Founded in 1984, Honolulu-based Island Princess is one of Hawaii’s leading manufacturers and distributors of unique gourmet confections, including distinctive chocolate treats and specialty macadamia nut creations. The company’s trademarks are Hawaii-grown macadamia nuts, superior ingredients, innovative recipes and exceptional packaging. Island Princess grows and processes its high quality macadamia nut s at its 1,100-acre orchard and processing facility at Keaau, on the Big Island of Hawaii. The macadamia kernels are then transported to the 30,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Honolulu, where they are transformed into Island Princess signature chocolates and confections. In addition, the company produces Tropical Wine at its own Orchard Heights Winery near Salem, Oregon.
Food manufacturers are required by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prepare labels for their products. This process has historically been challenging for manufacturers due to their reliance upon highpriced, complicated and time-consuming options such as laboratories, CDs and third-party consultants. Until 2006, Island Princess shipped food samples to a laboratory for analysis and then waited a few weeks to receive the nutrition results. When the FDA mandated that all food products be analyzed for trans fat content and their panels accordingly revised, vice president Gwen Purdy realized that all the company’s offerings would have to be re-sent to the laboratory for a second round of analysis – an extremely expensive and inefficient undertaking. Purdy requested help from the experts at LabelCalc®, the only online nutrition analysis tool that instantly generates precise, up-to-date FDA-compliant nutrition facts panels. LabelCalc is uncomplicated and does not require new computer software and set-up procedures, specialized training or manuals.
“LabelCalc made it very easy to update all our labels with trans fat information – all we had to do was input our recipes in order to receive the new nutritional data,” said Purdy. “We even tested the system for accuracy by using it to analyze some existing recipes – the results were identical to the laboratory’s and really demonstrated LabelCalc’s value. You don’t have to pay high prices for laboratory services when you have a tool like LabelCalc.”
Purdy also appreciates LabelCalc’s flexibility – customers enjoy 24-hour access to an online nutrition calculator and FDA facts panel design module. “I love the convenience of being online and having the capability to create nutrition labels at my own speed,” she noted. “And it’s especially useful with package design for new products – I can give my salespeople mock ups with nutrition labels so they can start preselling without having to wait endlessly for laboratory analysis.”
LabelCalc’s goal is to offer the most skilled and personalized customer service in the industry, according to president Lucy Needham. The company’s team of United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specialists and registered dieticians is an expert resource for information on compliance laws, industry issues and developing trends. While laboratories can charge up to $500 for each individual query, LabelCalc provides this important service free to clients.
“I’m extremely pleased with LabelCalc’s customer service,” said Purdy. “Lucy and her team have responded instantaneously each time I’ve had questions, and have successfully resolved my issues within an hour or two. I’m always treated as an important client and made to feel special.”
For instance, although the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) currently has exclusive jurisdiction over the labeling of alcoholic beverages, there is a strong movement to supplant this organization with the FDA and thereby offer consumers more detailed nutritional labels. As a result, Island Princess’s Japanese and Chinese customers recently requested nutrition facts for the Tropical Wines that the company exports. Needham added red and white wine information to LabelCalc’s database and guided Purdy throughout the process of label creation.
“Nutritional information on everything is the wave of the future,” said Purdy. “However, I had no idea how to determine the appropriate serving sizes and nutrition values for wines – it was a difficult problem that Lucy solved for me very quickly and easily.”
LabelCalc is one of two nutrition analysis applications developed by FoodCalc® LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Founded in 2003, FoodCalc creates unique online applications for food manufacturers, restaurants, dieticians and chefs. For more information, visit www.LabelCalc.com, email info@LabelCalc.com or call (888) 804-0001.
Customer: Island Princess, Honolulu, Hawaii
The Challenge: Offer Island Princess an efficient and economical alternative to laboratory analysis for revising nutrition labels to comply with the FDA’s ruling on trans fats, and also to develop new labels for wines.
Executive Summary: Island Princess found the process of using a laboratory to generate nutrition labels both expensive and time-consuming. Plus, the company needed an economical method to revise existing facts panels according to the new FDA ruling on trans fats – which would be very costly with a laboratory. LabelCalc made the process of label creation simple and cost-efficient, offering Island Princess laboratory-level results at a much lower price, and ensuring the accuracy of all trans fat data. Furthermore, LabelCalc helped Island Princess develop nutrition labels for the Tropical Wines that the company exports overseas.