Supply chain specialist GS1 has warned that small brands are lagging behind big players when it comes to the upcoming Food Information to Consumers (FIC) regulation.
GS1’s latest quarterly product survey found 60% were yet to comply with the regulations.
FIC, in force from 13 December, dictates that detailed nutrition information must be provided on pack. Current regulation requires the info only if a nutrition claim is made. And manufacturers must also ensure saturate, sugar and protein content are displayed, in addition to energy, fat, protein and carbohydrate.
Analysis by GS1 also exposed confusion around voluntary front-of-pack labelling, where new rules set out that labels must be displayed prominently to comply. It also found manufacturers of imported goods, which must provide the address of an EU contact on pack, had made slow progress.
The “snapshot” analysis of 20 products, which were taken from a range of categories and retailers, found whilst there was good progress among major and own label brands, there was cause for “concern” over the progress of smaller brands. “There were encouraging signs from this survey, which revealed some general improvements,” said CEO Gary Lynch. “However the larger brands have made far more visible progress than the smaller brands and we are concerned about possible bottlenecks at the printers toward the end of the year,” said CEO Gary Lynch, with GS1 concerned that capacity issues could mean products wouldn’t be compliant in time for the deadline.
“We recommend all suppliers of food and drink products make FIC compliance across all channels a priority or they risk not being able to sell their products legally,” he added.