The government have introduced April 2022 as the start date for mandatory calorie labelling in the out of home sector.
All large businesses (over 250 employees) that serve food for their customers will have to provide calorie information on all food and soft drinks. This measure is part of the government’s strategy to tackle obesity and promote healthy lifestyles.
Covid-19 highlighted the health implications that obesity can induce. It has been found that obese and overweight people are more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19 than people of a healthy weight. Living with obesity also increases your chances of developing heart disease, some cancers and diabetes.
Childhood obesity is also on the rise, with a third of all school children overweight at 11 years old, it is important that measures are put in place to aid families to make healthier choices.
We are eating out more often than ever, with 43% of people eating out once or twice a week (pre-pandemic). When eating out, we eat 200+ more calories per day on average, compared to preparing and eating food at home. Restaurant and takeaway meals often serve bigger portions, meaning even more calories.
Regular overconsumption of a relatively small number of calories over time leads to weight gain and may result in individuals becoming overweight or obese.
Calorie labelling is one of many measures that the government are implicating. Other strategies to improve the public’s health include salt, sugar and calorie reduction targets, banned tv advertisements for junk food before 9pm, and a ban on “Buy one get one free” deals on unhealthy foods.
Where will the calorie information be displayed?
According to the legislation, calorie information will be provided to consumers at the point of choice where prices are displayed for example on a menu at a restaurant. If a menu/meal choice is located at several points e.g., an app and a digital board, calorie information should be shown at all points.
Second party delivery companies will also need to include calorie information on their apps at the point of choice.
The information needs to be displayed whether that is sides, toppings, drinks, seasonal dishes, specials, buffets, salad bars and sauces.
For buffets and build your own style menus, each addition must be individually labelled with a specified portion, for example “One rasher of bacon is 50kcal”.
In addition to displaying the number of total calories, businesses will be required to include a declaration referring to a woman’s recommended daily intake on the menu with the phrase “An adult needs around 2000kcal a day”.
It is very important to have some context behind the calorie labels, contextual labelling has been shown to be more effective at encouraging consumers to purchase fewer calories than simply displaying the calorie total.
How to implement calorie labelling effectively into your business?
We are food safety consultants that help restaurants, retailers and food business operators reach the calorie, salt and sugar 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 also report back to senior teams, keeping everyone in your business up to date on your progress reaching the calorie reductions target.
Integrating a Calorie Target feature within Smart Supplier means simultaneously controlling data whilst complying to legislations. 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 the calorie reduction targets.
Our nutritional information software, ensures that your point-of-sale calorie information is always accurate and up to date, seamlessly connecting to your website as a digital menu.
Our digital menu solution makes calorie labelling easy. Nutrition information is taken from Smart Supplier & Smart Chef, or your existing systems, and uploaded via an API to Smart Menu. If there are any changes in the supply chain effecting the calories in your dishes, Smart Menu will automatically update your menus. Your customers will always have access to up-to-date information.
If you want to implement calorie labelling now, call 01933 272089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a consultation with one of our software specialists.
To watch our explainer video for calorie labelling, click here.
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