FDA Finalizes Menu Labeling Rules Affecting Convenience Stores

New FDA menu labeling regulations bad for convenience stores and small businesses.

November 25, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) expressed disapproval of the sweeping new menu labeling regulations imposed on convenience stores and other food establishments including grocery stores, movie theaters, and vending machines by the Food and Drug Administration earlier today. 

“The FDA has clearly gone beyond congressional intent by expanding the types of businesses that fall under this law to include convenience stores,” said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president for government relations for NACS. “The one-size-fits-all approach that FDA announced today would treat convenience stores as though they are restaurants, when in fact they operate very differently. It is now up to the bipartisan, bicameral opponents of this regulatory overreach to enact legislation introduced in both houses of Congress that reasonably defines a restaurant as a business that derives at least 50% of revenue from prepared food.”

The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, requires a national, uniform nutrition-disclosure standard for foodservice establishments. The broad rules announced today seek to establish this standard.  

NACS has long advocated to the FDA that any menu labeling regulations must account for differences between the convenience store business model and a chain restaurant business model. The new rules announced today don’t recognize how convenience stores, grocery stores, delivery operations and other approaches to foodservice are different than restaurants. Further, the intent of law was designed for big chain restaurants with simple, standardized menus at all locations and Congress’s intent was to ensure those menus provide clear, understandable nutrition information.

NACS currently supports H.R. 1249, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, that was introduced by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and S. 1756 that was introduced by Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME), both of which are currently pending in Congress. The legislation would codify a less burdensome approach to menu labeling by limiting the provision in the health care law to establishments that derive 50 percent or more of their revenue from food that is intended for immediate consumption or prepared and processed on-site.