2020 Nutrition Label Guidelines: What you Need to Know to Stay Compliant

2020 Nutrition Label Guidelines: What you Need to Know to Stay Compliant

Back in May of 2016, the FDA published new guidelines for the new Nutrition Facts label. The 2020 nutrition label guidelines are updated to reflect additional requirements for what information must be included on each label. Nutrition labels are a critical component of packaging for food products, and these guidelines must not be ignored. Customers rely on these labels to inform them about what they are putting into their bodies so they can track their nutrients and stay healthy.

 Companies that exceed $10 million in revenue had to update their labels by Jan 1 of 2020. However, companies below that revenue mark, or single supply manufacturers of ingredients like sugar and honey have until January of 2021. It’s critical that you ensure your labels are updated to reflect the new changes before the deadline so that your operation can stay compliant. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

Out with the Old and In with the New: A Refreshed Design

The iconic look of the label remains, but important updates were made to ensure consumers have quick access to the information they need to make informed decisions. The formatting has been updated with larger print and a bold typeface. 

Additionally, manufacturers must declare the actual amount of different macro and micronutrients, as well as the percent daily value of vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. Another major change involves added sugars, which is an entirely new category that has been created. Added sugars can include syrups, honey, fruit juices, and other forms of sugar. 

Updated Information about Nutrition Science

Beyond the actual nutrients on the label, the FDA has made updates to how these nutrients are listed, and the amounts of each that an item may contain. The percent daily value of any vitamin or mineral listed in the nutrition facts may not exceed 100%. 

Vitamins A and C have been removed from the format, since deficiency of these is very rare. However, required ingredients like calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium must now include the updated daily values. The daily value for sodium has decreased from 2,400 mg per day to 2,300 mg.  

The percent daily value footnote itself has been updated to be easier to understand, with a better explanation of what it means. The new footnote now reads: 

*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.

Updated Serving Sizes and Labeling Requirements

At the top of the label, the most apparent change is to the calorie line. With the updated format, the calories are in a larger font than the rest of the information and are displayed using a bold typeface to make it easier for consumers to read at a glance.  The calories from fat are no longer required on the calorie line, to draw more attention to the type of fat included, rather than the calories.

The serving size has also been updated to be more visible, as well as the servings per container. There had been some discrepancies between the serving sizes listed on the nutrition labels, and the actual amount that is normally consumed on average today in the US. With the updated nutrition label guidelines, consumers can now better track and understand what they are putting into their bodies, and are more aware of the recommended nutritional guidelines they should aim to hit. 

Contact Informs to Get Your Updated Labels Created and Printed

Updating your labels is never a fun task but Informs can help make it easier. We don’t just offer industry-leading printers and labels for both thermal and color printing, we also offer label design software for businesses looking to design their new nutrition labels, and preprint services for those looking to outsource the print job. 

By pairing the latest and most innovative labeling solutions with our industry expertise, you can create visible, easy-to-read labels that keep you in compliance with FDA guidelines and keep customers better informed. For more information on the updated 2020 nutrition label changes, or how our cutting-edge labeling solutions can help your operation boost productivity while remaining compliant, contact an expert at Informs today! 

Choose the Right Operating System for your Enterprise

Choose the Right Operating System for your Enterprise

The operating system that drives your enterprise is more than the core beneath your software apps. You’ll be investing deeply in a system that should support your business operations for many years ahead. The costs for licensing, software (now and apps to developed), hardware, and tech support require that you take a close look before you leap.

When Microsoft announced that it will no longer support CE/Windows Mobile in 2020, about 15 million users—90% of the enterprise market— were left with a quandary. Do you stick with that OS until you hit the dead end where you need support and it’s just not there? Do you rewrite your legacy systems? You could also make the OS migration to a system that will be supported in the long run. Android, for example, is picking up steam, not just as a result of Microsoft’s decision, but because developers are recognizing the potential for an enterprise-grade Android system.

What do we mean by “enterprise grade”? Well, as you know, Android is an open-source platform, which causes some IT professionals to cringe at the prospect of managing security. With a powered-up version, like Zebra’s MX Extensions, you gain the added security to maintain a safe environment beyond your single host system. Zebra has taken the desirable familiarity of Android and made it exponentially stronger and more secure.

