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COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a new installment of his video series with Convenience Store News parent company, Stagnito Business Information + Edgell Communications, Phil Lempert discusses a new report from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina that compared the calories of more than 3,000 entrees at fast-casual and fast-food chains across the country.
The topline finding is that despite public perception that the offerings at these outlets are healthier, entrees served at fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera actually tend to be higher-calorie than fast-food entrees. According to lead author Danielle Schoffman, the research revealed that the average fast-casual meal had 200 more calories than the average fast-food meal.
The researchers examined the calorie counts of 3,193 entrees representing 24 fast-food chains and 28 fast-casual chains. The average fast-casual entree had about 760 calories, compared to the typical fast-food entree that had about 560 calories, Lempert noted, citing the report recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
According to Lempert, the opportunity for supermarkets and c-stores with fresh prepared-food programs is to clearly post calorie information and even compare their offerings to similar offerings at chain restaurants. As this sector continues to grow, it will be critical to remain focused on what is top of mind for customers — taste, of course; but touting calories, nutritional information and sourcing of recipes and ingredients can also put an operator ahead of its competition, Lempert says.
As CSNews Online previously reported, Lempert and Stagnito + Edgell forged an exclusive strategic alliance that allows Lempert to provide content and programming to multiple CPG retail media brands within the Stagnito + Edgell portfolio, including Convenience Store News and Progressive Grocer.
Lempert is founder of The Lempert Report, a food trends publication, and SupermarketGuru.com, a leading online resource for food safety, products, trends and shopping tips that attracts more than nine million visitors annually.
Click above to watch the video.