For the past two years, foodstuffs traded in the European Union have been obliged to display labelling with information on the product, such as the list of ingredients or allergens. This is laid down in Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 which, from next December 13th, also makes it obligatory to provide the nutritional information table on food including calories, fat, saturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt.
As happened in 2014 with ingredients and allergens, this obligation not only affects traditional stores, as it also applies to e-commerce or remote sales. The regulation states that consumers must be made aware of this nutritional information and other labelling details before making their purchase.
In consequence, suppliers and distributors are faced with a challenge: how to keep food product information synchronized so that the data shown to the consumer on the web portal are updated at all times. The aim of the regulation is to improve safety in relation to allergies and intolerance and raise awareness towards the consumption of unhealthy foods. In fact, the nutritional information table must show the percentage per 100 g or millilitres, so that users can compare the amounts in different products and choose the ones that most suit them.
Which products must comply with the obligation?
Regulation 1169/2011 states that all drinks and processed foods that are packaged are required to provide nutritional information on their labels. However, alcoholic drinks of more than 1.2% per volume of alcohol, unpackaged foods and unprocessed products that include a single ingredient are exempt from the ruling. A complete list of these products can be found in annex V of the regulation.
Foods that are liable and which do not comply with the regulations can result in fines for manufacturers and producers ranging from 5001 to 600,000 euros, depending on the type of offence that may have been committed.
How to adapt to the regulation?
To facilitate compliance, EDICOM has designed a solution that enables suppliers and distributors to synchronize their product information in real time. This is the EDICOMData e-Catalogue.
With this solution, suppliers record and update the nutritional information on their food products in standardized format, while distributors, who act as catalogue subscribers, access the data in real time. In addition, the EDICOMData solution presents these data in a structured format for integration in the company’s information system or the online store content manager. This way, the process is not only simpler and faster, but is also more secure, as the nutritional information on the foods received by the consumer is updated at all times.