New pizza-friendly menu labeling provisions introduced

March 21, 2013

The American Pizza Community has endorsed The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2013, introduced today by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

The legislation's original co-sponsors include John Carter (R-TX), John Barrow (D-GA), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Todd Rokita (R-IN), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Steve Womack (R-AR), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI).

The legislation would allow small-business pizza owners to comply with federal menu labeling requirements using "innovative approaches that strengthen consumer education and reduce excessive regulatory costs."

The bill, among other provisions, would amend the existing law as follows:

  • Establishments that receive the majority of their orders from customers who order off-premise – such as delivery service – to provide calorie information on a remote-access menu, instead of a menu board;
  • The option to provide calorie labeling for pizza by the slice, as opposed to whole-pizza labeling;
  • Flexibility in providing calorie information for variable food items, such as pizzas, where a multitude of toppings, crusts and sauce can result millions of ordering options;
  • Restaurants would able to provide calorie information either via ranges, averages, individual component labeling of ingredients or labeling of standard menu offerings; and
  • A reasonable basis for nutrient content disclosure, so that establishments acting in good faith are not penalized for inadvertent human error and other unavoidable variances.

"The pizza community supports workable menu labeling solutions that make sense for our customers and small-business entrepreneurs. 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.

Various pizza operators and executives pitched their case for an alternative solution in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

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Topics: Menu Boards, Operations Management

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