Eating Out, Takeaway and Delivery Sector Guidance on Calorie Reductions | 2020 Advice

Katie Paterson

October 5, 2020

Restaurant Calorie Reduction Guidance

Over 13 million adults in the UK are obese, and with childhood obesity on the rise, the government are under pressure to put guidelines in place.

Covid-19 poses a higher threat to those who suffer from obesity. The government have issued a statement in a recent article claiming those who carry excess weight are at an “increased risk of hospitalisation and death” from Covid-19. Reducing the calories in the eating out, takeaway and delivery sector is a step in the right direction.

Each sector in the food industry has different targets in place to achieve their individual goals. Retailers and manufacturers have a 10% reduction target. Read more about their guidelines here

Eating Out, Takeaway and Delivery

As part of the government’s plans to decrease the rate of obesity in the UK, restaurants have been given an average of a 20% calorie reduction target. Public Health England (PHE) have set this target higher than the 10% target of that for retailers and manufacturers because of the relative differences in the calories within the foods they offer.

The eating out, takeaway and delivery sector have been advised to focus on their most popular meals. PHE has also advised to reduce portion sizes. However, to be aware of a ‘tipping point’ where customers order two meals instead of one because the portions are not satiating, and consequently, eating more calories.

The 20% target is broken down into different types of food, some have a higher reduction target than others. Where there is less room for reduction, lower percentage ambitions have been set. The different targets for each food groups are:

20% reduction target
Main meal
Starter/Side dish/Small plate

10% reduction target
Children’s bundle meals
Pastry products

5% reduction target
Savory snacks

Another method that the government are implementing to reduce obesity is introducing calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector. Giving customers the knowledge to make informed, healthier decisions should reduce their overall calorie intake.

Report Timeline

The eating out, takeaway and delivery sector have been asked to achieve greater progress than asked for by 2024. Restaurants will need to focus on reducing the calories or portion sizes of their biggest sellers as these are consumed more regularly.

Public Health England will publish progress reports in 2022, 2024 and 2025 covering August to September of the previous year. PHE are expecting to see reductions in “simple average levels of calories”, the amount of high calorie products being sold, and a reduction in portion sizes for popular meals.

The next 18 months will see PHE working with the food industry to see how calorie reductions are progressing. If it seems that some methods of calorie cutting will be ineffective, PHE will update the government and different actions could be put in place. After 2024, it will be the government’s decision if more draconian measures will be put in place to further fight obesity.

How NT Assure can help!

We can help eating out, takeaway and delivery businesses reach their calorie reduction targets through the new Calorie Target feature on Smart Supplier 2020. Smart Supplier will intuitively calculate your progress and communicate with Public Health England.

Smart Supplier lets you select a food category/dish and immediately see if it reaches the 20/10% calorie reduction ambitions, making compliance effortless and simple. The software will report back to senior teams, keeping everyone in your business up to date on how you are reaching calorie reduction targets.

Integrating a Calorie Target feature within Smart Supplier means simultaneously controlling data whilst complying to legislation. We can help build a report on your products across your portfolio and analyse the calorie values against the calorie reduction target categories from PHE.

We also offer software to automate nutritional information. Smart Chef shows the nutritional profile of each recipe allowing you to see if new products are complying to targets as soon as a recipe is built. This allows you to build a new menu whilst complying with calorie reduction targets.

For more information on how our software can transform your business, call 01933 272089 or email to book in a consultation with one of our software specialists.

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