The natural food industry was abuzz last week about a new product launched at the Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore, MD named “Live Forever Juice.” Live Forever Juice turned many heads and sparked numerous conversations at their booth, thanks in part to its over-the-top rainbow and unicorn branding scheme. The box sparked many other conversations due to its outrageous claims that users could “live forever” if they drank one bottle per day. The box also raised eyebrows with text like “perfect for paranoid people” and “drink 1 bottle of Live Forever Juice each day forever.” In an industry that can get very serious, Live Forever Juice stood out in the crowd and turned curious glances into nods of approval as visitors began to understand the project.
There’s No Such Thing as “Live Forever Juice”
“Live Forever Juice is a brand that we created purely as a marketing ploy,” said Benjamin England, Founder and CEO of FDAImports.com, the Maryland-based consulting firm behind the project. “We wanted to make a connection with natural products food, dietary supplement and cosmetic manufacturers and distributors and generate interest in FDA and USDA labeling compliance, which is often one of the last things many companies focus on; much to their chagrin.”
At the Natural Products Expo East, Live Forever Juice handed out mock retail-boxes to anyone within reach. This box served as more than a mere attention grabber; it was also an education tool. FDAImports.com created a website (http://www.liveforeverjuice.com) featuring a collection of training videos that address many common labeling errors on the box, focusing on the nutrition facts panel, percent juice declarations, ingredient lists, and label claims.
“The Live Forever Juice project is a way to have some fun but also to communicate just how complex and maze-like FDA regulations really are,” said Benjamin England, a 17-year veteran of the Food and Drug Administration. “Beyond the technical labeling requirements, the label is a window into all the regulatory obligations for a food, dietary supplement or cosmetic product. Failing to satisfy all the regulatory requirements can have serious legal repercussions.”
FDAImports.com hopes to raise awareness and generate interest in the Live Forever Juice project and ultimately to help companies save time and resources by having their consumer packaging labels reviewed for FDA compliance before printing thousands of copies and regretting having done so. The Natural Products Expo ran from September 21 – 24 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Benjamin L. England is a former 17-year veteran of the FDA and served as the Regulatory Counsel to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs. Currently he is founder and CEO of FDAImports.com, LLC, a firm of consultants and affiliated attorneys practicing at the intersections of complex administrative law and regulations that impact international traders in highly regulated commodities.