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    NRA Argues Labeling Laws Should Apply to C-stores

    Trade group cites that foodservice sales are growing at retail outlets.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to soon issue final menu labeling regulations, requiring restaurants and other food establishments -- including convenience stores -- with 20 or more same-brand locations to display calories on menus, menu boards and drive-thrus.

    The convenience store industry is fighting to exempt itself from this rule. In fact, as CSNews Online previously reported, Brad Call, chairman of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, as well as vice president of adventure culture at Maverik Inc., wrote a commentary piece in Roll Call, calling the proposed FDA rule akin to fitting into hand-me-down clothes.

    "Anyone with older siblings or cousins remembers the joys of hand-me-down clothes. They were a common-sense approach for mom, of course. But somehow those outfits never fit right, felt right or looked right -- they sagged here and bunched up there, and certainly weren't your favorite color or style," Call wrote on Aug. 6. "Why? Because they were really meant for someone else -- and not for you."

    The National Restaurant Association (NRA) fought back on Thursday, when Scott DeFife, executive vice president, policy and government affairs for the association, penned his own piece in Roll Call, arguing that c-stores should not be exempt from the menu-labeling rule.

    "Our convenience store friends are trying to exempt themselves from these requirements although there is a fast-growing market of restaurant-type foods being sold in their stores," wrote DeFife. "In fact, convenience and grocery stores are among the fastest-growing foodservice markets in recent years. Between 2007 and 2012, foodservice sales in these kinds of retail businesses jumped 25 percent, nearly double the 13-percent gain in traditional restaurant sales during the same period, according to National Restaurant Association research."

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