The next factor in choosing the right operating system for your enterprise is the hardware compatibility. Can you acquire the computers, printers, scanners, and other devices that will work with your OS choice? No one wants to go out and replace all of their technology, so assess what you have. Which devices need to be replaced and which have more life? Is there a way to take a scalable approach to updating your hardware during the OS migration?

With Microsoft pulling out of the market in three years, you have time to ponder your choices, but unless you want to be pressured into making a sudden transition, develop your strategy now. Establish a timeline. If you need help identifying the components and evaluating your choices, contact Informs

RFID Technology: The Future of Retail

ATTENTION ALL RETAILERS: We know what you’re probably thinking…. What the heck is RFID anyway? If you’re new to retail, or haven’t heard of RFID, let’s start off by reminding you what RFID is all about. RFID stands for radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. This technology uses a method of identifying items through radio waves. The RFID device works much like a barcode and scanner, except it is far more efficient and cost-effective! The technology utilizes a reader and tag that work simultaneously allowing for optimal service at the quickest pace.

RFID technology isn’t a new concept either. It has been around for nearly seventy-six years and has experienced significant advances in the past decade, and most particularly in recent years. These advances include a lower cost of ownership, improved reader form factors, greater global standardization, and innovations in passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) tags, which are all furthering RFID interest and adoption.

While all of these advancements are great, the single-most convincing argument for implementation of RFID devices in retail stores, can be found in the proven return on investment (ROI) that item-level tagging provides throughout the entire supply chain process. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the many benefits of RFID technology recently, consider these five great reasons why you should implement RFID in all of your retail stores:

  • Increased Inventory Accuracy. Studies have shown RFID technology offers the best solution to track merchandise for stocking and marketing purposes.
  • Reduced Inventory Management Labor. Both apparel and footwear retailers utilizing RFID in their stores have reported inventory labor reductions of 75 to 92 percent. In tests prior to the introduction of RFID technology, only 200 items per hour were counted using a manual process. Following the introduction of RFID technology, 5,000 items per hour were counted.
  • Reduced Inventory Carrying Costs. With RFID technology, retailers have been able to sustain leaner inventory levels, while reducing associated carrying costs more than ever before.
  • Improved Sales. Item-level RFID has shown an increased sale of items per transaction because the technology is fast and is cost-effective.
  • Protection Against Theft. We all know that shoplifting occurs more regularly than we would like to admit in retail. It’s been estimated that shoplifting alone costed U.S. retailers $32 billion last year. By using RFID to support electronic article surveillance (EAS), retailers are notified in real time when items are being stolen.

Almost all of the benefits listed above apply directly to a retailer’s in-store operations, yet, in today’s fast-paced world, retailers understand now more than ever, that being able to distribute items and fulfill orders from inventory located in any part of the supply chain is more efficient, more cost-effective, and more likely to result in greater satisfaction and an enhanced customer experience. Furthermore, nearly all retailers agree that the key to accurate inventory management is technology, most notably RFID.

Throughout the entire the supply chain, RFID technology allows retailers to maximize their inventory control and maintain flexibility from initial manufacturer orders through direct-to-customer shipping. Today’s RFID devices help increase the level of productivity in every retail store, by operating as both a sales channel and a fulfillment center. Additionally, this device helps enhance customer satisfaction and ultimately, improve end-to-end supply chain ROI.

This system of technology works and we are confident that its level of usage will only continue to grow in the future! If you have any further questions regarding RFID placement in retail stores, please do not hesitate to visit us at: http://informsinc.com/.

Retail IT Pain Points [Part Three]

In our last two blogs, we talked about some of the pains IT professionals feel in the tough retail industry, where maintaining POS systems is a constant, everyday task. Today’s final blog of the series will explore even more of those pains and how Informs, Inc. can help. Let’s dive into those pain points.

Remote Security and Backups Are Annoying: We hear you. Retail IT environments are inherently distributed, complex and mixed. Perhaps you feel like you don’t have the time or staffing resources to be everywhere your POS systems are deployed, and you don’t have to be. However, these devices absolutely must be backed up and secured as reliably as possible due to strict regulatory and compliance requirements. The solution? Centralized the management of your data protection, security strategies and compliance. Backups should be able to be conducted automatically or manually on demand, and security breaches should be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

I Don’t Have the Time or Budget for Virtualization: You need to ensure the availability of POS systems says that IT resources (such as storage, applications and server capacity) need to be pooled across the business and shared between users who are geographically distributed. Having an architecture like this can save money, increase productivity and create efficiencies, but it can also be expensive and complex to migrate and maintain. You need a holistic view of all IT resources and virtualization and cloud computing to be affordable for your company.

