FT - James Lowman, chairman, ACS

ACS chief executive James Lowman

ACS has highlighted its guidance for retailers on calorie labelling regulations, coming into force from today (Wednesday April 6th).

The new rules, which primarily affect the out-of-home sector, require retailers to add calorie and portion information to menus and displays of products like ready to eat pizzas, hot beverages, bakery items and PPDS (pre-packed for direct sale) foods. Retailers are also 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 much like the upcoming HFSS regulations, the Government intends for symbol and franchise retailers to be included.

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. We urge retailers to engage with the guidance, and come to us with any questions about the detail.”

The guidance on calorie labelling requirements has been developed in partnership with Surrey and Bucks Trading Standards, and has been assured as part of the ACS wider primary authority scheme. This means that wherever retailers trade in England and Wales, if they follow the guidance their in-store procedures must be respected by enforcement officers.