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    New calorie labelling rules come into force

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    Food-to-go in many convenience stores will be required to display the calorie content of each item as new rules requiring calorie information to be displayed on menus and food labels have come into force today (6).

    The changes – which were approved by parliament in 2021 – mean it is now a legal requirement for large retailers with more than 250 employees as well as cafes, restaurants, and takeaways to display calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drinks.

    As per the new rule, calorie information will need to be displayed on menus, online menus, third party apps, food delivery platforms and food labels at the point a customer is making their food and drink choices. As well as listing the calories for each food item, menus and labels will also need to include daily recommended calorie needs.

    The regulations, however, only apply to retailers with more than 250 staff members, but some symbol group retailers may also be affected, as the legislation stems from the upcoming HFSS rules. 

    Federation of Independent Retailers (Fed) and Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) have advises the store owners to contact their symbol group to confirm if they are unsure whether the regulations affect them or not.

    “Convenience retailers that are deemed to have more than 250 employees, calculated based on their participation in ‘franchise agreement’ and symbol groups, will have to work with their franchise partners and suppliers to get the calorie labelling information for products sold for immediate consumption that are not pre-packaged,” says the ACS guidelines aimed at retailers issued on Feb 28 and a reminder issued on March 16.

    “Part-time employees should be included as part of the head count. Convenience retailers will need to consult their symbol group supplier or franchise partner to discuss whether their agreement is considered to be a ‘franchise agreement’ as defined in the regulations,” ACS says.

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