Starbucks drinkers may want to cover their eyes the next time they order that Venti double caramel frappuccino, extra shot of caramel, extra whip. The company has announced it will start posting its calorie counts on menus nationwide June 25.
The Seattle-based coffee chain is making a move ahead of a pending federal requirement by the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will require businesses to clearly label calorie counts by 2014. Any chain restaurant with more than 20 locations will need to comply.
"Menu labeling is yet another step to extend our commitment to wellness, ensuring our customers and partners [employees] have the information they need to make informed decisions and understand all the ways that they can customize their Starbucks beverages to be within their desired calorie range," said Mary Wagner, a Starbucks senior vice president, in a news release.
The calorie counts are nothing new for California residents. A menu-labeling measure was passed in the state back in 2008.
Starbucks also lists nutrition facts for all of its beverages and food items online and provides printed brochures in store. In 1997, Starbucks released sugar-free syrup; in 2007, it announced 2% milk as the standard for its core beverages; and this summer, salad bowls with less than 450 calories were added to the menu.