Foodservice Equipment Reports

C-Stores Applaud New Menu-Labeling Legislation

The c-store industry is hailing bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives July 24, which operators say provides the necessary flexibility in menu labeling and a fuller understanding of c-store foodservice operations.

They laud H.R. 6174, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, as outlining a less burdensome approach to menu labeling and including language addressing the types of retail locations that are covered by federal menu-labeling requirements.

The bill’s sponsors cite provisions in the current health-care law that call for a national, uniform nutrition-disclosure standard for foodservice establishments. Regulations implementing this provision, they say, would create rigid requirements that pose an unreasonable burden on c-stores.

Current federal regulations would require chain restaurants, “similar retail food establishments” and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide specific nutritional information, including calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-through boards. Self-service items, such as buffets and salad bars, must contain caloric information adjacent to the item. Additional nutrition information in writing would have to be available upon request.

The new legislation limits the provision in Section 4205 of the new health-care law to establishments that derive 50% or more of their revenue from food that is intended for immediate consumption or prepared and processed on-site. Prepackaged food would not be considered in this equation. Last year, about 17% of c-stores’ in-store revenue dollars were derived from prepackaged food, according to data from the National Association of Convenience Stores, which means most c-stores would be exempt under the new legislation.

Congress is in recess. The bill will be taken up when it returns.

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