On March 16, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) released the results of its 2019 Food Safety and Nutrition Survey (“FSANS”). FSANS is designed to assess consumers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding and reported behaviors relating to a variety of food safety and nutrition-related topics.
Among the key findings of FSANS, the FDA reported:
- Most consumers are familiar with the Nutrition Facts label – 87% of respondents have looked at the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. The top four items that consumers look for on the label are: Calories, Total Sugar, Sodium and Serving Size. Consumers report using the label most frequently for seeing “how high or low the food is in things like calories, salt, vitamins or fat,” “for getting a general idea of the nutritional content of the food,” and “to compare different food items with each other.”
- Most consumers have seen menu labeling at restaurants – Most respondents (70%) reported that they have seen calorie information on menus and menu boards. Of those who have seen such information, 53% reported using the calorie information and most often indicated using it to avoid ordering high-calorie menu items.
- Consumers are familiar with front of package claims – Over 80% of respondents have seen claims such as, “No added sugar,” “Whole grain,” “Organic,” Gluten-free,” “Low fat,” “No artificial ingredients,” “Low sugar” and “No artificial colors.”