CRN’s New Campaign Highlights FDA’s Supplement Label Changes

In the near future, consumers of dietary supplements will see changes to labels on their favorite vitamins, minerals, protein powders, and extracts. In order to help consumers understand these changes, CRN (The Council for Responsible Nutrition) launched a Be Label Wise campaign ( CRN’s campaign explains the new FDA label guidelines and offers several resources for consumers and industry insiders.

The site has a two-minute video which reviews the Supplement Facts label and introduces the changes. What’s more, the site also has other helpful educational tools like an Infographic, a section entitled ‘How to Read a Supplement Facts Label’, a Fact Sheet, and Tips for Consumers (1). Consumers and industry insiders can access the entire toolkit at

The Time for Change

As a leader in the supplement industry, CRN applauds the FDA’s upcoming label changes. Brian Wommack, senior vice president, communications, CRN says:

The ‘Supplement Facts’ label had not been updated for many years and it was time for the labels to reflect the current science and nutrient needs of Americans. With the support of its members and a creative outside agency, CRN has developed a campaign that accomplishes many goals, in particular, communicating that Supplement Facts labels are changing to better provide consumers the information they need to make informed choices about their health (2).

Wommack also addresses the need to ease consumers’ minds about the label changes. CRN wants consumers to value the helpfulness of updated labels. As a result, CRN launched this educational campaign. Moreover, the organization hopes industry leaders and key stakeholders will share and spread the Be Label Wise campaign.

Also, even though anyone can use the educational content in stakeholder toolkit, the tools can also be customized and branded. CRN also has social media tools with graphics with text to help the campaign reach even more people.

Additionally, Wommack states that 75% of Americans take dietary supplements. He then sees these upcoming changes as a great opportunity for the nutritional supplement industry to educate consumers.

Specific FDA Supplement Facts Label Changes

According to the new FDA’s new labeling guidelines, below are specific changes consumers will see on the new labels (3):

  • New Daily Values (DVs) — will be based on changes in the American diet and updated nutrition science
  • Vitamin A, D, and E amounts — will change from International Units (IU) to milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg)
  • Folic acid — will now be listed as folate and measured in mcg of dietary folate equivalents or DFEs
  • Added sugar — Updated labels will contain amount and % DV of added sugar

The FDA’s changes will go into effect in 2020 and 2021. Manufacturers who have over $10 million in annual sales must comply by January 1, 2020. For manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual sales, they have until by January 1, 2021, to comply with the new guidelines (4).

At the same time, the Be Label Wise campaign points out that the compliance date is based on when the product is actually labeled, not according to shipping or shelving dates. Furthermore, some companies may even change their labels well in advance of the deadlines.

FDA Supplement Facts Labels History and the Need for Changes

After passing the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the FDA’s Supplement Facts became a part of federal regulations in 1997. The FDA amended these guidelines the following year and once again in 2003.

Located on dietary supplements, the FDA created the Supplement Facts label to inform consumers about the nutrient make-up of nutritional products. According to FDA regulations, each label must list the ingredients, serving size, % Daily Value (DV), the product’s suggested use, and other important information that consumers should know.

Since the previous updates happened over a decade and a half ago, the FDA decided to make changes. Two major factors led to these changes to Supplement Facts labels. Firstly, the average American diet has changed in the past few decades. Secondly, there have been many advances in nutrition science. Facing these two things, the FDA now asks supplement companies to update their labels based on the new guidelines.

About CRN

Since 1973, this Washington, D.C.-based trade association has been the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry. CRN represents over 150 companies in the industry, from suppliers to manufacturers. CRN expects all members to follow all relevant federal and state regulations regarding quality control, manufacturing, marketing, and safety. Furthermore, CRN members must also to adhere to voluntary guidelines and CRN’s Code of Ethics.






Label Design: The Importance of a Great Design

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Although we all like to believe that this age-old saying is true, the reality is very different. In general, we all judge everyone and everything based on appearances. We actually do judge actual books by their actual covers!When it comes to products on store shelves or in online stores, appearances mean everything. Since the average person makes judgements based on appearances, your product label design is one of the most important things to consider. So how do create a label that catches a consumer’s eye? In this article, we offer some tips on label design. Also, we’ll review suggestions for keeping your labels FDA-compliant.

Examples of Good Label Design

Whether you sell products in an online store or on shelves in a physical store, perfecting your label design is crucial. The right design will be visually appealing and also attractive. To help you create a perfect product label, below are some useful tips.

