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UKHospitality reacts to new calorie guideline proposal from PHE

New guidelines from PHE outline a proposal to ‘cap calories’ on dishes, meaning it is thought that restaurants and pubs will have to reformulate popular recipes or reduce portion sizes to meet the new limits.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “We are supportive of efforts to promote healthier eating habits and the sector is already taking decisive, proactive action to reformulate menus to reduce calories, increase transparency and offer healthier dishes for customers. Freedom of choice must remain key to the consumer experience, and it is reasonable for people to treat themselves when dining out, whilst still controlling their calorific intake.

“As we stated earlier this year, the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling on menus would likely have a damaging effect – resulting in prices going up for customers and investment in businesses going down; inevitably negatively impacting the overall consumer experience. The new proposal to shrink the size of dishes and cap calories will be yet another burden for operators, and a measure that will ultimately lead to additional costs for many hospitality businesses, as acknowledged by the Treasury.

“This new proposal arrives at a time when not only is the eating out dining sector experiencing turbulent times, but our High Streets are suffering. Hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants are saddled with excessive and increasing taxation and regulatory costs, which is why our sector needs targeted support in the Budget later this month.”