NAMA Offers Eight Tips To Help Vending Industry Prepare For FDA's Dec. 1 Calorie-Disclosure Dead

CHICAGO -- The deadline for calories to be disclosed for all food and beverage sold through vending machines is Dec. 1, 2016. The National Automatic Merchandising Association has been preparing for the calorie-labeling requirement's impact on the vending industry for more than five years. The rule, which appears in the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, applies to businesses with 20 or more vending machines, including bulk venders. NAMA's government affairs team, led by Eric Dell, Sheree Edwards and Sandy Larson, has created a list of tips to help its members prepare for business under the new rule. The team's eight tips are:

1. For operators. The compliance deadline is for food and beverage sold from vending machines on or after Dec. 1, 2016. Therefore, we urge operators to begin now the process of securing products that have front-of-pack calorie labeling or updating electronic signage or other means of signage to disclose calories for food and beverage products sold in machines by Dec. 1.

2. For manufacturers. If food and beverage manufacturers are adding front-of-pack calorie disclosure, we urge them to begin the new labeling process as soon as possible so that operators relying on this system have the necessary time needed to sell current inventory which doesn't include front-of-pack calorie labeling.

3. Business info on machines. Operators need to confirm that business information is included on vending machines or on adjacent signage. This information must include business name, telephone number, and email or mailing addresses. The requirement is very specific in the FDA's final rule and the disclosure must include, at a minimum, this contact information.

4. Gum, mints and roll candy. NAMA is working with food manufacturers and vending operators to create appropriate disclosure signage for gum, mints and roll candy. Stay tuned for an easy calorie-disclosure solution for these products in the near future that will ensure compliance to protect them.

5. Front-of-pack. The FDA recently updated its rule to allow front-of-pack disclosure, as long as calorie information on packages is visible at the point of purchase. While there is no minimum font-size requirement at this time, calorie values must be unobstructed to the consumer at the point of purchase. | SEE STORY

6. Coffee. Coffee vending machines are included in the rule. Operators are urged to disclose calories on the front of their hot beverage machines for coffee products, and additives dispensed from them, as soon as possible.

7. OCS equipment. The vending calorie-disclosure rule does not apply to office coffee service equipment.

8. Micromarkets.The vending calorie-disclosure rule does not apply to self-checkout micromarkets, unless a market has a vending machine within. In that situation, disclosure requirements would apply to that vending machine.

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