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Unilever United States to adopt “Contains” Allergen Statement


Company will implement across all Foods & Refreshment brands

Woman in grocery store, holding a product and looking at its label.

Always carefully read ingredient statement on labels before purchasing or consuming.

Unilever United States plans to roll out “Contains” statements for all of its foods and refreshment products that require disclosure of major food allergens.

Based on consumer feedback, Unilever United States is changing how it discloses major allergens to make labels easier to understand for those seeking allergen information. Unilever United States has strict control practices in place across our operations to ensure compliance with the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA), which requires that labels identify the food source of all major food allergens used to make the food.

Unless the common or usual name of an ingredient already identifies the allergen’s name (example: buttermilk), the law requires allergens be declared in one of two ways. Major food allergens must appear either in parentheses following the source within the ingredient list (example: “flour (wheat)”), or immediately following the ingredient list in a separate “Contains” statement.

Many Unilever United States brands disclose major allergens in parentheses within ingredient lists. We believe switching to the “Contains” statement disclosure method for Unilever foods and refreshment products sold in the United States will make information about major allergens more clear and readily available. Furthermore, Unilever has been in support of adding sesame as a ninth “major” allergen, a requirement just recently signed into U.S. law. We plan to disclose sesame as a major allergen as we make changes to our labels, prior to the new law’s effective date of January 1, 2023.

This transition in our allergen labeling practices will take some time to implement over the next several years. As our labels are being updated to include “Contains” statements, consumers must always read the complete ingredient statement on the label each time they purchase a product. Consumers can also access allergen information for Unilever brands online in SmartLabel. In addition, Unilever offers carelines to address further questions about our company or brands.

We welcome continued feedback and look forward to building even more transparency into our products and trust with consumers. For more information on how to review labels in the United States for major food allergens, please click here.

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