CHAPEL HILL, NC - While menu-labeling laws in New York and California have led to menu boards packed with calorie counts, sandwich chain Pret A Manger has begun adding far more detailed nutritional information, including saturated fat, sugar and sodium levels, to its product labels in stores and online, reports QSR.com.
With stores in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., the news source writes that Pret has included calorie counts on its labels for the past several years (even when not required to do so), but this new level of information is designed to provide greater transparency to consumers, according to Martin Bates, the company€™s president of U.S. operations.
"People are getting more discerning €" and our customers are certainly getting more discerning €" and they want to know more," he told the news source. "We€™ve always posted nutritionals on our website, so we just wanted to dig a bit deeper to allow our customers to make better-informed choices."
Bates said while calorie counts are a good start for restaurant chains, they don€™t always provide the complete nutritional picture.
"It€™s about telling a fuller story," he said, "about giving people the choice in their everyday diet and lifestyle."
Bates told the news source that the move toward more information was motivated by consumer requests as well as through an alignment with the company€™s mission: to provide natural, preservative-free and healthy food to its consumers.
"We try and be as aware and conscious of what people want and be sensible as to offering something people can enjoy without it affecting their health in a negative way," Bates said.
Bates predicted that full menu labeling will eventually be required for all restaurant chains, and he pledged to continue offering consumers additional varieties, such as vegan, low-calorie, and low-sodium choices, at his company€™s stores.
"We don€™t get it right all the time, but we try," Bates told QSR.com. "We€™re quite aspirational and we€™re eager to please our fanbase."