Rethinking Nutrition Label
Redesigning a More User-Friendly Nutrition Label
The nutrition facts panel exists on all the food packaging and is mandated by the FDA. It provides information on saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber and other nutrients that are of major health concern. The nutrition label was designed to help people choose foods for a healthful diet. However, through research, we identified the following pain points users have with nutrition labels and prioritized them:
What nutrition is good? What nutrition is bad? How much do I need? What are their effects on me? What are the subcategories of the nutrient (not all fat are bad)
Units are inconsistent across products
Units are hard to understand (how much is 1g, 1mg)
Serving sizes are inconsistent
Serving sizes are hard to understand (how much is 1 serving)
Dietary constraints and Food Allergies are not clear
People don't read nutrition labels because they are on the side or back of the box. Or people only look at the top part of the nutrition label.
Nutrition label doesn't account for additional food eaten with the product (milk added to cereal). There are product specific qualities (soup vs cereal)
Compare nutrition values before making buying decision
Hannah is at the supermarket getting groceries, she wants to get some canned chicken noodle soup. There are three different brands of chicken noodle soup on the shelf: Campbell’s, Heinz, and Amy’s. She remembers that the doctor told her that she needs to watch her blood pressure. She quickly compares the nutrition labels and decided to go with the one with less sodium and cholesterol level.
Choosing food items that are “healthy” in general
Lisa is a busy mom of three and she wants to choose food that are generally healthy for her family. After work, Lisa is at the grocery store. And she quickly glanced the Mac and Cheese package nutrition label and sees that the red color is much more than the green color. She puts down the Mac and Cheese and keeps looking for healthier options
Quickly identify Allergens
Louis is allergic to gluten. Every time he buys something, he has to go through the ingredient list to make sure there is no gluten in it. Sometimes, gluten go by different names, or are included in different ingredients. Now with the new nutrition label, Louis can glance at package and look for the icon for gluten free.
First Iteration Design
Second Iteration Design
Third Iteration Design
Compare to the original nutrition label, the final design has clearer visual hierarchy. The Calories is most noticeable since it is the most cared about value. Nutrients that are more important are on the top and that are less important are smaller and at the bottom. Color is used to indicate the level of nutrient amount. We abstracted daily value into high, medium, low, so people can understand easily. In addition, users can relate to the serving size since we are using familiar measurements.