Following a government consultation on calorie labelling in 2018, it has been confirmed that Mandatory Calorie Labelling aimed at “tackling obesity” is set to be enforced on 6th April 2022. And we’re here to explain what that means, and how Erudus can help businesses comply…
Mandatory Calorie Labelling is a piece of legislation that will be directed towards large food businesses (businesses with 250 or more employees) in the out of home sector – for example, restaurants, cafés, takeaways, bakeries and Caterers.
The aim of the new legislation is to provide accessible information that may encourage consumers to make healthier food choices when eating out. Alongside this, there is hope that introducing Mandatory Calorie Labelling will encourage businesses to make steps towards reformulating the food and drink they offer, and provide lower calorie alternatives.
Businesses that qualify for Mandatory Calorie Labelling regulations must do the following for their dishes and food items:
1. Display the energy content of the food in kilocalories (kcal)
The energy content of the food and drink being sold must be calculated in kilocalories (kcal), and be displayed in specific areas depending on where the product is positioned. For example:
Whilst the primary menu provided to the customer must have the energy content clearly visible, businesses can provide a menu without calorie information at the express request of the customer.
2. Reference the size of the portion to which the calorie information relates
The calorie information provided must be given per portion (for example per item, per scoop, per slice) and not per weight or measure, and businesses will need to specify the size of the portion that the calorie information is in reference to. Additionally, if an item is prepared for more than one person, the number of people it is intended to serve should be shown. For example, if a whole cake consists of 10 slices but is served by the slice, the calorie information must be provided for that single serving, but it should be noted that the cake in its entirety consists of 10 servings. So the consumer knows they are eating 1/10 of a cake.
That being said, if a product is intended to be a single serving, businesses are not required to state that a single portion serves one, as it is suggested that the product description is sufficient enough.
If a product is chosen by the customer from items on display (e.g. a piece of brownie from a tray of brownies) businesses should make clear reference to the size of the portion to which the calorie information relates (e.g. chocolate brownie = 350kcal per slice).
3. Display the statement that “Adults need around 2000 kcal a day”
Finally, a clear reference needs to be made regarding an individual’s average daily calorie needs. The statement “Adults need around 2000 kcal a day” must be displayed in specific locations detailed below:
The wording used for this must be the statement shown in quotation marks:
“Adults need around 2000 kcal a day”
This is prescribed by the Regulations and cannot be amended.
The information businesses are required to display must be easily visible, clearly legible, and not in any way hidden or obscured.
There are some foods that are exempt under the new legislation, these have been described as the following:
There are also certain foods for particular audiences that are exempt under the legislation, as follows:
More specific examples of products that are exempt from the legislation:
The Erudus Recipe Builder is a tool that automatically aggregates nutritional values, costs and allergy statements as you add ingredients, and summarises your recipe into a single, easy to download and print PDF. It’s the perfect reference for checking and recording the nutritional and allergen content of the dishes you’re serving (by portion or by dish as a whole) and can help you budget your menu too.
Essentially, you can use Erudus Recipe Builder to easily pull together the information needed to comply with Mandatory Calorie Labelling, in a format that’s ready to be displayed on a menu or product label in line with the new legislation.
If you would like any further information regarding the Erudus Recipe Builder please contact our Support team via email@example.com, or on 0333 121 89 99.