Facts Up Front: Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling Initiative

September 25, 2017
Sophos, Mary
Executive Vice President, Policy and Strategic Planning, Grocery Manufacturers Association

Facts Up Front is a voluntary industry initiative that brings important information from the FDA-mandated Nutrition Facts Panel to the front of food and beverage packages in a simple and easy-to-use format that provides consumers with information to help build a healthful diet.

This front-of-pack nutrition labeling initiative was launched in 2011 by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), which represent leading U.S. food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods manufacturers and grocery retailers. 

Facts Up Front makes key nutrition information more prominent and more accessible with a uniform label across brands, categories, and stores. It enables consumers to quickly compare products on the shelf and identify the foods that meet their personal nutrition needs.

To support consumers, GMA and FMI launched a comprehensive consumer education campaign to drive consumer awareness, understanding, and use of Facts Up Front. The campaign included paid media, retailer tools, and a digital platform supported by such social media properties as Facebook and Twitter (@FactsUpFront). The $10.5 million campaign, conducted March-October 2014, reached approximately 90% of its target audience of moms.

The Facts Up Front digital platform—FactsUpFront.org—was launched in 2013 and offers simple, interactive, and user-friendly tools—in both English and Spanish—to help consumers increase their nutrition knowledge, understand their individual nutrient needs, and use Facts Up Front when shopping. Paid media and other communications focused on this $1.2 million platform and the key information it provides to consumers.

Retailers are equipped with an online toolkit to help them communicate about Facts Up Front and answer questions as consumers shopped. The kit includes such marketing assets as signage and display art to help drive awareness in stores.

The 2014 campaign evaluation showed increases in awareness, understanding, and use among consumers, especially moms, who found Facts Up Front to be credible and useful. The results of this evaluation have been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

A substantial and growing number of GMA and FMI members and nonmembers—118 as of July 2017—are using Facts Up Front on their products. The most significant hurdle encountered over the past several years has been adopting several other federal labeling initiatives, such as revisions to the Nutrition Facts Panel and the calorie declaration requirements for products in the vending channel.