Groups Back New Menu Labeling Legislation In U.S. Senate
The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Food Marketing Institute, and National Grocers Assn., hailed legislation introduced in the United States Senate. The groups praised the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (S.1756), as a thoughtful approach to providing the necessary flexibility and understanding of convenience and retail store food service operations. The bill is similar to legislation introduced in the House earlier this year. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO.) and Angus King (I-Maine) limits the menu labeling provision to establishments that derive 50 percent or more of their revenue from food that is intended for immediate consumption or prepared and processed on-site. Prepackaged food would not be considered in this equation. Some convenience stores that have business models similar to those of restaurants, however, would still be covered.
For those convenience stores that would be covered by federal menu-labeling requirements, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act provides more flexibility with compliance. Retailers could select from several approaches in providing calorie information. For instance, pizza sellers could provide calories either per slice or for the whole pizza. The legislation also would allow retailers more flexibility in providing calorie ranges. "The scope of the nutrition labeling provision as proposed by Congress was to provide a uniform standard for chain restaurant menu labeling, not grocery stores," said Peter J. Larkin, President and CEO, NGA. "NGA applauds Senators Blunt and King for introducing this commonsense legislation, and we look forward to working with Congress to pass this key legislation and prevent such a large and costly regulatory burden from passing onto our members."
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N.Y Gas Stations Worry Over Generation Conversion Costs
Hundreds of gasoline stations situated by major highway exits or designated evacuation routes are concerned that state grants are not paying enough for generator conversions,
New York is giving $10,000 to $30,000 grants as part of its Fuel NY Initiative to help stations pay for generators and wiring for backup power usage during emergencies. New York requires gas stations located within a half mile of hurricane evacuation routes or highway exits to have transfer switches for portable generators or to install a permanent generator by April 1.
However, while $10,000 adequately covers the transfer switch work, $13,000 falls short for onsite generators. “These guys have to pay for it, and some of them are complaining,” said Peter Kischak, president of the Service Station Dealers of Greater New York. The grants are supposed to cover generators to connect all gas dispensers, fuel pumps connected to underground tanks, basic lighting and cash registers. But the difficult part has been that electrical systems have become more interconnected and separating them has been hard, said Mr. Kischak. Another problem is that some stations have older systems that require updating prior to rewiring for generators. However, the state is sticking by its grant decisions. “[Gas stations] can be up and fully running within the subsidy that’s provided by the state,” said state Sen. David Carlucci. “This is a mandate that is being backed up.”
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Chicago Seeks To Ban Electronic Cigarettes
Fresh on the heels of a cigarette tax hike proposal of 50 cents a pack, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to ban e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited and eliminate the sale of menthol and flavored tobacco products in a wider area around schools.
Working with two aldermen, the mayor is seeking to target products that he said lures teen smokers into a lifetime of addiction. Their first ordinance would regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products and subject them to the city’s smoking ban. As a result, the devices would be moved behind the counter of retail stores, with their sale to minors prohibited. Adults would be banned from smoking them in nearly all indoor spaces except private homes and vehicles, designated smoking hotel rooms, and at least 10 feet away from building entrances. The city would also license e-cigarette dealers. Their second ordinance would ban the sale of menthol flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of Chicago schools, five times the existing radius.
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Latest Word in C-Store News...
• ”Made to Order: The Sheetz Story,” hit store last week, The book is a collaborative effort of the Sheetz family that tells the story of the company’s beginnings from local dairy to more than 400 Sheetz convenience stores in six states. The book is now available in bookstores, at Sheetz stores and on e-readers.
• Altria announced last week 7 cents per pack price hikes among its PMUSA cigarette portfolio and for its Marlboro Snus tins and flip top boxes.
• The Waits General Store in Vermont operated by Donna and Bill Macdonald, (former Vermont Grocers Assn. chairman), has closed its business after 23 years of service.
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