Starbucks to begin nationwide menu labeling program

Starbucks will begin posting calorie counts on its menu boards nationwide on June 25. (Stephen Chernin / Getty Images)

Starbucks Corp. is following other mega-chains such as McDonald’s Corp. and Panera Bread Co. by voluntarily posting calorie counts on its menu boards nationwide ahead of a pending federal requirement to do so.

The Seattle coffee giant said Tuesday that it will note nutritional details on all its drink listings and in its pastry cases in every Starbucks store in the U.S. beginning June 25.

The company said the information is already available on its printed brochures and on its website and mobile app. At the chain, a Grande 16-oz. Caramel Macchiato with 2% milk has 240 calories.

Starbucks said it has allowed customers over the years to create more healthful options by offering sugar-free syrup with no calories or fat since 1997 and launching a beverage-customization option in 2003.

More recently, the chain has introduced bakery items without artificial flavors or dyes, cold-pressed juices under the Evolution Fresh brand and salad bowls with fewer than 450 calories each, it said.

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Starbucks is joining a parade of large chains trying to get a jump on looming menu-labeling standards expected from the government by the end of this year.

McDonald’s said last fall that it would list calorie counts, and Panera did the same in 2010.  

But not much will change for consumers in California. The first statewide menu-labeling measure was passed here in 2008, though jurisdictions including New York City and Seattle had done so earlier.

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