The difference between Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts

    The FDA has issued comprehensive guidelines that tightly regulate nutrition facts and supplement facts on beverage labels. The difference between these labels dictates how a product is categorised and regulated. Understanding these differences will help consumers make informed decisions and help industry professionals navigate the regulatory landscape.

    Some beverage companies sidestep regulations by using Supplement facts on the label to market it as a lifestyle supplement and not just a drink. This article will help you dive deeper into the differences between nutrition facts vs supplement facts.

    supplement fact vs nutrition fact

    Knowing how to distinguish between supplement facts and nutrition facts

    Nutrition Facts vs Supplement Facts

    Both labels, Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts, serve a common purpose – to provide consumers with important information so that they can make informed choices about their diet and supplements. However, there are distinguishing characteristics that set each label apart.

    Nutrition Facts Label

    The “Nutrition Facts” label is a standardized label found on most packaged food products. It offers comprehensive details on the nutrients included in the food, such as serving sizes, calories, and amounts of fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, and specific vitamins and minerals.

    Generally, only nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are listed on the Nutrition Facts label.

    It is a crucial tool for promoting nutritional awareness and assisting customers in making healthy decisions. More specifically, the Nutrition Facts label:

    • Gives consumers precise nutritional information so they can understand the foods they are eating.
    • Helps individuals control their diet according to their unique needs, such as setting limits on sugar, salt, and calories.
    • Makes it simple for customers to compare the nutritional value of various products, helping them to make better shopping decisions.

    nutrition fact label beverage

    Consumers are emphasizing ingredients when it comes to food labels

    Supplement Facts Label

    The Supplement Facts label is a standardized label found on dietary supplements. It offers crucial details regarding the nutritional value and ingredient composition of the supplement. They give customers a detailed view about every single ingredient and nutrient that is present in the product.

    In contrast to the Nutrition Facts label, the Supplement Facts label includes a list of all ingredients that have nutritional value. The supplement fact label can:

    • Help consumers manage their diet and prevent overconsumption of specific nutrients by displaying each nutrient in the label.
    • List all ingredients, including non-active ingredients, which are essential for those with allergies or dietary restrictions.
    • Include disclaimers about intended uses and limitations, thereby protecting consumers from misleading claims of use.

    supplement fact label

    An ingredient breakdown on the supplement facts label

    What is usually listed on a Nutrition Fact Label for beverages?

    On a Nutrition Facts label for beverages, you can typically find the following information:

    Serving Size

    The serving size is typically shown in common household measures (e.g., cup, tablespoon, piece) followed by the metric amount in grams (g). It reflects the amount people consume, not necessarily what they should drink.

    According to FDA regulations, 240 ml (8 fluid ounces) or 1 serving is the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACC) that should be used to calculate the total serving size for beverages. This standard serving size ensures consistency across different beverage products.

    The formula to calculate the number of servings per container is:

    Servings per Container (ml/fl oz) = Total Volume of the Beverage/RACC

    For example, a typical canned beverage with a total volume of 500ml (16.9 fl oz) will contain 2 servings (500/250 = 2).


    Calories are the total energy in a serving of food or drink from all sources (protein, fat, carbohydrates, and alcohol). Although the FDA does not provide a set daily recommendation for calories, an average adult should consume roughly 2,000 calories daily. However, this can vary depending on age, sex, weight, and activity level.

    Keep in mind that phrases like “fat-free” or “no added sugars” do not always equate to “calorie-free.” For accurate information, always double-check the Nutrition Facts labels.

    Total/Added Sugar

    A product’s total sugar content includes all its sugars, including added sugars and naturally occurring sugars found in foods like milk and fruits. Since natural sugars occur in many regular foods like milk and fruits, there’s no recommended daily value (DV) for total sugar intake.

