New Serving Size Rules from the FDA & USDA - What Do They Mean?

While hardcore backpackers and campers might be used to weighing out meals and calculating calories for their adventures, many of us simply look to serving sizes to pack for our trips, prepare weekly meals, or stock up for emergencies. Serving sizes are bound by sets of rules set by the FDA and USDA. These rules define what a serving is, and how we must label our products.

Over the last several years, these rules have been changing, and as a result, we have had to change the sizes of some of our multiple-serving meals. Some meals were made larger, and some were made smaller to be compliant with the new rules. In short, we had to match the two servings in the pouch with the way that the new rules define two servings. These changes have been seen across the industry as the new rules have rolled out.

Why The Changes?

The regulations are listed in the Federal Register Document 81 CFR 34000. According to the FDA, “the changes finalized in this rule are designed to ensure that serving sizes are based on current consumption data and to provide consumers with information on the Nutrition Facts label related to the serving size that will assist them in maintaining healthy dietary practices.”

For years we have been known for our hearty and filling meals, and we continue to provide the best taste and nutrition possible. The decision to change the amount of product in the pouch was not ours, but rather to remain compliant with the new set of rules. We will continue to try to bring our customers the best meals and the best value possible. 

Serving Size Changes By The Numbers

  • There are 35 items in the Backpacker’s 2022 lineup.
  • 5 items were new in 2022 so they were developed with the updated standards.
  • 11 items did not have any changes as they met the requirements for servings.
  • 15 items had a size reduction, on average it was a 19% reduction in size to become compliant with the serving size we wanted them to be considered.
  • 4 items had a size increase as the new guidelines allowed us to put more product in the pouch for these and still adhere to the new guidelines. These items averaged a 20% increase.

If Some Meals Got Smaller, Why Didn’t Prices Decrease, Too?

While we strive to make our meals affordable and delicious, as felt across the economy, prices are rising. The costs of the raw ingredients that go into each of our meals have increased. In order to continue offering the highest quality meals our prices would have to increase if the serving sizes remained the same. 

Have More Questions? Contact Us