In 2015, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to implement the nutrition labeling provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
By May 2017, restaurants and other, similar foodservice providers — instore delis and prepared food operations among them — that were part of a chain of 20 or more locations had to start providing calorie and other nutrition information to consumers. The initial compliance costs for operators could total $388 million, according to the FDA.
Due to industry complaints, the date was pushed back to May 2018, which leaves many operators still scrambling to find the best way to comply with the rule in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
Enter safety label specialist DayMark Safety Systems, which has partnered with British nutrition analyst software provider Nutritics on a system to help grocery deli, bakery and prepared food departments accurately and conveniently perform nutritional analyses of grab-and-go items.
DayMark and Nutritics officials say Nutritics Insight is the most comprehensive recipe management and nutrition labeling software on the market today, allowing kitchen managers and staff to build and manage recipes and menu data and create custom grab-and-go labels using an intuitive, easy to use system that can serve one or multiple locations.
Nutritics Insight can break down instore items by calories; sugar, sodium and vitamin content; glycemic index; and other components.
The system also provides a breakdown of overall recipe costs, costs-per-portion, and reports cost contribution of individual ingredients, helping to manage recipe profitability. And the platform’s label creator helps maintain FDA compliant nutrition panels and complete labels for grab-and-go items.
Because the system is cloud-based, information is secure and easily accessible — and, says Nutritics’ founder and CEO, Damian O’Kelly, affordable.
“The FDA actively encourages database analysis of recipes because a variety of samples are tested when data is compiled,” O’Kelly says. “And where lab analysis can be upwards of $250 per recipe, with Nutritics Insight it’s less than $10 per recipe.”
Because Nutritics Insight is a database platform, it’s also more accurate and more readily available than more expensive lab analysis, O’Kelly says.
Nutritics Insight’s ingredients database is comprehensive, providing access to national supplier databases and yielding tens of thousands of items to search and pull from. The system also gives users the ability to upload a supplier-specific database to enhance the existing database of more than 125,000 food ingredient items.
It’s a perfect tool for instore operators who are looking for a comprehensive retail menu management system, says Jill Carte, DayMark’s food safety category manager.
“Users should consider the desire, not only to analyze the contents of their recipes, but also to create recipe cards, as well as prep instructions that aid in staff training,” Carte says. “This, in turn, ensures consistency in quality and taste of their grab-and-go products from day to day and location to location, for multi-unit operators.”
When people think about what makes a cloud-base nutrition analysis system user-friendly, Carte says, most will cite intuitive features such as navigation, or user interface, or advanced search functionality.
But there’s more to it than that, say DayMark and Nutritics officials. For example, a system’s accessibility in terms of availability via multiple platforms and its ability to connect with other users are important qualities to be considered.
Nutritics Insight fits the bill, they say. It’s available through any Windows, Mac or Linux system with an internet connection. And the cloud-based system also lets licensed users selectively collaborate on recipes and share with other users within and outside of an organization. That translates to department efficiency, reduced waste and standardized serving sizes among food preparers.
“In the fast-paced environment of a grocery, it is critical that around-the-clock training and support are available,” Carte says. “Online help centers, FAQs, on-demand webinars, and 24/7 tech support via phone and email are all essential to keeping the system running smoothly.”
Established in 1989, DayMark provides the foodservice industry with products and services in the areas of facility safety, employee safety, food safety and technology and support. The company’s products include DissolveMark dissolvable labels, MoveMark removable labels and ToughMark repositionable labels.