Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calorie Clash: Freshii Calls Ontario Menu Regulation 'Overly Simplistic'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calorie Clash: Freshii Calls Ontario Menu Regulation 'Overly Simplistic'

Article excerpt

Freshii opposes Ontario calorie count regulation

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TORONTO - A regulation requiring restaurants in Ontario to display calorie counts on menus is "overly simplistic," Freshii said Tuesday after inspectors were dispatched to ensure the company was complying.

The Toronto-based chain voiced opposition to the province's Healthy Menus Choices Act, which has been in effect since Jan. 1, but said it will comply upon threat of fines.

"We believe that displaying only calories on a menu is misleading for our guests," Freshii (TSX:FRII) said in a statement.

Founded in Toronto in 2005, Freshii promotes itself as an alternative to its greasier fast-food competitors, selling salads, wraps and smoothies to appeal to a more health-conscious customer. Its motto is "Count nutrients, not calories."

On its website, the company makes a point of discouraging customers from focusing on the number of calories they consume, saying that can prevent them from considering nutrient-rich food that may also be high in calories.

The Health Ministry said Tuesday it would not budge from its stance, saying eating too many calories is a key contributor to weight gain and menu labelling can influence consumer behaviour.

The ministry said it will continue to seek compliance with the rules after learning from inspectors that multiple Freshii locations appear to be contravening the act, which applies to food service providers with 20 or more locations. …

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