Close Menu

Calorie labelling on menus would put ‘considerable burden’ on UK pub trade

The head of the British Beer and Pub Association has warned that the UK government’s plans to make calorie labelling on pub and restaurant menus compulsory would place a “considerable burden” on the already struggling on-trade.

(Photo: coldsnowstorm/iStock)

The UK government is considering proposals that would make it mandatory for restaurants, cafes and takeaways to include the calorie information of their dishes on menus.

The consultation, which was launched in June, has been proposed to further the government’s efforts to halve the number of obese children in the UK by 2030.

However Brigid Simmonds, the chief executive of the BBPA, which lobbies for the interests of those working in the UK’s pub and brewing trade, has said that calorie labelling would put “considerable” cost pressures on business owners, particularly on independently-run premises which often have seasonally-changing menus.

“The BBPA understands the Government’s agenda on obesity, but the majority of Britain’s 50,000 pubs are run as small businesses,” Brigid Simmonds said.

“The burden and cost of the proposed calorie labelling will be considerable. Seasonal menus and locally sourced meals which change frequently and depend on the availability of key ingredients make calorie labelling challenging. This could also mean that calorie labelling will result in significantly reduced choice for the consumer.”

“Consumers are capable of making informed choices for themselves and their families. Often a meal out in a pub is an affordable treat and the choices now available to customers are greater than ever.”

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC on the launch of the project that the government could exempt small restaurants from having to list calorie counts, but that “all the big chains that we go to, they must give people that information”.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No