Explaining changes in nutritional info

23Dec09

There’s a great frozen pizza I like to buy at Trader Joe’s. Among other things, I selected it because it has the lowest calories and fat among all their pizzas. On my most recent visit to the store, I noticed that the box had changed a bit. And along with it, the calories went up, while the fat content went down.

What happened here? Did they change the ingredients? Or, did the ingredients stay the same, but they just measured everything using a new method? No matter what the cause, I’m sure I’m not the only customer who will be puzzled by this disparity. And I bet some people will stop buying the product or switch to another one if they’re confused by the sudden change in nutritional info.

Surely there’s somebody at the company who is responsible for the presentation of the nutritional info on the packaging. And when this info changes, the right thing to do is provide a little summary on the package itself, or put up corresponding signage at the point of sale. Something like this would do the trick: “We recently updated the ingredients in many of our frozen products, so you may notice that the nutritional information has changed.”

Granted, this doesn’t tell you why the changes were made. But at least it acknowledges that the customer is smart enough to notice the differences and make an informed decision about whether to keep buying those same products.



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