Mexico Allows Food and Beverage Companies to Use Provisional Stickers to Comply with Official Mexican Standard NOM-051
In response to the Mexican Council of the Consumer Products Industry’s (“ConMéxico”) request for the postponement of Official Mexican Standard NOM-051 (“NOM-051”), Mexican authorities have stated that food and beverage companies may use provisional stickers between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, which will help companies gradually comply with NOM-051. NOM-051 sets forth a frontal labeling system for prepackaged food and non-alcoholic beverages and informs consumers when products contain high calories, added sugars, saturated fats, sodium, and caffeine. NOM-051 will come into effect on October 1, 2020.
NOM-051 was published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación(Mexico’s equivalent of the Federal Register) on March 27, 2020. NOM-051 requires manufacturers to place octagonal warning symbols in consumer products that state “Excess Calories,” “Excess Saturated Fat,” “Excess Sugars,” and “Contains Caffeine – Avoid in Children.” NOM-051 also prohibits the use of characters, drawings, celebrities, gifts, offers, toys, or contests on food packaging.
By way of background, on April 28, 2020, the Mexican Council of the Consumer Products Industry (“ConMéxico”), which represents more than 40 major food and beverage producers, urged the Mexican government to postpone the effective date of NOM-051 to remove the additional pressure for the food industry in the midst of COVID-19. In a virtual conference, Jaime Zabludovsky, president of ConMéxico, urged the government to postpone NOM-051, which will require the relabeling of more than 800,000 products that will require the assistance of nutritionists, food engineers, designers, among others who are not working at their full capacity due to the pandemic.
The use of provisional stickers to comply with the octagonal warning requirement will give companies more time so that they do not have to print labels for all of their products before October 2020. Moreover, companies will be able to place provisional stickers on packaging that they already have in stock to lessen the impact. We will continue to monitor any developments.