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Listing calories on the front of packaging

100df100df Posts: 668Member Member Posts: 668Member Member
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I am making cookies for my daughter to take to a party. I bought Skor candy bars to add to the dough.

I noticed that the calories are listed right on the front. The M&M bags had calories listed on the front too. Then I noticed that some of the "king size" bars didn't list calories but had some sort of language like "king size to share".  Clever marketing there.

Skor bars are a favorite of mine. I had intended to buy an extra one for me to eat. Seeing the 200 calories stopped me. I will try to be happy with a couple of pieces instead of eating 200 calories. Just don't have them to spend right now because of my broken ankle.

I am wondering what the crowd here thinks about requiring calories to be listed on the front like this - separate from the nutrition label. Would it help people to be aware of calories?  Or should we just all be responsible for ourselves and make the effort to read the nutrition label?

edited June 2016
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Replies

  • shinycrazyshinycrazy Posts: 1,083Member Member Posts: 1,083Member Member
    I do like it being there. Also I like it on the fast(casual) food restaurants. More than once it's stopped me in my tracks to think about what I really wanted.
  • MissusMoonMissusMoon Posts: 1,911Member Member Posts: 1,911Member Member
    It's convenient, that's for sure. If it makes people generally stop and think about it, that's good, too.
  • RuatineRuatine Posts: 3,408Member Member Posts: 3,408Member Member
    I'm a big fan of this. I love packaging that shows the calorie count per serving (and what that serving is) on the front of the package. It stopped me buying a frozen pizza the other day. It was a personal size pizza, and I saw the calories on the front said 330 for 1/2 the pizza. While I could have fit it in, I didn't particularly want to be so limited in my eating choices for the rest of the day. Having the calories on the front of package makes it very easy when I'm doing an off-cycle grocery run for something to eat and am not sure what I want to buy.
  • Timshel_Timshel_ Posts: 22,916Member Member Posts: 22,916Member Member
    100df wrote: »
    I am wondering what the crowd here thinks about requiring calories to be listed on the front like this - separate from the nutrition label. Would it help people to be aware of calories?

    I think it is good and it helps. People that don't watch calories, it wouldn't matter if it was the ONLY thing on a label, but for those who do care it is nice.

  • JruzerJruzer Posts: 3,378Member Member Posts: 3,378Member Member
    100df wrote: »
    I am making cookies for my daughter to take to a party. I bought Skor candy bars to add to the dough.

    I noticed that the calories are listed right on the front. The M&M bags had calories listed on the front too. Then I noticed that some of the "king size" bars didn't list calories but had some sort of language like "king size to share".  Clever marketing there.

    Skor bars are a favorite of mine. I had intended to buy an extra one for me to eat. Seeing the 200 calories stopped me. I will try to be happy with a couple of pieces instead of eating 200 calories. Just don't have them to spend right now because of my broken ankle.

    I am wondering what the crowd here thinks about requiring calories to be listed on the front like this - separate from the nutrition label. Would it help people to be aware of calories?  Or should we just all be responsible for ourselves and make the effort to read the nutrition label?

    I think it's a good idea. It's helpful to me to make quick decisions. It also illustrates the primacy of calories. Most people aren't eating a Skor bar to get more niacin.

    I don't object to them not providing calories for "king size" candy bars, though. Maybe that should be for sharing. At a certain point you have to make a cutoff for what constitutes an individual serving. Should a 2-liter bottle of soda list the whole thing as a single serving, just because some people might consume it that way?
  • courtneylykins5courtneylykins5 Posts: 168Member Member Posts: 168Member Member
    It can be misleading. Often calories are listed as packaged. When some packaged foods are prepared, the calorie count is much higher. Boxed mac & cheese is a good example of this. So while having the calories listed on the front is helpful, it's important to know if that's the whole story
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Posts: 8,675Member Member Posts: 8,675Member Member
    Though with make and cheese on the back it usually says lists calories for prepared and unprepared. I know that's not the front but it takes an extra 2 seconds to turn the package over to look
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Posts: 3,933Member Member Posts: 3,933Member Member
    I like this when I'm trying to choose the best option from the vending machine at work. There's no way to pick up the item and check out the back in that situation.
    Same here. For every other situation, the person who is likely to pay attention to these things and care is likely the same person who would take the couple of seconds to turn the box around and look at the back.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,536Member Member Posts: 9,536Member Member
    100df wrote: »
    I am wondering what the crowd here thinks about requiring calories to be listed on the front like this - separate from the nutrition label.

