What is in this article?:
- Pizza operators support new menu labeling bill
- Strong voices on both sides
The American Pizza Community was formed last year and represents about 20,000 pizza locations around the country.
A coalition of pizza chain operators has voiced support for bipartisan legislation that would amend existing federal menu labeling regulations in the Affordable Care Act to allow for more flexibility in how calorie counts must be disclosed.
The American Pizza Community, which was formed last year and represents about 20,000 pizza locations around the country, endorsed the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2013,” or. H.R. 1249, which was introduced Thursday by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.
The APC’s position places it in opposition to the National Restaurant Association, which is critical of a provision in H.R. 1249 that would likely exempt a greater number of chain grocery and convenience stores from having to post standardized labeling requirements for prepared restaurant-style food.
The NRA has long maintained the need for standardized menu labeling regulations as opposed to a patchwork quilt of rules that would force chain operators to accommodate multiple state or local laws.
Many pizza operators, however, have expressed dissatisfaction with the existing federal menu labeling regulations, claiming that the current legislation does not take into account many of the differences inherent in the pizza business.
“This legislation seeks to address widespread concerns regarding the menu labeling regulations as currently drafted by replacing impractical, one-size-fits-all rules with flexible approaches based on real-world experience,” said Lynn Liddle, chair of the American Pizza Community and executive vice president of communications, investor relations and legislative affairs for Domino’s Pizza.
The current regulations — which are being finalized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — stipulate that chains with 20 or more outlets must post calorie counts and other nutritional information on in-store menus or menu boards adjacent to where customers place their orders. Critics of the measure maintain that most customers of delivery-based chains never even step foot in the stores. The new regulations would allow restaurateurs to provide calorie information on a remote-access menu for those customers who are ordering off-premise.
The new legislation also would provide flexibility in posting caloric data for variable food items like pizza, where many toppings, crusts and sauce can result in millions of ordering options. H.R. 1249 would allow operators to provide calorie information either in ranges, averages, individual component labeling of ingredients or labeling of standard menu offerings.
In addition, the measure would enable operators to provide calorie labeling by the slice as compared with whole pies, as the current law states.
“This would allow for more flexibility for everyone,” said Jenny Fouracre, director of investor relations and legislative affairs for Domino’s Pizza. “It would apply to anyone who has customization or carryout and delivery issues.”