Food Standards Scotland have called for significant changes to make food outside of the home healthier. In their recommendations to the Scottish Government yesterday, they included the requirement for food businesses to display calorie contents on their menus.
BII Scotland Chair, Jo Graham said: “As an industry, we are very aware of the need to support and promote a healthier lifestyle for our customers. In Scotland, our members’ menus have already changed dramatically to offer lighter bites and smaller portions, as well as a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options. Consumers are more aware than ever of their health, but also of environmental sustainability; where their food comes from is very important to them – as is the quality of the ingredients used.
All of this has been good news for increasing creativity in our kitchens, but introducing mandatory calorie labelling across all types and sizes of hospitality businesses could set this back. In smaller, independent businesses, the only way to control the additional costs of calculating and then labelling dishes would be to offer a smaller, less-frequently changing menu. It would be demotivating to chefs, who are trying to incorporate seasonal, local produce into their food and customers will inevitably end up with the same limited choice wherever they go.
We need to support and promote our industry as the innovative, celebratory business that it is – offering consumers a chance to celebrate with food and drink in our venues, instead of stifling its creativity by applying this “across the board” approach to all areas of Out of Home eating.”