Mandatory calorie labelling on food and alcohol will harm pubs and brewers as they attempt to recover from the coronavirus crisis, the British Beer and Pub Association has warned.

Responding to the government’s proposed ‘Obesity Plan,’ the trade body has said that it would be extremely costly for pub businesses to include calorie information on their menus and could also lead to a restricted choice for customers.

Whilst it welcomed the initial exemption of smaller businesses (with under 250 employees), it said that if the legislation was to be extended to include them in the future, it would see many unable to implement the changes.

On the upcoming alcohol calorie labelling consultation, the BBPA warned that such a “burdensome red tape” would further hinder brewers and pubs as they try to get back on their feet, adding that many brewers have already committed to voluntary calorie information on their labels.

“As our sector recovers now is not the time for burdensome red tape and we would urge the Government to look at more collaborative ways to work with our sector instead, including promoting the growing range of low and no alcohol beers,” said Emma McClarkin, BBPA CEO.

“We are keen to support the Government on tackling obesity and want to work with them to help them achieve the strategy’s aims in a practical manner.”