Marketing Strategy

Before you design and produce a label, the first step is to start with a little of marketing strategy. For example, which segment of the population will you target? Older adults? Kids? Health-conscious adults of all ages? By defining your prospective clientele, you’ll have a better idea the type of label you need. Additionally, doing your own independent market research will be helpful. This is actually easier than it sounds. Visit

local retailers and online stores and see which labels catch your eye. Take notes on design elements like color schemes, text size and colors, graphics, and others. If a design attracts your attention, then similar design elements will probably attract others too.

A sample label in cool colors.

Design Tips

Although a label’s fine print is important information, it isn’t the thing that draws people in . Even if they aren’t consciously aware of it, whenever people see a product label, they notice are the style and design. To help you achieve a great look for your label, below are the main visual elements to focus on.


Did you know that different colors communicate different things? Here are a few examples of colors and the messages they convey (1)

  • Red – In general, reds grab your attention. It communicates passion, power, energy, love, aggression, heat, danger, intensity, and strength.
  • Blue – A calming color that conveys serenity, positivity, loyalty, trustworthiness, friendliness, sweetness, charm, harmony, unity, stability.
  • Yellow – Communicates joy and happiness and attracts attention. Also, “optimism, enlightenment, wisdom, cheer, idealism, hope, clarity
  • Black – Formality, sophistication, elegance, a sense of mystery, authority, but also fear, mystery, anger, and mourning.
  • White – Represents purity, cleanliness, innocence, cold, simplicity, and sterility.
  • Orange – Another attention grabber, orange also communicates enthusiasm, fun, energy, vigor, audacity, healing, immunity, success, balance, and creativity.
  • Green – Provides a sense of life, vitality, health, growth, renewal, calmness, freshness, and generosity, but also jealousy.
  • Pink – A stereotypical female color that communicates love and romance but also calmness, optimism, nurture, and softness.
  • Brown – Provokes a sense of nature, earthiness, simplicity, ruggedness, sincerity, stability. When used in design, brown sometimes represents the environment. Also, in some packaging, it may represent ‘natural’ ingredients.
  • Purple – royalty, spirituality, romance, luxury, extravagance, wisdom, mourning, ceremony.

For dietary supplements, the label colors you choose should match the product. For example, an energy boosting supplement’s label should probably have warmer, attention grabbing colors like red, yellow, and orange. On the other hand, if you’re marketing a sleep aid or supplement for relaxation, cooler colors like blues are better.

A sample label in warm colors.

Logos and Font

When choosing a font, make sure it is legible and easy to read. Although logo might look great on a computer screen, it may become unreadable when it is on the packing. Also, the logo and font needs to be consistent with your marketing strategy. For example, if a supplement targets men, choosing a flowing cursive script might not be the best choice.

What’s more, even the smallest fonts should be readable. Lastly, don’t use more than two fonts for a product label. Having too many fonts can be distracting and can make your packaging look amateurish.


The copy (text) on your label needs to be readable. But most importantly, it needs to clearly communicate the benefits of your product. Because of this, you should focus on attributes like time-release, organic, GMO-free, etc. Basically, make sure to prominently display your product’s special qualities and features on the label.

Staying FDA Compliant

The FDA doesn’t regulate the production of dietary supplements. However, the FDA does regulate label claims. Below are issues to know to make sure your product labels stay FDA-compliant (2).

Label Statements – There are five statements that you must include on your label:

  1. The supplement name
  2. The amount
  3. A list of ingredients
  4. A nutrition label
  5. The manufacturer’s and/or the packer and or distributor name and address

Supplement Facts – A list dietary of ingredients and their sources. This should include specific plant parts that the ingredients come from.
Nutrition Facts – Must include all nutrients, even nutrients with zero amounts.
Dietary Ingredients – Dietary ingredients with daily value amounts “must be listed in a specific order. All vitamins, electrolytes and minerals must be grouped together.
Percent Daily Values – The daily reference value found in one serving of a supplement.
Font Size – Fonts should be easy to read. FDA guidelines state that “letters must be at least one-sixteenth (1/16) inch in height based on the lower-case letter “o,” and not be more than three times as high as they are wide, unless you petition for an exemption in accordance with 21 CFR 101.2(f).”

