Daily Dose

Starbucks set to post calorie counts

Starbucks customer enjoys coffee.    AP Photo/Alan Diaz
Starbucks customer enjoys coffee. AP Photo/Alan Diaz

If you head into your local Starbucks next Tuesday, you’ll see calorie counts listed on the menu boards—and may be shocked to see just how many calories you’re drinking in your favorite Frappuccino or iced latte.

Starbucks announced plans on Tuesday to post calorie information for its beverages on menu boards at all stores operated by the company beginning June 25. That’s ahead of a federal law requiring them to do so sometime in the next year or two.

(The US Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t issued its final regulation on this, so it’s not clear when chain restaurants will have to comply.)

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In posting calories counts on its menu board of beverages and in its glass case filled with pastries, Starbucks joins McDonald’s and other restaurant chains who have already posted their calories on menus in an effort to be more transparent.

Whether this will actually change customers’ food and beverage selections remains to be seen. Studies have had conflicting findings on how much menu postings help with some finding that they do and others finding that they don’t.

I’m curious whether you’ll be less inclined to order a 16-ounce grande size caramel Frappuccino if you know it contains 410 calories and 15 grams of fat? How about 490 calories for a piece of banana walnut bread? Do you think having that calorie count placed in the bakery case will serve as a stop sign?

You may find yourself reaching for the 240-calorie croissant and grande Caffè Americano—15 calories—instead.

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