The National Restaurant Association issued a statement praising passage of a provision that will provide more nutrition information to consumers in chain restaurants across the country. The rule was a component of health care legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.

The agreement creates a national, uniform standard for chain restaurants with 20 or more locations that would provide customers with a wide range of nutrition information -- mirroring the information available on packaged foods -- at the point of purchase. Caloric information would be highlighted on menus, menu boards, and drive-thru boards.

"The passage of this provision is a win for consumers and restaurateurs," said Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. "We know the importance of providing consumers with the information they want and need, no matter in which part of the country they are dining. This legislation will replace a growing patchwork of varying state and local regulations with one consistent national standard that helps consumers make choices that are best for themselves and their families."

Sweeney recognized several of the Senate and House members who were crucial in securing bipartisan support for the nutrition information language, including Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and House members Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The National Restaurant Association co-led an industry-wide coalition that worked proactively with stakeholders to provide an approach that gives consumers one more way to live a healthy lifestyle. The nutrition information provision was publicly supported by industry groups, health and consumer advocacy groups, as well as a bipartisan group of House and Senate members. Enactment of the national standard will negate the need for states and localities from pursuing their own legislation or regulations going forward, the Association states.

Source: National Restaurant Association

NMA announces affiliation with Chicago association

The Chicago Midwest Meat Association (CMMA) and National Meat Association (NMA) are pleased to announce an affiliation, effective immediately. The affiliation includes NMA providing to the CMMA members regular member services, including NMA’s regular member mailings, participation in all NMA events alongside NMA members, and a special listing as an Affiliate Association in NMA’s Membership Directory.

Nicole Makowski, president of CMMA and president of Real Sausage in Chicago said “The Board of CMMA voted unanimously to support this affiliation, because it will strengthen the CMMA members by providing them with information services and access to NMA’s well-respected industry resources. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to share resources and consider this will be a win-win for both organizations.”

Barry Carpenter, NMA CEO, said: “We welcome affiliation with established groups like the CMMA, and expect their input to strengthen the role of NMA as a major organization speaking on behalf of the meat industry. Along with the long-time affiliation of Eastern Meat Packers Association (EMPA), NMA can speak with greater knowledge and authority on behalf of the full spectrum of meat industry firms on policy issues at the national level.”

The Chicago Midwest Meat Association is comprised of meat packers, processors and wholesalers located in the Chicago-Midwest region. The CMMA, was initially created for the purpose of Union Camaraderie, but currently represents a broader spectrum including: education, fund raisers, social events, grievance committees, and collective bargaining agreements for both UFCW and Teamsters.

Source: NMA

Sara Lee sponsors dream home contest

The State Fair corn dog brand, part of Sara Lee Corp., has launched its national promotion, “Win a $500,000 Dream Home,” granting consumers the opportunity to win $500,000 toward a dream home.

“State Fair Brand is #1 in the corn dog category with a family-friendly platform,” said Christina Saikus, assistant brand manager with State Fair. “It’s important for us to engage and connect with our consumers on a personal level, and providing this opportunity to win a dream home is a perfect way to connect and engage.”

The promotion aims to give away $500,000 toward a Dream Home in addition to home furnishings, kitchen and outdoor appliances and free corn dogs through the State Fair branded promotional microsite, To play, participants must look for game codes in specially marked packages and enter online to try and win instant prizes or collect rooms to build a dream house for the grand prize of $500,000. The promotion runs nationwide through November 21, 2010.

“The State Fair Brand is all about “bringing home the fun,” and we believe this promotion will have strong appeal given the economic challenges facing many of today’s average families,” said Saikus.

Source: Sara Lee Corp.