Calories Down In Stores, But Not In Restaurants

The health initiatives of organizations such as the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and the Partnership for Healthier America are seeing great strides in their push for lower calorie food offerings.

Lower calorie-count in stores
A report coming from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation indicates that 16 leading food and beverage companies have reduced the calorie content of their products by 6.4 trillion, far exceeding their pledged goal of 1 trillion. The efforts of these companies, which include such giants as Campbell’s Soup, General Mills, Kellogg’s and Hershey’s, have resulted in a total reduction of 78 calories per person per day.

Restaurant menus remain high in calorie content
While calorie counts are down in stores, restaurants – notably fast food restaurants – continue to offer relatively high-calorie offerings. A May 2013 study from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that the average meal at independent and small-chain restaurants contains two to three times the recommended caloric intake for an individual adult meal.

Is low-calorie the way to high profits?
These findings note a distinct disparity between the caloric content of foods in stores versus restaurants. The economic success of companies offering low-calorie foods may signal a new trend in restaurant offerings, as many business owners are looking to cash in on Americans’ newfound interest in reducing their caloric intake.

A separate study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that reduced and no-calorie products accounted for more than 70 percent of food industry growth between 2007 to 2011. But it wasn’t only sales that saw a push. The profits, shareholder returns and reputations of companies offering low and no-calorie options all experienced a boost, a boost that restaurants may want to get a piece of. In the wake of this push for healthier options, online culinary arts program students looking to enter the job market may find it prudent to brush up on their low-calorie recipes.

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