A new survey by Which? claims consumers want fast-food chains, pizza restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries to display calories on their menus.
The consumer group said two out of three adults backed a policy of revealing calorie counts - in the week that it was revealed that McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant operator, will begin listing calorie counts on menus here in the UK.
So far, 37 companies have agreed to voluntarily supply calorie information as part of the government’s public health responsibility deal and along with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, Pret A Manger, Harvester, KFC and Pizza Hut have all signed up.
However, Which? said that Subway, Pizza Express, Domino’s Pizza, Nando’s, Caffè Nero and Costa are yet to join.
It also claimed that:
• A Starbucks ‘skinny’ lemon and poppy seed iced muffin contains more calories than its standard apple and cinnamon muffin
• A slice of carrot cake from Costa has more calories than a chocolate custard Krispy Kreme doughnut
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: “There’s no excuse for the companies already displaying calories in the U.S. not to do the same here. If calorie-labelling cannot be achieved on a voluntary basis, we want the Government to make it a legal requirement.”
Commenting of the move by McDoanald’s, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “One in six meals are now eaten outside the home and for those meals we often have no idea how many calories we are eating.”
Jill McDonald, chief executive and president of McDonald’s UK, added: “In March we announced our intention to extend the communication of nutritional information to our customers to include displaying calories on our menu boards across the UK.
“This move, as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, supports the principles we believe are important: giving our customers clear information to help them make decisions that are right for them and provide a choice on our menu.”