    Added sugars are defined as sugars that are added during the packaging or processing of food (a.k.a free sugars). These may consist of syrups, sweeteners, sucrose, dextrose, and sugars derived from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. Based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories, the suggested DV for added sugars is 50 grams, accounting for less than 10% of the total calories.

    nutrition fact label beverage 2

    Food labels give us the ability to virtually use a microscope to examine our food


    To assist consumers in controlling their fat intake, the label provides information on the total fat content per serving, including saturated and trans fats. Based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories, the DV for total fat is 78 grams.


    This provides the sodium content per serving, crucial information for people watching their salt intake.

    The recommended DV for sodium is less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. To find out how much sodium is in a serving of a beverage, use the %DV on the Nutrition Facts label:

    • A serving’s 5% DV or less is regarded as low.
    • A serving’s 20% DV or higher is regarded as high.

    Other Additives and Minerals

    Ingredients like caffeine, preservatives, or minerals like Potassium and Calcium may be listed here.

    According to the FDA, most adults can include up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, or four or five cups of coffee, in a healthy diet. The DV for calcium is 1,300 milligrams per day, and for Potassium, it is 4,700 milligrams per day.


    This includes vitamins present in significant amounts, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, or Vitamin A, showing their contribution to daily nutritional needs.

    • Vitamin C: The DV is 75 to 90 milligrams per day for adults.
    • Vitamin D: The DV is 15 micrograms (600 IU) per day for adults.
    • Vitamin A: The DV is 900 micrograms per day for men and 700 micrograms per day for women.

    These values can change depending on dietary needs and specific health requirements; they are intended only as a general guide.

    What kinds of drinks need to use Supplement Facts Labels?

    Drinks in the dietary supplement category must have a Supplement Facts label. These typically consist of beverages marketed more as health foods or performance enhancers than as typical foods or drinks.

    Energy shots

    Manufacturers categorize energy shots as dietary supplements because they often contain more caffeine than the FDA-recommended daily limit of 400 mg. Energy shots are, therefore, subject to regulations under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which requires manufacturers to include a Supplement Facts panel on all labels.

    supplement fact label 5 hour

    Energy shots must have a Supplement Facts panel on them

    Herbal supplement drinks

    Drinks with herbal ingredients, such as ginseng, echinacea, or green tea extract, are promoted with claims of boosting immunity or lowering stress levels. For this reason, they are classified as dietary supplements. Therefore, it is necessary to use the Supplement Facts Label.

    supplement fact label hsw

    HSW Calm Korean Red Ginseng Sparkling Drink is a herbal supplement

    Protein supplement drinks

    Rather than just offering general nutrition or hydration, protein supplement drinks like Celsius BCAA drinks are designed to offer specific health benefits like muscle growth, recovery, or meal replacement. This puts them in compliance with FDA regulations as dietary supplements. They are required by law to display this label to guarantee openness and adherence to federal guidelines.

    supplement fact label protein drinks

    The supplement fact label for Celsius Bcaa +

    These beverages must adhere to the unique regulatory requirements for dietary supplements, including different ingredient disclosure standards, safety, and marketing claims. They must also use a Supplement Facts label to distinguish themselves from conventional beverages.


    Understanding the difference between Nutrition Facts vs Supplement Facts for beverages is essential for both consumers and manufacturers. As consumers become more health conscious, clear labeling will ensure they can make informed decisions about their diet.

    Partnering with an experienced and reputable supplier is very important for beverage manufacturers. One of the top OEM/ODM beverage manufacturers in this space is Tan Do Company. With operations in over 60 nations, Tan Do offers unparalleled knowledge and creativity to the beverage manufacturing industry. Contact us to find out how we can support your beverage production needs.

    Content Protection by
    Hi readers, I'm Richard, F&B marketing executive for Tan Do Beverage - a leading private label manufacturer in the beverage industry. The articles that I write have all been consulted with our professional R&D and Quality Control staff, so that all knowledge shared will be accurate and helpful. Our Blog is designed to provide the best industry insights about general beverage trends, manufacturing knowledge and guides for beverage business operations.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Xác thực trượt *