Coffee shop displays calorie content of hot drinks and snacks in trial

A COFFEE shop franchise is leading the way in customer nutritional awareness by displaying the calorie content of its hot beverages and snacks on its menus.

The Insomnia Coffee Company started displaying the calorie content of its sandwiches, muffins and beverages at one of its Dublin chains last month.

According to Insomnia chairman and Dragon’s Den judge Bobby Kerr, the decision was made in response to the Operation Transformation “Count Me In” campaign which aims to encourage restaurants and takeaways to display the calorie count of products.

“We decided that it is important that customers have information about what they eat,” Mr Kerr told RTÉ Radio.

“So just before Christmas we took one of our shops on Abbey Street and started displaying the calorie count of all our sandwiches, muffins and hot beverages so that the customer could make the choice whether to eat them or not.”

A full fat tall hot chocolate at Insomnia Coffee Company contains 372 kilo calories (kcal) while a Club Panini contains a whopping 573 kcals — a quarter of a person’s recommended daily allowance.

“I don’t see it as a barrier to sales. I have seen it over the years, people looking at food labels in shops, going to the trouble of turning a product over to see the nutritional information. I believe if a customer is looking at a range of sandwiches or muffins and they have the knowledge to say if something is 500 or 300 calories, they are still going to buy a sandwich.”

Mr Kerr added that there has recently been an increase in the sale of low-fat sandwiches from 12% to 18%.

“At the moment in all our shops only about a quarter of people would ask for a low calorie drink such as a skinny cappuccino. However in Abbey Street we reversed that — you only get a full fat drink if you ask for it.”

Mr Kerr said that if the trial run continued to be successful, plans to expand it to Insomnia Coffee Company shops nationwide could become a reality.


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