I have a flavored sparkling water and it has ten calories in the container (1 liter), but zero per serving (12 fl oz). Isn’t that a little over 3 calories per serving?

In: 1

USofA allows rounding. If in a serving, calories are below a certain threshold, you can call it zero. TicTacs are a prime example. They are listed as 0g of sugar per serving, despite being 90% sugar. This is because one serving is one single mint, which weighs 0.49g. If a serving has less than 0.5g of sugar, it can be rounded down to 0g.

Food labeling laws have rules for rounding calories and less then 5 calories per serving is rounded to zero. The result is the 3 calories get rounded to zero.

In a similar way if there are less than 50 calories it is rounded to the closes multiple of 5 so the 10 calories for the whole container is in reality between 7.5 and 12.5 calories. So each serving can contain 4.16 calories with that labeling.

Above 50 it is rounded to the closes multiple of 10. This is why you neve see a value like 97 calories per serving it will be 100. The only possible last digit is 0 and 5

This is also why you have to be careful with some candies like Tic Tacs. Nutrition shows 0cal per 1 mint. But in actually they’re like 2 cals per mint. You know how easy it is to consume a whole 200 ct Coke flavored Tic Tac bottle?

Rounding. In the United States, if it is under 5 calories, they are able to report it as zero calories in the nutrition label.

It is stupid, but that is how the FDA rolls.