Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Guidance offered on new food calorie labelling regulations, which folds in no and low drinks

Published:  31 January, 2022

New legislation is set to be implemented this year, requiring businesses with over 250 employees to display calories information for food products sold to consumers.

The new regulations do not apply to beer, wine and spirits, although beverages with an alcoholic content of under 1.2% fall under the law's remit, potentially impacting the no and low-alcohol sector.

However, recent market review released by the Portman Group has shown that almost half (47%) of alcoholic drinks sold in the UK now feature calorie information on labels, despite no legal requirement to do so.

Due to come into force in April 2022, UKHospitality has published guidance on the new Calorie Labelling legislation, to help operators adjust to the new framework.

It is intended to help affected businesses and to ensure consistent enforcement post-April and is therefore available to anyone in the sector, not just UKHospitality members.

The guidance has been compiled in conjunction with the UKHospitality Nutrition Group and covers a digestible summary of the legislation as well as answers to FAQs (frequently asked questions).

Given the complexity of handling the new measures, particularly at such a challenging time for operators, the advice will be updated on a rolling basis as additional queries and details emerge.

The document offers guidance on issues such as: which foods and business are exempt from the requirements; examples of food and meals that will need to display calorie information; how the legislation affects franchised businesses and tied pubs, and what calorie information must be shown, and how it must be displayed.

The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 were proposed by the UK's Department of Health and Social Care, designed to tackle growing health issues such as obesity.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, commented: “These new rules come into force at a very challenging time for our industry. Not only are businesses battling a workforce crisis and operating cost pressures – at the same time as managing crippling debt levels and depleted cash reserves – this April will see the triple whammy of a rise in VAT, business rates, and labour costs.”

She added: “While working to ensure the sector is prepared and able to comply with the new guidance, we at UKHospitality are working hard to press the case for a delay in implementation and a light touch on enforcement of the rules post-April.”