Have you noticed the new calorie labelling on Ontario chain restaurant menus? Operators, servers and consumers are coming to grips with the new reality of revealing calories in a serving of food. We are labelling experts who look beyond the fads to deliver reliable food forward advice. I was honoured to moderate partnership events and engage with stakeholders about the challenges of the new menu labelling in Winter 2017 . Thanks to the leadership of Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP), Restaurants Canada and Dietitians of Canada in making these important professional discussions happen. A shout out to fellow dietitian Donna Bottrell who did a terrific job organizing the events, and to Nancy Hewitt President CAFP Toronto for her support.
From left: Donna Bottrell RD, event lead organizer; Nancy Hewitt, CFE, President of the CAFP Toronto Branch; Susan Somerville RD, Dean, Humber College, Jamie Rillet Vice President, Restaurants Canada and Lucia Weiler RD.
Here is a snapshot of what we heard:
- ‘Medium and small chains are looking for guidance and consistency from the Government.’ Jamie Rilett, Restaurants Canada
- ‘It’s challenging for a server to explain the calorie range for a serving size. More support and education would be helpful’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s
- ‘There is the nutrient variable to consider and educate about. How to address the fact that milk has more calories than pop but it’s also more nutritious?’ Katie Jessop RD
- ‘Collaboration is needed between food professionals: chefs, dietitians and nutritionists. And we are eating foods- not just one food. Food combinations in menus can help create healthier options. Nutrition professionals can assist operators and consumers.’ Lucia Weiler RD
- ‘A lot of time was spent by Aramark in the initial analysis…they made sure to standardize recipes and then tested and tested which led to a recipe database.’ Karen Williams, Aramark
- ‘Menu calorie labelling is just the beginning. There is a future importance for all aspects of nutrition and food, especially sustainable processing. Millennial consumers are very conscious about the’ what’ and the ‘how’ of food.’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s
For more stakeholder views, participant feedback or restaurant menu labelling guidance please contact us. We are registered dietitians who love food and our long term vision shapes nutrition and guides the way people eat. Our expertise in nutrition communication and labelling can help your team formulate unique insights and create menu solutions that both foodservice professionals and consumers can use.