Saturday, November 19, 2011

Epistolary Pastry Petulance: An open letter to Peet's Coffee

I am posting this on my blog because, when I tried to send this via the feedback form on the Peet's site, it said "The specified URL cannot be found." And because it may help you to know this yourself. Did you know that restaurants with 20 or more outlets are required to include calorie labeling on menus, and to provide additional nutrition information on request? Very useful info. At any rate: rant follows:

To: Peet's Coffee

Let me start by saying I love Peet's, not least because you actually take tea seriously. I'm grateful to have a place to go that has a wide range of teas and treats them well. 

This letter to you relates to the labeling of your pastries.

Like many people, I'm counting calories, and I'm very grateful that you provide nutritional information about your baked goods.  I'm especially glad because I was surprised at how little relation there was between those items that were low calorie and those labeled "low fat" or "reduced fat." 

It was very strange to see that (for example) the Reduced Fat Fruit and Nut Scone had 100 more calories--and 90 more calories from fat--than the Cranberry Walnut scone.  Is not Cranberry a fruit and Walnut a nut? What on earth makes the "reduced fat" scone merit that name when so many other things on the menu have less fat and fewer calories?

When a customer sees that something is labeled reduced fat, we expect that it will, in fact, have less fat than other items that are not labeled reduced fat.  The designations given to your pastries now seem ambiguous at best and deceptive at worst.  I would urge you to revisit your labeling policy to make it easier for your customers to make the choices that are best for their health and dietary needs.

Incidentally, I had the whole wheat honey bran muffin. It was delicious.

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