Nutrition and Calorie Labeling For Restaurants, Movies, and Groceries

Posted on January 15, 2015 by

Following in the footsteps of the likes of New York City and many other cities and states, the FDA finalized a rule that now requires many new foods and locations to post calorie counts on menus. This is a major change that will result in much greater transparency for consumers dining out and eating on the go.


FDA restaurant and vending machine calorie counts

The FDA is doing more and more to help inform consumers and eat healthy.

Why The Change?

When you eat out, you rarely know how many calories you are consuming, and restaurant meals are much more likely to be high in calories than meals at home. And apparently Americans eat and drink roughly 1/3 of their calories away from home. The aim of this rule is to help consumers make more informed decisions and make it easier to eat healthy. The benefits, according to the FDA, outweigh the costs nearly 5 to 1.

Who It Applies To

Calories and serving information now have to be posted in chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, vending machines, pizza parlors, movie theaters, amusement parks, and more (click to read more details).

Furthermore, full nutrition information (including fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, sodium, sugars, fiber, and protein) must be provided upon consumer request.

Certain alcoholic beverages will be included under the rule as well, like cocktails listed on menus.

If you're curious if your restaurant or business falls under the rule there is a good Q&A on the FDA site, or you can ask us.

When It Starts

The labeling rules take effect in one year, so they'll have to be complied with by the end of 2015.


About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.


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