Help reinvent the Nutrition Facts label by voting on a design


Related Articles

Ever thrown a bag of chips on the floor in a maniacal rage after being deceived into thinking it contained 100 calories when really it contained 100 calories per serving? You can make sure that doesn’t happen again! That boring black-and-white Nutrition Facts label on all of our food is getting a makeover — and you could help inspire its new design!

OK, so maybe you didn’t have a total freakout over the calories (at least we hope not — it’s just chips, buddy), but it’s still frustrating when those damn chips actually have two servings, doubling the calorie count, right? The University of California-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, in partnership with Good Magazine, created a design contest for the new label, giving designers flexibility in choosing not only how it looks but also what it includes.

Designers were given free rein over whether to use the current label’s info — fats, sugars, vitamins, calorie counts and percent daily values — or to reinvent it with new data, such as geography, food quality, food justice or carbon footprint. The second-place winner actually replaced the serving-size calories with total calories per package or bottle.

Wait, wait, wait: Don’t stop reading! Yes, the judges already chose their top-three designs, but there’s a separate contest for the People’s Choice Award — and that’s where you come in. Go to the website, Rethink The Food Label, to vote through midday Sunday for the People’s Choice Award. You can peruse the slideshow of all submitted designs and find out if your choice won the vote next week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently is in the process of revising the Nutrition Facts label, and while this contest is not part of that official effort, many of its ideas are being considered by the FDA. So go vote for your favorite and make a difference!

Some of the winning design’s unique ideas include:

  • Using various colored boxes to indicate the relative proportion of ingredients in a product;
  • Color-coding with green, yellow and red to respectively depict reasonable, questionable or unhealthy amounts of carbohydrates or fat;
  • Highlighting natural foods in green type and food additives in bold, which one judge believed would create an incentive for food manufacturers to include more healthful ingredients, according to the New York Times; and
  • Rating ingredients with color-coded letter grades, comprised of green As and Bs, yellow Cs, and red Ds and Fs.