New Obamacare regulations targeting the fast food and grocery store market that require signs detailing calorie and nutritional information on every product will force pizza makers like Domino's to post up to 34 million different signs in every store: One for every possible pizza order.
"It's not like a Big Mac. Pizza is customizable, there are options to factor in," said Jenny Fouracre-Petko, legislative director for Domino's and a member of the trade group American Pizza Community. "There are 34 million pizza combinations. We've done the math."
Ditto for the grocery stores, which are shifting to providing more fresh made and baked goods, said Erik Lieberman, counsel for the Food Marketing Institute. "Consider just one fresh-baked blueberry muffin. If one is sold, you need a nutrition sign or sticker. If a half dozen are sold, a different one is required. Same if you sell a dozen."
Lieberman predicted that the new regulations being finalized by the Food and Drug Administration for chains with 20 stores or more will cost the grocery industry $1 billion. He said stores average 1,500 fresh made items each.
Fouracre-Petko said that just posting generic nutrition signs in Domino's will cost $4,700 per location, senseless, she said, because virtually all Domino's customers order by phone and get their food delivered, so most will never see them. She said that 10 percent of pizza customers enter a Domino's store. "Coughing up almost $5,000 for something like this will hurt," she said.
Lieberman said that consumers will get stuck with the bill. "It's one more cost consumers are going to have to pay for," he said.
Legislation has been introduced to trim the reach of the Obamacare rules which are aimed at advancing consumer health. Congress could pass the "Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2012" this year, said Lieberman and Fouracre-Petko.