Pub food and calorie counting

LVA criticises Dept of Health calorie consultation

Also opposes mandatory calorie posting 

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the representative body for Dublin pubs, has criticised the consultation on mandatory calorie posting on menus recently published by the Department of Health.

Although pubs are the 3rd largest out of home food channel*, representing 18% of the market, the Department of Health’s consultation questionnaire does not list pubs as a business category. This is despite forms of business which account for much less of the food service market such as cinemas, bakeries and mobile food operators being included.

“This questionnaire shows a basic lack of understanding of the food service market by the Department of Health,” said LVA Chief Executive, Donall O’Keeffe. “It’s shocking that they published a consultation document which excludes the 7000 pubs of Ireland as a specific response category.

“Pubs have developed a strong reputation for their food offering in recent years, with high quality food being available in a lot of pubs throughout Dublin and around the country. This has seen pub’s share of the food market grow. To not even include pubs as an option shows how little consideration the Department has for pubs,” Mr. O’Keeffe said.

The LVA will also be opposing the introduction of mandatory calorie counts. “This measure will be an administrative nightmare,” Mr. O’Keeffe added. “It will add to costs, it will be unenforceable and crucially, will prove completely ineffective in tackling obesity.

“It will also cause problems for those venues who like to provide variety, seasonality, specials and rapidly changing menus. If this were to become mandatory, it will penalise those outlets that seek to be innovative and consumer focussed.

“At a time when there are so many other problems in the health service, you’d think the Minister and his Department would have better things to be focus on, rather than this type of anti-business measure,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.

*Data provided by the Bord Bia Irish Foodservice Market Insights Report, November 2019.

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