• The Daily Intake has blogged on several occasions, and Keller and Heckman has published a client alert, about the Nutrition Innovation Strategy (NIS). Briefly, the NIS is intended to improve public health via education regarding, and encouraging innovation in, the use of nutrition to promote health. Areas of emphasis are modernizing the approach to label claims, modernizing standards of identity, modernizing ingredient labels, and the use of healthy symbols. The deadline for comments was extended until October 11, 2018 and the last round of comments submitted appear to finally have been posted.
  • There were 1,357 public comments submitted. Some notable companies or organizations to submit comments include, but are not limited to: Campbell Soup Company, Conagra Brands, Danone North America, Nestle, the Northwest Dairy Association, Food and Beverage Issue Alliance, American Olive Oil, American Dairy Coalition, Juice Products Association, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, National Coffee Association, Kraft Heinz, Coca Cola, Grocery Manufacturers Association, and Chobani
  • On initial review of some of the food producer comments, companies appear to have provided comments on–
    • The definition of “healthy”;
    • A “healthy” symbol;
    • Consumer education, including updates to the nutrition facts label and qualified health claims; and
    • Standards of IdentityThough companies focused their comments on specific areas of interest or concern to them, i.e. Coca Cola partially geared its comments to beverage related issues, Chobani focused on yogurt and dairy, and Campbell Soup’s comments included a focus on foods that might impact the consumption of soup, certain patterns emerge. Companies are interested in adding clarity for consumers and increasing their ability to innovate. For example, Chobani is seeking additional ability to market Greek Yogurt under a Standard of Identity as a high protein food and Campbell Soup believes that “a significant liberalization of qualified health claim language would help drive innovation and be beneficial to consumers” but that “an approved claim that is so laden as to render the claim entirely unappealing to consumers” is not commercially viable and will stifle research and innovation. At the same time, companies stress their interest in protecting the public health, sometimes through maintaining the status quo or enforcing the standards of identity. For example, Coca Cola is seeking to amend the rules prohibiting fortification of carbonated beverages – but Coca Cola stresses in its comments that it is not seeking to fortify traditional sodas; Chobani seeks revision to the standards of identity to include Greek Yogurt, and they noted their position that the consumption of “plant-milks is at a level that is likely to cause a public health concern”, suggesting that FDA should “consider consumer perceptions of foods defined by [standards of identity]” in setting policies.