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Volume 12, Number 7 - July 2011

Hello from Food Label News. Happy 4th of July to our U.S. readers and greetings to food labelers everywhere. This month we spotlight USDA's release of MyPlate with guidelines for how to use the new graphic on food labels. In addition, we celebrate the American entrepreneurial spirit with a case study about launching a novel beverage concept. Read on and share your comments with the Food Label Community on LinkedIn.

In this issue you'll find:


"We would like to thank you for all your efforts and hard work with getting our labels to us in such a short time. You were such a great help and so easy to work with. You went above and beyond the call of duty in order to get us what we required. Again thanks so much."

– Gary Suhr, 
Gary's Super Foods


MyPlate Trumps MyPyramid

Start-up Manufacturer Launches Novel Beverage Concept: A Case Study

Reader Q&A: Wholesale and Foodservice Labeling

Helpful links to keep you current


Karen C. Duester, President

MyPlate Trumps MyPyramid

Our industry is all about helping consumers make smart food choices. In early June, USDA's Center for Nutrition and Public Policy (CNPP) released a new graphic and set of guidelines called MyPlate to help consumers make informed decisions about what to eat.

This conceptual framework replaces MyPyramid and provides helpful resources with tools to put the Dietary Guidelines into action. MyPlate addresses the government’s interest to reduce the incidence of obesity and other related chronic conditions.

For food labelers, the "Style Guide" is an important resource to ensure correct use of the MyPlate icon. Key takeaways:

  1. The MyPlate icon was created to telegraph the main food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy.

  2. When using the MyPlate icon always keep the image intact including all colors, type treatments, food group names, size relationships and placement of elements.

  3. The MyPlate icon can only be reproduced according to exact specifications, including guidelines for four-color printing.

  4. To create focus on a food group the relevant segment can be highlighted while showing the other segments in an outlined format.

  5. If using the MyPlate icon in product promotion (including food labels) the following statement must be included: "USDA does not endorse any product, services or organizations."

Read the complete Style Guide. For consumer information click the MyPlate graphic above.

 Keeping You Current

Front-of-Pack Labeling: New Eng J Med article asks if Nutrition Keys are "An Abuse of Trust by the Food  Industry?"

Gluten-Free Certification: QAI announces new program

Lawsuit to stop labeling HFCS as "corn sugar" gains momentum

Corn Refiners Association says "no meaningful difference" between HFCS & sugar

FDA seizure action on dietary supplements with disease claims

Food Labeling and Standards of Identity: state exemption from federal preemption

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for a discussion of the news

From the Archive

USDA gives guidance on MyPyramid for Food Labels

To use the MyPlate graphic accurately, food labelers must carefully review the "Style Guide" and consider the food group and nutrient makeup of their product formulations. MyPlate classifications are based on common perception, dietary practice or product use. For example: legumes can be classified as Protein or Vegetables, tomatoes are botanically Fruits but classified as Vegetables, and corn (kernels) are Vegetables but cornmeal is classified in the Grains group.

Start-up Manufacturer Launches Novel Beverage Concept:
A Case Study

Navigating food label regulations for a new-to-the-world beverage concept is no easy task – especially for a young, start-up company. Launching a new brand in a highly competitive industry requires management to engage regulatory experts they can trust to keep their labels compliant. Read about how an early stage company outsourced its regulatory strategy and food label compliance, enabling them to keep laser focus on its core competency: building, marketing and selling their new brand. Access the case study.

Reader Q&A

Find answers to our readers' questions or send us your question for an upcoming issue.


What label information is needed to sell products wholesale? Is the same label information necessary for selling to foodservice?
C.B., California, Established Food Company


There are five mandatory label components required for both wholesale and foodservice items. These include: 1) product identity; 2) net contents statement; 3) nutrition facts (exempt on some foodservice items); 4) ingredient/allergen statement; and 5) name/address of the manufacturer or distributer. Click underlined links for more information about each label component. Read more on this topic.

At Your Service

Food Consulting Company, founded in 1993, provides nutrition analysis, food labeling and regulatory support to ensure 100% compliance with FDA regulations. With well over 1,000 clients worldwide, we’re pleased to provide information to address your food labeling needs.

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