear format boasting at least 4 different type sizes- bonus! All said, though, this is not a reinvention of the Nutrition Facts Label, but an update. So, many “old” rules still apply.

3. Where do I start?

With grit and determination, you have decided to dig deeper. Nicely done! Some helpful links:

And if and when questions persist, try contacting someone from:
Nutrition Assessment and Evaluation Team
Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740-3835
Main Tel: 240- 402- 2373 | Fax: 301- 436- 2639
We found the folks at the FDA to be very receptive, helpful and informative. Happy back of pack labeling!

Olympic Branding: Playing It Safe

#TBT – In the early 80s Bright Design, or known then as Bright and Associates, had the honor of being one of just three creative studios to work on the branding of the now famous ‘84 Los Angeles Olympics. While LA’84 is now considered to be one of the most (financially) successful Olympics of all time, it certainly had many behind-the-scenes obstacles to overcome. So here at Bright Design, we empathize with Rio’s 2016 branding challenges.

The media anxiety built around Brazil’s allegedly corrupt infrastructure, economic concerns, Zika virus, contaminated water, and security threats have been a PR nightmare. And in the weeks leading up to Opening Ceremonies there has been more focus on Rio’s hosting challenges than the actual athletic challenges. So without exaggeration, branding Rio 2016 was truly an Olympic task.

Deep down, participants and viewers both want to be reassured that everything is going to be just fine. So perhaps the logo and environmental design’s biggest creative challenge is actually NOT to challenge. Could you imagine introducing the edgy and controversial 2012 London Olympics logo layered on top of everything else Rio 2016 has had to deal with?

With so much negativity preceding the Games, a (very) safe design was probably the best answer. Enter the branding experts known as Tatil, the Brazilian design studio tasked with the job. The concept behind the logo is strong yet safe—because safe is what’s appropriate. And in this case, safe might actually be good design.

The shape of the logo represents the landmark Pão de Açúcar, or Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio. The human forms represent the warm welcoming Carioca soul (‘Carioca’ is a local expression that refers to anything related to Rio). And the colors represent the sun, water and jungles of Brazil. 

Now, contrary to the dismal picture the press has painted, we have all witnessed brightly colored arenas with beautifully clad attendants, saturated signage with bold graphics and an artistically crafted typeface. It’s safe. It’s reassuring because of its familiarity. And it subtly makes us feel good.

So now when we gleefully watch Simone or Michael compete for their next gold medal—we’re not distracted by the diving pool’s green water! Ahhh. Branding at its finest.

Expect More From Your Brand Packaging Agency

Okay, so you’re looking for a branding firm.  Maybe for the first time, maybe for the zillionth time. There’s the basics to look for… Experience, Price, People, Personality, Fit, Location, etc.  Things that you’d vet anytime you expand your team, internally or externally.

But how do you make sure they’re engaged?  How do you know that you’re getting a team’s best effort?  The proof is in the process. Three points they’ve got to get right:

1. Know Your Audience

'Cradle to Grave' is not a target segment.  Empower your agency team to identify a ‘beachhead’ audience (first movers, early adopters or core audience) via demographic, or better yet, psychographic need states.  By articulating how the brand/product/service connects to your core audience (hopefully with a little data or research if you can swing it), your brand team can prove early on if they ‘get it’.   This insight will inform ‘the big idea’ down the road.

2. Craft a Brand Voice

Your brand is not your package, your identity, your website or your people.  It’s all of it - a brand is a living, breathing entity - that if done right, can stir deep, long lasting emotions within a consumer. Your branding firm needs to distill attributes into a unique set of brand values and truisms that consumers can connect with.  If done well, you will create the foundation for brand love.  That brand love is the secret sauce that delivers the big ROI and multiples at exit.

3. Play for the Long Haul

Clearly, a brand packaging system has to work on so many different levels - differentiate from competitors, aid in flavor selection/line navigation, communicate RTBs, and have that ‘it factor’ that is uniquely you - all within 5-7 seconds.  It’s easy to focus on today.  However, foresight will save the company valuable resource down the road.  Ensure your agency knows the extension potential for your product line and demonstrates how the new brand will live in other, digital mediums.


In short, any brand packaging program - whether it is a evolution or revolution - is far more than just another pretty picture.  The way an agency thinks through the challenges and demonstrates their recommendations is critical to your success.