Recently, the UK government introduced a new legislation around adding calories to menus as part of their "Tackling Obesity" initiative in 2020: 

“We can confirm that we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses, including restaurants, cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees, to provide calorie labels on the food they sell. 
We will also encourage smaller businesses to voluntarily provide calorie information and will consider extending the requirement to include them in the future.” 

The food and drink we consume gives us our ‘calories in’. Most people rely on eating out for at least one if not two meals a day. Without information about what is being eaten, it is almost impossible to know how many calories are being consumed in a sitting. Providing calorie information on food served outside of the home is one initiative that can support those who are trying to manage their weight. 

Originally, the UK introduced voluntary calorie labelling as part of a 2012 Public Health Responsibility Deal. Over 40 businesses, representing over 9500 outlets signed up to provide calorie information on food prepared to be eaten out of the home. In 2018, the UK public health body Public Health England have launched a campaign to reduce calories in foods by 20% by 2024. 

Like to gain more in-depth knowledge about Calorie Menu Labelling, its background, reasons for introduction and implementation around the globe? This article is for you. 


Calorie menu labelling - what to do?

Calorie labelling should be implemented according to best practice to increase efficacy. 

While interpretation differs slightly between countries, there are common principles that are consistent and have been shown to support informed choice: 

  • Display calorie information consistently for all menu items at the point of choice – usually beside the price of the food item. 
  • Display calories per portion of food or for a whole meal, reflecting what is expected to be consumed – no one wants to get out a calculator when ordering food. 
  • Display contextual calorie information to inform people about the number of calories it is recommended to eat in a day.


How can Nutritics help with calorie labelling?

Calculating the calorie value of your menu items might seem daunting at first, but with help from Nutritics you can determine accurate calorie values for your dishes quickly and easily. 

With Nutritics, you can simply create your own recipes using our extensive databases of foods including the UK national food composition database and many manufacturers' databases that are appropriate for labelling foods in the UK. 

Nutritics will then automatically calculate a full nutrient profile for your recipe based on the ingredients, quantities and cooking methods used. It’s that simple! 

What’s more, Nutritics will also provide you with suggestions on how to improve the nutritional profile of your recipes and products, making it easier for you to provide your customers with the healthier options they desire. 

Nutritics provides flexible plan options so there is something to suit every business no matter how big or small. Our software is simple to use and we have a wide range of training resources and a dedicated support team to help get you up and running.

Why not sign up for a free trial today to see how easy it is to calculate those calories!