Product Date Labeling Initiative

Product Date Labeling Initiative

With more than 10 different and confusing label options — sell by, enjoy by, fresh until, display until, best before — American consumers were confused by if and when they should discard food, beverage and household products.

The consumer packaged goods industry recognized that consumers needed clarity. To address this confusion, GMA partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to simplify and streamline the number of labels — and bring much-needed clarity to consumers.

They narrowed date labeling down to two categories: BEST If Used By and USE By.

Since launching in February 2017, 87 percent of products have adopted the streamlined phrases, according to a survey conducted by GMA in December 2018, and projected 98 percent adoption by the end of 2019. Complete adoption is expected by January 2020, in conjunction with the new FDA nutrition facts panel.



For more information on the date labeling issue, please see GMA’s new report:


Best If Clearly Labeled: How the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry is Reducing Confusion and Food Waste





Additional Resources: 

Press Release

Implementation Guide