What You Need to Know About Menu Nutrition

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Wellness and healthy eating are two huge trends in the food industry. In the restaurant world, this directly translates, not only into demand for healthier options on a menu, but also more transparency when it comes to what’s actually in the food. 


Chef writing menu

To add to this consumer demand, political pressure is continuing to grow. Within the recent publication of the second chapter of the Childhood Obesity Plan, Public Health England vow to implement mandatory calorie labelling for the out of home sector in England, with a consultation before the end of the year.

Providing calorie information on menus is soon to become a must – so, what do you need to know about it?


You might need to rethink your menu

Once you start providing calorie information on your menus, some customers might suddenly find themselves put off from dishes that they previously enjoyed. The ability to balance flavour and nutrition is becoming increasingly essential. Changing your plate proportions, to incorporate more nutrient dense foods (such as vegetables) and carefully using less energy dense foods to make them go further, can produce dishes that deliver on of taste without being too indulgent.


Energy isn’t the only option

It’s true that the calorie content of dishes tend to be of interest to consumers – and this information does input into customer decision making. However, that’s not where nutritional information on menus has to end. If you’d like, you can provide nutrition information for additional nutrients. EU law states that you provide nutrition information in one of the below combinations:

  • Energy (kcal/kJ)
  • Energy, fat, saturated fat and salt
  • Full Nutritional Table

For more information on adopting healthier practices, marketing healthier options, calculating and communicating nutrition information, see the UK Hospitality Nutrition Guide for Catering Managers and Chefs.