How many calories in a dollop of happiness?

January 1, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Though the chain boasts about the food quality information on its new global packaging, the text is short on calorie and nutrition information. Source: McDonald’s Corp.

Nutritional labeling for restaurant meals is shaping up as a watershed change with implications for packaged goods from fast food chains. California will require all chains with 20 or more outlets to post calorie counts on menu boards by 2011, with brochures containing nutrition information for standard products required in the meantime.

New York City, Seattle and a handful of other municipalities have passed similar laws in recent years, though California’s SB 1420 labeling bill likely will have the greatest impact. “Ten years from now, it will probably seem strange that once upon a time, chain restaurants didn’t list calories,” said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A day after the bill was signed into law, Louisville, KY-based Yum! Brands Inc. announced it would list calories at its 35,000 Taco Bell, Long John Silver, KFC and Pizza Hut outlets.

“We believe we have a continued responsibility to offer ‘better for you’ options, educate consumers about the foods they eat and promote exercise,” the chain’s public affairs officer said in a prepared statement. Yum did not comment on why the calorie counts are not being disclosed on the packages as well.

A global packaging initiative for McDonald’s restaurants in 118 countries got underway November 1 in the US, UK and Ireland to provide a consistent look while accommodating text in 21 languages. “The new packaging will illustrate the high-quality ingredients and food prepared at McDonald’s,” the Oak Brook, IL-based chain states. Asked what nutritional information is included in the text, a company spokesman cited the packaging for Chicken McNuggets, which states the product is “an excellent source of happiness.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Kevin Higgins, Senior Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts


Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!


Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.


FE recent tweets