Wednesday 7 March 2018

New Calorie Counts on US Food Menus - what you need to know

Summary: The biggest change in nutritional labelling in the US is happening right now - be prepared with!

As of May 2018, restaurants and other food outlets with 20 or more locations must display calorie counts on their menus. This changes has been announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While this change might first sound expensive to implement, there are good software solutions that help chains to calculate the calorie counts for their products quickly, easily and cheaply.

You can find the official announcement here.

Here are the most important information regarding this change:

Question: Who needs to display calorie counts?
Answer: Any big chain with 20 or more locations. This includes restaurants, grocery shops, amusement parks and movie theatres.

Question: What needs to be displayed?
Answer: The calorie counts must be shown for each food item on sale.

Question: How can I calculate the nutritional values for my own products?
Answer: Generally speaking, you have the choice between sending your food products to a laboratory or to use a software solution. Laboratories give accurate calorie counts, but the analysis can take weeks and cost $100s per food item. Software solutions are sufficiently accurate, cheap, quick and easy to use. For instance, offers calorie calculations for less than $3 per food item and the analysis can be done at home within minutes.

This topic is being extensively covered in the press, see for instance here.