    My hunch is that it isn't required, some companies are doing it themselves for marketing reasons. If you expect a candy bar to be 250 or 300 cals and this one says it's 200, suddenly it seems like a good "deal."
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    Does Mars make Skor bars? They've started a campaign to address overeating.

    It doesn't really matter to me where the calories are. I've never had a hard time turning the package over to read the ingredients/nutrition labels.
  • 100df100df Posts: 668Member Member Posts: 668Member Member
    100df wrote: »
    I am wondering what the crowd here thinks about requiring calories to be listed on the front like this - separate from the nutrition label.

    My hunch is that it isn't required, some companies are doing it themselves for marketing reasons. If you expect a candy bar to be 250 or 300 cals and this one says it's 200, suddenly it seems like a good "deal."

    I don't think it's required now but wondering if it should be. I am sure you are right in that it's a marketing ploy now.

    One other interesting thing I noticed is that there were very few regular size candy bars available for sale. Most were king size or whatever they call the larger size.
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    I like the idea of it being there, but I don't like the idea of requiring companies to do it. That falls more along the lines of political debate rather than anything health related though.
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Turning packages over is a form of exercise.
    Does Mars make Skor bars? They've started a campaign to address overeating.

    It doesn't really matter to me where the calories are. I've never had a hard time turning the package over to read the ingredients/nutrition labels.

    While I agree that everybody can turn the packages over, it is useful to be able to survey items without having to handle each one to inspect their nutritional content.

    Also useful fro vending machines.
    edited June 2016
  • Need2Exerc1seNeed2Exerc1se Posts: 13,589Member Member Posts: 13,589Member Member
    I like this when I'm trying to choose the best option from the vending machine at work. There's no way to pick up the item and check out the back in that situation.

    Ah, good point. I don't buy from vending machines often so that didn't even occur to me.
  • RuatineRuatine Posts: 3,408Member Member Posts: 3,408Member Member
    moe0303 wrote: »
    I like the idea of it being there, but I don't like the idea of requiring companies to do it. That falls more along the lines of political debate rather than anything health related though.

    I completely agree with this.
    I like this when I'm trying to choose the best option from the vending machine at work. There's no way to pick up the item and check out the back in that situation.

    I also do this for the vending machines at my office. I occasionally pick up a snack from them - packet of chips, jerky, etc. - and it's helpful to see the calories listed on the front of the package to determine what my best choice might be.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,536Member Member Posts: 9,536Member Member
    100df wrote: »
    I don't think it's required now but wondering if it should be.

    I wouldn't have a strong objection.

    Personally, I'm willing to find the nutrition label and read the calories (and multiply) when it's important to me. A lot of people who aren't willing to do that would benefit from it, though, and putting it "in your face" would reach these people. My hunch is these people outnumber us by at least 100:1, just look around outside if you disagree. I think raising everybody's standard of living is a good thing.
  • VintageFelineVintageFeline Posts: 6,782Member Member Posts: 6,782Member Member
    I think it's required or an agreed standard among food manufacturers in the UK. I like it, makes for slightly quicker decision making and sometimes turning a pre-packaged meal or tart or something of that ilk, upside down, ruins it! So no squash factor. It's usually per prepared portion but states that on there too. (We have the traffic light system too, which is less helpful I think as it demonises fat).
  • tlflag1620tlflag1620 Posts: 1,358Member Member Posts: 1,358Member Member
    I think it can be helpful. However it is usually labeled as "X number of calories" per serving so you still have to turn over the package to find out just how much a serving is (some of the labels say per bar, or per pack if it's more of an individually packaged item, but for larger packages you'd still need to know what a "serving" is). And for me it would be pretty well useless. I generally don't concern myself with calorie counts of foods (sacrilege around here I know, lol). I'm more interested in the macros and ingredients when making food decisions, so I'd still have to flip the package over.
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