Government to consult on mandatory calorie labelling of alcohol
The government has confirmed it is planning a consultation on introducing mandatory calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks in the UK.
It follows a report in The Sun that said plans were being drawn up to require pub chains with more than 250 staff to display calorie information on menus or pump labels.
Ministers have been considering introducing tougher anti-obesity measures since last summer after evidence suggested those who are overweight are at increased risk from coronavirus.
A government spokesperson told The Caterer: "As outlined in our Obesity Strategy, we'll be launching a consultation soon on mandatory calorie labelling on alcohol – no decisions have yet been taken."
Free refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants and bars are already set to be banned from 2022 under the government's health drive.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said any suggestion of calorie labels in pubs was "ludicrous" after such a tough year for the industry.
"Now is not the time to heap burdensome and expensive regulation on our pubs," she said. "Our pubs are on their knees and the government already knows this. Calorie labelling would be kicking pubs and brewers when they are down.
"We have very serious concerns on the impact these proposals would have on the sector and on consumers."
UKHospitality previously warned that calorie labelling of food and drink could cost up to £40,000 per menu run for some large hospitality businesses.