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June 24th, 2013
07:12 PM ET

Starbucks to post calorie counts on menus nationwide

Calorie counts have long been posted on the Starbucks website and in-store pamphlets. Starting Tuesday, the information will also be posted front and center on 11,000 new menu boards, one for each of the company's nationwide locations.

Starbucks customers are very educated consumers, who will not be surprised to know how many calories are in a frappuccino, said Clare O'Connor, of Forbes Magazine.

"This customer maybe well treat themselves with a cake pop, but they're also the same person who's going to spend $30 on a spinning class that same day to burn it off," said O'Connor.

The move comes ahead of the Food and Drug Administration requirement that will force all chain restaurants to post nutritional information by the end of 2014.

"What Starbucks is doing now is being in front of, I don't even think you can call it a trend, I think it's a movement towards transparency in all things consumer," said O'Connor.

Starbucks offers many variations for most of its drinks. Calories will vary depending on the size of the cup, but the basic information will be there for all to see.

For those in New York City, the posting of nutritional information is nothing new. In 2008 the city's board of health voted unanimously to have all chain restaurants post the facts.

Some studies have shown posting nutrition facts makes no discernible difference for most consumers. But a 2010 study from Stanford University found that after such information was posted in New York City restaurants, customers reduced their caloric intake by 6%.

Fast food chains like McDonald's and Panera have also gotten ahead of the game, voluntarily sharing information that a tasty lunch may set consumers back several hundred calories.

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