Starbucks Rolls Out Calorie Counts Nationwide

Jun 18, 2013

Starbucks patrons across the country will soon be seeing what King County customers have seen for years – calorie counts listed next to drink and pastry items. The coffee chain says it will display the calorie content on menu boards and bakery cases starting across the country next week.

Starbucks will start posting calorie counts next week.
Credit 4028mdk09 / Wikimedia Commons

Almost all chain restaurants will have to start doing that as the Affordable Care Act goes fully into effect. Starbucks spokeswomen Lisa Passé says the company decided not to wait for the law.

“This is a natural move for us," Passé says. "I think customers’ attention in the summer time frame is all about what choices they can make that are right for them. And why wait?” 

Studies have shown that posting calories in restaurants have relatively little effect on customers’ buying decisions. A 2010 Stanford University study that looked specifically at Starbucks stores found something a little different. Consumers in that study dropped their calorie intake by 6 percent when the counts were posted. Researchers found that consumers eased back on rich foods like pastries, but didn’t change their drink orders much.

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