My Company’s Decision Makers Don’t Understand IT: Corporate decision makers don’t always understand IT, and this can lead to miscommunication and missed opportunities. It’s important that you are careful to articulate the work your team has done to support your organization’s goals. You need easy-to-read reports that keep decision makers informed of your department’s ongoing and needs. They also help you plan for scheduled maintenance, upgrades and expansions. Reports can be run with a simple push of a button.

Working in IT for the retail business doesn’t have to be as difficult as it is today. Contact Informs Inc. for information on how we can help.

Retail IT Pain Points [Part Two]

In our last blog, we talked about some of the IT pain points in the retail industry, where managing POS (Point of Sale) systems seem to take up the majority of IT professionals’ time. In today’s blog, we’ll focus on even more pain points IT professionals in retail face and how we can help.

Downtime is Lost Revenue: The time it takes to update your organization’s POS software can mean making a sale (or several sales) and losing business to a competitor. Gartner estimates that one hour of network downtime—planned or unplanned—costs the average company $ 42,000.  Some form of planned or unplanned downtime will happen to your POS systems during business hours, and you need a solution that two people can use a computer at the same time. A web-based console can be operated remotely in the background, and it keeps a POS device up and running throughout the maintenance process. It’s non-disruptive and shows that no lost sales can be attributed to the IT department.

Users Need to Be Up-and-Running Quickly: New IT users need to be educated and trained on your company’s IT policies and procedures. Salespeople need to be finished quickly so they can behind the cash registers as soon as possible. To streamline this process, you need to apply pre-configured user profiles to new employees. Use workflow technology to build user profiles and automatically apply them to new users remotely and with the push of a button. This allows you to focus on more pressing matters.

Not All Users are Experts: IT professionals are often plagued by “hobbyists” who’ve taken a computer courses or played around on their personal laptops. These users believe that they can install patches and run security scans, or even fix simple problems with the POS system. These users mean well, but they can pose a huge risk for your organization if a user downloads a virus that wipes out the POS system. You need a serious, enforceable approach to security.

Stay tuned for our final blog on IT pain points in the retail industry, and in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact the retail IT industry experts at Informs, Inc. to help

Retail IT Pain Points [Part One]

Managing IT operations in any industry can be a tiring, difficult job. It takes a lot of time and patience, along with a great deal of expertise. If your company has multiple locations, different devices, or unreliable networks, there are several opportunities to make processes as efficient as possible. We’ve heard it all from IT, so we’ve outlined a few of the common pain points and our suggestions for how to remedy them in the future.

Your Devices Manage You: With systems spread across multiple locations, IT professionals are often called upon to be in many places at once.  Chasing problems from one device to another is extremely inefficient, and you shouldn’t be managing all of your time as an IT professional fixing POS systems. Investing in an IT management system you can count on will help with these issues. Nearly half of all retail organizations still utilize multiple point products to manage their systems, but the system doesn’t have to be complicated.

Devices Are Left Unprotected by the Network:  Not knowing everything that’s out on your network exposes your entire organization to risk. Unlicensed, unsupported software can lead to security, compliance, and performance issues. On the opposite end, over-provisioning is safe, but very wasteful and expensive. It can also take up needed server capacity and bandwidth. It’s important to audit your infrastructure and allow visibility into all systems. This keeps you secure, compliant and safe.

Downtime is Lost Revenue: The time it takes to update your organization’s software can mean making a sale (or several sales) and losing business to a competitor. Gartner estimates that one hour of network downtime—planned or unplanned—costs the average company $ 42,000.  Some form of planned or unplanned downtime will happen to your systems during business hours, and you need a solution that two people can use a computer at the same time. A web-based console can be operated remotely in the background, and it keeps a POS device up and running throughout the maintenance process. It’s non-disruptive and shows that no lost sales can be attributed to the IT department.

Visibility, automation, and security are all important aspects to consider when creating a technology infrastructure for your company. Gaps in your system create work and take time that really is unnecessary.  It’s important to find the technology solution that works for your particular business