SEATTLE, June 19 (UPI) -- Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks said it will label the calories of items on menu boards at U.S. stores next week, ahead of federal regulations.
"Menu labeling is yet another step to extend our commitment to wellness, ensuring our customers and partners -- employees -- have the information they need to make informed decisions and understand all the ways that they can customize their Starbucks beverages to be within their desired calorie range," Mary Wagner, senior vice president of Global Research & Development at Starbucks, said in a statement.
Starbucks will post calorie counts to accompany each beverage listed on the menu boards, as well as on tags to accompany food in the bakery case. Each beverage is listed as a standard recipe, though each is fully customizable, such as ordering without whip, choosing a different milk or sugar-free syrup option, Wagner said.
Menu board labeling and pastry case calorie labeling will complement nutritional information already provided to customers via printed brochures, a nutrition tab on Starbucks.com and via the Starbucks Mobile App for iPhone.
In addition to the nutritional information on the Starbucks website, a page provides a list of favorite foods with 350 calories or less at http://www.starbucks.com/menu/nutrition/35-under-350.
Ashley Barrient, a clinical dietitian and bariatric specialist at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago said Starbucks, said:
"So often in Loyola's medical weight loss clinic, I witness patients' reactions of disbelief and shock as we review together online the high caloric content of a food item they chose at a restaurant that they thought was healthy."