Talk about empty calories.
Greggs, a U.K. bakery chain with over 1,700 locations, is reportedly exercising its “corporate social responsibility agenda” by suggesting that customers purchase its ring-shaped doughnuts rather than its jelly-filled doughnuts, as the former contain fewer calories than the latter due to the empty holes in ring-shaped doughnuts.
PHOTO: ‘BONELESS’ DOUGHNUT CONFUSES SHOPPER, AND LATER, THE INTERNET
The chain has reportedly made the suggestion as part of a larger push toward healthy-eating choices, which include the expansion of lower-calorie offerings, such as its “Balanced Choice” 400-calorie-or-less offerings of soups, sandwiches and breakfast items. The news also comes in response to a government-led push to address the rising rates of childhood obesity in the region, per The Times of London.
“Encouraging healthy eating is a key priority for Greggs and is why we have extended our product range to include more lower-calorie options,” a spokesperson for Greggs said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “When it comes to sweet bakery [items,] these are not diet products but if customers want to treat themselves then we offer more choices at lower calories.”
As far as doughnuts are concerned, Greggs said it has introduced a wider choice of ring doughnuts, which contain fewer calories than the fondant-topped filled doughnuts. The chain also plans to rearrange its in-store displays to more prominently feature the ring-shaped offerings, rather than the filled, or “ball” doughnuts, The Times reports.
News of Greggs’ new doughnut offerings follows remarks made by a chief executive for Greggs at a childhood obesity conference in London. “The ring doughnuts are between 200 and 300 calories, the ball doughnuts are between 300 and 400 calories,” Roger Whiteside explained.
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The company’s move has been mocked by some critics, including Piers Morgan, who shared his feelings on the campaign in a recent edition of “Good Morning Britain.”
“Here’s the thing, it’s still a doughnut. You’re going to get fat,” he said during the broadcast, according to The Sun.
“And yet all you little health warriors go, ‘I’m going to have a McVegan burger for breakfast and a Greggs doughnut with a hole in it and I’m going to lose loads of weight and be healthy.’
“No, you’re going to get really fat and bring your death a little bit closer,” he added.
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The campaign has also come into question on social media, where Twitter users, and even the director of a dental group in London, relayed their skepticism or frustrations.
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Meanwhile, The Times noted that while Greggs’ filled doughnuts may contain more calories, the ring doughnuts have more sugar than the “ball” version. The outlet also suggests that ring doughnuts have a larger surface area and may “absorb more fat when fried.”
A spokesperson for Greggs, however, reiterated that its ring doughnuts were never meant to be described as “diet” versions of its bakery items, but rather a lower-calorie dessert option.