ACS launches new guidance on calorie labelling rules

Association of Convenience Stores has launched new guidance for retailers on upcoming calorie labelling regulations, coming into force from April this year.

The rules, which primarily affect the out-of-home sector, will require retailers in scope to add calorie and portion information to menus and displays of products like ready to eat pizzas, hot beverages, bakery items and pre-packed for direct sale foods. Retailers will also be required to clearly display a notice highlighting the number of calories recommended for an adult in a day.

Retailers who have more than 250 employees are considered to be within the scope of the rules, but the government intends for symbol and franchise retailers to be included. As part of the guidance, ACS urges retailers to contact their symbol or franchise operator to find out whether they’ll have to make changes in-store and online to comply with the regulations.

There are also important exemptions for businesses that have their own offer of food for immediate consumption. If a retailer is providing food that would otherwise be in scope of their rules independently of their symbol/franchise arrangement, then as long as that retailer has fewer than 250 employees themselves they are exempt from the new labelling requirements.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “It’s essential that retailers understand their responsibilities when it comes to the new calorie labelling requirements. For the majority of businesses in scope, this will mean contacting your supplier about the new materials that will have to be displayed in-store, but there are some for whom more significant planning is required. We urge retailers to engage with the guidance, and come to us with any questions about the detail.”

Detailed guidance for retailers is available here.