Extreme Pita first national Canadian fast-food chain to earn Health Check approval

Company CEO challenges Quick Service Restaurant to adopt full disclosure in reporting nutritional information

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 27 // PRNewswire // - Extreme Pita today announced the launch of six new menu items that meet the nutrient criteria of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check program.

The Mississauga-based franchisor of over 265 Extreme Pita locations across North America becomes the first large quick service restaurant (QSR) in Canada to join Health Check, setting a new standard for offering healthy options and providing nutrition information in the fast-food industry.

The new menu items—two pitas for adults and four for children—meet the rigorous Health Check standards for various nutrient criteria, including sodium and fat. Extreme Pita will now also prominently display the nutritional and caloric information of all its pitas on its store menus—the only QSR in Canada to do so.

"Extreme Pita has always stood for inspired healthy eating and our new menu items set a whole new standard of transparency to help customers make informed decisions," said Alex Rechichi, CEO and co-founder, Extreme Brandz. "Maintaining good health is a top priority for Canadians. It's time that the fast-food industry keeps up with what is happening in food labelling by revealing and detailing calories and sodium percentages clearly on their menus.

"I challenge all QSRs in Canada to follow suit—if these restaurant chains have nothing to hide, they shouldn't have a problem with fully disclosing all factors in its menu."

To meet the Health Check criteria, Extreme Pita worked closely with its vendors and the Heart and Stroke Foundation for over a year to ensure the new menu items would meet all the requirements by minimizing sodium and fat without compromising the taste of the pitas. The amount of sodium reduced through the introduction of the new Health Check menu items represents approximately 1 ton annually across Canada.

"The Heart and Stroke Foundation is thrilled to have Extreme Pita join the Health Check program, offering healthy pita sandwiches on both its adult and kids menus," says Bobbe Wood, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "And we applaud them for going further and providing nutrition information for all of their offerings giving Canadians the information they need to make informed choices."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check Program was created to help Canadians make healthy choices. The Foundation's team of registered dietitians evaluate each grocery product or restaurant menu item against nutrient criteria. If they meet these standards, they are allowed to join the program.

The Health Check pitas are now available in all Extreme Pita restaurants and include the following items:

Adult menu

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Thai Beef Pitas

Kids menu

  • Sweet Little Chicken
  • BBQ4U
  • Beffosaurus Rex
  • Fee-Fi-Fo- Hummus

About Extreme Brandz

Extreme Pita, part of the Extreme Brandz family of quick service restaurants, is committed to creating the freshest, healthiest pitas for its guests. Co-founded by brothers Alex and Mark Rechichi, the first location was opened in Waterloo, Canada in 1997. Today there are over 265 locations across North America. In 2011, Extreme Brandz ranked on Entrepreneur magazine's list of top restaurant franchises. Today there are over 300 locations of Extreme Brandz, Mucho Burrito and PurBlendz across North America. For more information, visit www.extremebrandz.com

About Health Check

Health Check is one way the Heart and Stroke Foundation helps Canadians make healthy choices. All Health Check items meet nutrient criteria developed by the Foundation's registered dietitians based on recommendations in Canada's Food Guide. Health Check works directly with food companies and restaurants to improve the food supply by challenging them to meet stronger nutrient criteria and offer Canadians more healthy choices. Health Check is the only non-profit, independent, and neutral food information program in the country. For more information on Health Check as well as healthy eating resources, tips and recipes visit healthcheck.org.

SOURCE Extreme Pita

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