Companies Reengineer Products to Avoid LabelsBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 11/13/2020 - 13:46
The new labeling standard regulating calories, high sugars and sodium warnings has become a new challenge to companies in the food industry. What will be the real impact of this new standard?
A previous MBN article mentioned that adequations to labeling were necessary but they must be well-thought to ensure that they meet their goal without generating extra costs or problems for the industry. Due to the lack of information and organization in the norm’s implementation, companies like Coca-Cola filed amparos to assure that this reform would not have an adverse effect on their business and the results of their operation in Mexico, reported MBN.
Other companies took this opportunity to transform their products into healthier options that would stand out on the shelves. Companies like ANPRAC, Lala, Grupo Bimbo and Nestle have started to release products that do not require any labels. "At Bimbo, we are still working on offering our consumers products that adapt to their needs and lifestyle. Our health and well-being strategies were made thinking of the consumer, their tendencies and the current environment. The fact that these product lines do not have labels is a sample of it," said Javier González, Deputy General Manager of Bimbo in an article by El Economista. ANPRAC and Lala have also reformulated their products to have fewer calories and lower sugar levels.
This transformation process has been complicated for some brands, as pointed out in an MBN article. Among them was Grupo Lala that got banned because its products did not have the country of origin on the package. However, Grupo Lala has now announced its products are free of labels, along with a statement from the company where it made it clear that milk and dairy products are essential for nutrition, according to a statement in an article from El Economista.
Sanctions to companies that do not fulfill these new regulations will start being enforced on Dec. 1, 2020, giving companies enough time to develop new product plans like the ones mentioned before or to print the necessary labels on their products’ packaging, as stated by El Universal.
The question of whether the labels will be effective in fighting obesity and chronic diseases is still up for debate, however. Fabian Ghirardelly, Country Manager México of Kantar Worldpanel, told Expansión that having so many warnings has not helped other countries, as clients will not be deterred from consuming these products. Most of the changes will be seen in the short term instead of the long term, although customers could become more inclined to buying light products, said Ghirardelly.