Search Results for ‘calorie label’

Calorie labels and craft brewers

The Obamacare/FDA calorie-label provision, which we’ve met before, “requires chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to list calorie information for ‘standard menu items,’ including each available beer, on menus and menu boards by December 2016. Testing the nutritional content of a single beer could cost as much as $1,000, according to the Beer Institute, a trade association representing brewers.” For craft brewers, the costs of testing every variant small-run flavor can add up fast. And unless a brewer is willing to pre-emptively shell out for testing in advance at its own risk, it may miss out on the chance to make the jump into chain distribution: “Restaurants interested in carrying a craft beer may not want to wait for testing to be done and will move on to beers that already have nutritional information.” [Michelle Minton, Real Clear Policy]

FDA issues calorie label mandate

Another hidden gift inside the Affordable Care Act: mandatory calorie labeling for many restaurant menus. Walter Olson comments on the complications and potential unintended consequences of such a mandate.

My new Cato podcast: the new FDA calorie labeling rules apply to not-so-big chains (20 +) of grocery stores and amusement facilities as well as restaurants, and make it less likely that servers and local managers will manage to vary from rigidly standardized recipes, menu listings and portion sizes based on knowledge of their local customers, temporary availability of attractive ingredients, and so forth. That won’t matter much for food servers who already design their offerings in a lab, but spells trouble for those whose offerings are more localized or unpredictable (earlier). Coverage by Ed Morrissey of what the scheme would mean for a 21-unit pizza chain is linked here.

In January, David Boaz commented on the parallel vending machine calorie label mandate:

In my experience, vending machines shuffle their offerings fairly frequently. If the machine operators have to change the calorie information displayed every time they swap potato chips for corn chips, then $2,200 [per operator per year] seems like a conservative estimate of costs. But then, as Hillary Clinton said when it was suggested that her own health care plan would bankrupt small businesses, “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

More: Baylen Linnekin. And Julie Gunlock recalls her own days working in a supermarket deli. Goodbye, making up prepared salads in single-serving containers from whatever produce happened to be in overstock at the time. Hello, food waste!

Vending machine calorie label mandate

It’s coming as part of ObamaCare (earlier here and here) and it might wind up restricting consumer choice [AP]:

The rules will apply to about 10,800 companies that operate 20 or more machines. Nearly three quarters of those companies have three or fewer employees, and their profit margin is extremely low, according to the National Automatic Merchandising Association. …

Some companies may use electronic displays to post calorie counts while others may opt for signs stuck to the machines.

Carol Brennan, who owns Brennan Food Vending Services in Londonderry, [N.H.,] said she doesn’t yet know how she will handle the regulations, but she doesn’t like them. She has five employees servicing hundreds of machines and says she’ll be forced to limit the items offered so her employees don’t spend too much time updating the calorie counts.

David Boaz comments:

In my experience, vending machines shuffle their offerings fairly frequently. If the machine operators have to change the calorie information displayed every time they swap potato chips for corn chips, then $2,200 [per operator per year] seems like a conservative estimate of costs. But then, as Hillary Clinton said when it was suggested that her own health care plan would bankrupt small businesses, “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.”

FDA issues menu labeling mandate

Vaping isn’t the only issue on which the Food and Drug Administration has stopped its ears to distress cries from the regulated community. It has now followed through with a stringent rather than lenient version of the menu labeling concept mandated by the ObamaCare law, one that will extend coverage to doubtful areas including some restaurant coupons and advertisements and ensure burdensome compliance issues for variety items such as toppings on pizza or ice cream. [CS News, Elizabeth Harrington/Free Beacon, earlier]

Health bill requires vending, restaurant-chain calorie counts

Why, wonders Joe Weisenthal, are we only finding out about this now? The National Restaurant Association sought the measure — which constricts the freedom of its own membership — in hopes of gaining uniformity instead of “a potential patchwork of conflicting requirements adopted by states and cities,” to quote the Times. It can be reliably predicted, though, that the ever-growing battalions of “food policy advocates” will home-made cherry pie white backgroundnot feel constrained by any supposed national deal to refrain from pushing for further piecemeal extension of state and local requirements, thus rendering any seeming uniformity but temporary.

The requirement kicks in when a restaurant chain reaches ten units, and will foreseeably make it harder for 15-unit local chains to compete with the 1,500-unit behemoths who can spread the nontrivial costs of compliance over a much larger base. Like earlier calorie-labeling laws, it will also encourage standardization by making it hazardous for owners not to prescribe and control, e.g., precisely how much topping local employees are to spread on each sandwich or pizza. Earlier here. More: Richard Goldfarb at Food Liability Law Blog has more details, and reports that the threshold for number of outlets is 20 rather than 15. There also some pre-emption of state and local regulation, although localities can still impose added requirements in the name of food safety.