The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended until July 26, 2018, the deadline for posting the calorie counts of “certain gums, mints, and roll candy products” sold in glass-front vending machines, as well as for complying with type-size front-of-pack (FOP) labeling requirements. Published December 1, 2014, and effective December 1, 2016, the final rule requires businesses operating 20 or more vending machines to clearly disclose calorie counts “in a direct and accessible manner” if calories are not easily visible to prospective purchasers via FOP labeling.
According to FDA, “several trade associations requested the extension for glass-front vending machines because of concerns regarding the requirements for the size of front-of-pack (FOP) calorie disclosures.” The trade associations apparently noted that “current voluntary FOP labeling programs require calorie information to be presented in a type size that ranges from 100 to 150 percent of the size of the net weight contents statement on the FOP label,” while FDA’s final rule “requires a type size of 50 percent of the size of the largest printed matter on the label.”
To resolve these discrepancies and better coordinate with the roll out of new Nutrition Facts panels, FDA has agreed to extend compliance deadlines for products with visible FOP labeling as well as certain gums, mints and roll candy “in response to industry requests to provide flexibility for labeling these products.” But, the agency concludes, “the December 1, 2016, compliance date still applies in most circumstances. For example, if packaged food sold in glass-front vending machines does not have visible FOP labeling, the calorie disclosures will have to appear in, on or adjacent to the vending machine consistent with the requirements in the final rule. In addition, the compliance date of December 1, 2016, still applies to vending machines that use electronic displays or sell unpackaged products.” See FDA Constituent Update, July 29, 2016; Federal Register, August 1, 2016.