Only five of the 21 foodservice businesses trialling calorie labelling at the point of choice have decided to continue with the scheme.

A consultation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – Provision of calorie labelling at point of choice in catering outlets – which ran from 3 December 2009 to 11 March 2010, was designed to develop recommendations for displaying calorie information in foodservice outlets.

It was based on trials, throughout 2009, held in around 450 stores and run by 21 different operators, including Subway and Pret A Manger. These saw calorie contents displayed on menus, posters and labels.

However, the FSA has revealed that only five foodservice businesses, and some contract caterers, have agreed to continue with the calorie labelling commitments, on a long-term basis. They are: Pret A Manger; Wimpy; Co-operative cafés; the Camden Food Company, the Real Greek restaurant chain, and some contract caterers, including Nestlé, Tesco and Unilever staff restaurants.

There was uncertainty around the continuing involvement of other businesses to the scheme, including 1,400-shop sandwich chain Subway.

A spokesperson from the FSA said businesses were only asked the commit to a trial period and it recognised that “others may wish to await the publication of final recommendations before making a decision, or deciding to roll out calorie labelling more widely in their businesses.

“The Government is currently considering a range of public health policies, including nutrition information in catering settings, of which calorie labelling is one part. It will set out its approach in a Public Health White Paper to be published later this year,” added the FSA.

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