Americans are becoming more and more concerned about the number of calories they consume each day. And they are especially concerned about the number of calories in items that are available in restaurants and other types of establishments that serve food. If your frozen yogurt or ice cream shop contains soft serve equipment, your customers are probably very interested in knowing how many calories are in your frozen yogurt or soft serve ice cream.
As part of the country’s efforts to help people reduce health risks, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released information on new regulations that will go into effect for restaurants. The FDA’s press release, entitled FDA Finalizes Menu and Vending Machine Calorie Labeling Rules, which was published on November 25, 2014, states the following:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside of the home. The rules are required by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The menu labeling final rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. Covered food establishments will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards, next to the name or price of the item. Seasonal menu items offered for sale as temporary menu items, daily specials and condiments for general use typically available on a counter or table are exempt from the labeling requirements.
How Many Calories?
When it comes to soft serve equipment that customers self-operate, knowing the exact number of calories are in a self-dispensed cup of frozen yogurt or soft serve ice cream can be a complex mathematical equation. Customers that really want to know how many calories are in their serving will have to add the number of calories in their soft serve (which can be calculated by multiplying the number of ounces by the number of calories per ounce) to the total calories in each of the toppings the customer selects.
Websites That Contain Calorie Information
There are many websites available to help customers realize the approximate number of calories they will consume when they visit your shop and use your soft serve equipment. For example:
CalorieCount.About.com – Provides information on calories in various types of frozen yogurt.
NutritionIX – Restaurant menu calories (also includes nutrition and allergen information).
CalorieLab.com – Allows website visitors to search 70,000 foods and 500 restaurant menus or browse a food and restaurant directory.
Calories and Soft Serve Equipment
Even if your frozen yogurt or ice cream shop is not required to list calorie counts as per the FDA’s new regulations, you might consider listing calorie information anyway. Customers that are concerned about calories will appreciate the information and might feel more comfortable with a bigger helping of soft serve from your soft serve equipment.