Be sure to follow these guidelines when designing your labels. Failing to follow FDA labeling guidelines or making false product claims could lead to fines and removal of your products from shelves. For even more details regarding FDA label compliance, visit (3).

ABH Pharma

ABH Pharma offers full service label design, printing, and packaging services. We’ve been in the business for many years and know how important the right packaging is for your brand. Learn more about our branding and packaging services.



Need a Nutrition Label Maker?

If you’re looking for a nutrition label maker for your dietary supplements, you must first ask yourself if your labels will be compliant with the recent FDA nutrition label changes. Keep reading to find out how these changes will affect your supplements’ labeling.


Consumers are becoming savvier with each passing day. Thanks to the Internet and mobile technology, they can easily search for nutrition information right in the store or while shopping on an Ecommerce site and make an informed purchasing decision.

This means if you are a supplement company, you must create nutrition labels via a nutrition label maker that clearly describe the contents of your product. But beyond creating clear labels that help shoppers know exactly what your product will do for them, you must also be sure to be compliant with the FDA’s recent nutrition label updates.

What do the FDA’s Latest Nutritional Label Changes Require?

Until 2016, there had not been any changes to the FDA’s requirements for food and supplement nutritional labeling. Why did the government agency suddenly decide to enact these changes? According to their website: “to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.”

On May 27th, 2016, the FDA issued two final rules on nutrition labeling for foods and dietary supplements. How significant are the changes? Well, let’s put it this way, the new rules required 259 and 48 pages respectively, to detail necessary changes for conventional foods and dietary supplements. Let’s take a look at some of the changes that may specifically impact supplement manufacturers.

Calories and Serving Size

The new rules dictate a number of formatting and placement changes to the existing nutrition facts panel, including the display of calories. The new labels now put the calories front and center with much larger and now bold typeface. Along the same lines, the “Serving Size” number has been enlarged so consumers have little chance of missing it.

The Presence of Fluoride and/or Choline

More and more people have become aware that fluoride may not be all it was originally cracked up to be. Some websites and blogs have even pointed out the health dangers of fluoride in toothpaste and our water supply. If your product should contain fluoride, the FDA has ruled that fluoride content may now be disclosed voluntarily. It is mandatory to disclose fluoride content if claims have been made of its presence. Pretty straight forward.

The nutrient choline must also be declared. While it is safe for many people, some may experience an allergic reaction. Again, the FDA has ruled that this can be a voluntary disclosure unless you have actively added it to your product or made claims about its benefits. make sure your nutrition label maker is aware of this change.

nutrition label makerReplacing Some Nutrients with Others

The new rules require you to declare potassium and vitamin D in place of vitamins A and C, since the FDA has decided that the former are currently more important than the latter for public health. As the FDA states, “some in the U.S. population are not getting enough of [potassium and vitamin D], which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health. Potassium is beneficial in lowering blood pressure.”

Although they are no longer required on labels, vitamins A and C can still be voluntarily declared by supplement manufacturers.

You will also need to conform when listing folic acid, folate or folacin. That last one is no longer allowed to be used synonymously with folate.

And finally, you must declare the actual amount, in addition to percent DV of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. You are also free to voluntarily declare the gram amount for other vitamins and minerals as well.

So Long International Units

The FDA’s new rules abandon the International-Unit (IU) potency designations for Vitamins A, D, and E, and replaces them with mcg RAE for Vitamin A, μg for Vitamin D, and mg α-tocopherol for Vitamin E. These changes make for more consistency with the metric potencies for all other vitamins and minerals on the label.

The New Revised (and lengthier) Footnote

There has always been a requirement to footnote the term “% Daily Value.” The new rules now requires a longer footnote defining “% Daily Value” on your nutrition label. Except for certain exemptions allowed for calorie-free foods and drinks, that footnote must read: “* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.” Yes, it does take up more space, which makes it particularly challenging when fitting a small label on a small supplement bottle.

if you are a new supplement company and would like further information about these label requirements, you can visit the FDA website for further reading.

How Do You Find a Nutrition Label Maker?

Now that you are aware of these somewhat new label requirements, you might be wondering how to go about making these labels for your product line. A quick Google search for “nutrition label maker” will bring up a plethora of results.

We can recommend Online Labels as an excellent company to work with. They have an easy interface to help you design and print your labels, as well as some helpful articles that will walk you through the entire process.

If you have any questions about labeling your products or how to get started selling your own private label line of nutritional supplements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We love helping companies make their vision come to fruition.