On the Agenda: Firms not showing calorie information

A Which? report has found that a Government-backed scheme launched a year ago to improve public health and tackle obesity is failing. The Government's public health 'responsibility deal' is yet to convince major food firms to display calorie content on their products and menus and lower the amount of salt in their foods.

Missing: firms not showing calorie information
Missing: firms not showing calorie information

The case for and against

Which? argued that 'for the sake of the nation' the Government must stop relying on voluntary deals with the industry and show 'real leadership'. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responded that the Government had shown 'real leadership' in setting up the scheme without creating regulation for food firms. He added: 'Calorie information is on our high street and less salt is in the food we buy. This is helping people live healthier lives.'

PR strategy

Which? consumer group briefed the press on the findings and revealed brands such as Beefeater, Cafe Rouge, Pizza Express and Strada have all failed to sign up. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd was heavily quoted as saying the Government was 'overly reliant' on voluntary agreements. He said: 'If food companies don't agree to help people eat more healthily, then we must seek legislation to force them to do so.'

Media coverage

Sky News covered the story. Nationals including The Independent and Daily Mail ran pieces as well as trade titles Marketing Week and Food Manufacturer.

2 Number of top ten restaurants and pub groups that have agreed to provide calorie contents*

£5bn Cost of diet-related health problems to the National Health Service every year*

Source: Which?

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