Food labelling is the information printed on the back of every packed food time. It includes any written or graphic content displayed on the food product packet or the menu (in the case of restaurants), telling consumers about the ingredients and nutritional compositions of the food product. Food labelling makes comparing different food products of the same type easier for the consumers.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which regulates food labelling policies in India, brought in new regulations – Food Safety And Standards (Labelling And Display) Regulations, 2020 (FSSAI Labelling Regulations). These regulations make it mandatory for restaurants and e-commerce platforms to display certain information from January 2022.
Read our blog on FSSAI’s regulation to know more!
As per these new food labelling guidelines, menu cards for restaurant chains and online food aggregators must provide nutritional information, calorie amount of food products, etc. These regulations aim to present consumers with all dietary facts about their food and to bolster FSSAI’s commitment to providing safe food to all classes of consumers.
It is interesting to note that as per the new regulations, only food chains with ten or more outlets need to include calorie count in their menu. At the same time, other restaurants only have to show information about allergens, logos depicting non-veg or veg food, and nutritional information like information on artificial sweeteners, caffeine contains, etc.
Food Labelling in Restaurants
There are conflicting views about the impact of food labelling in restaurants and its benefits. According to a research study, calorie information on restaurant menus reduced the total calories people ordered and consumed for a meal. It also affects their eating later in the day. These new rules offer restaurants some advantages, as well as disadvantages. In this blog, we present some pros and cons of food labelling.
If you are wondering how & from where you can know about these components, you can always consult a dietician or nutritionist. These people are professionals who can help create a well-informed menu.
In addition to that, FSSAI itself has platforms that provide information about all ingredients & their nutritional value.
Pros Of Food Labelling
1. Informed And Safe Decisions
The restaurants must display information about allergens, logos depicting non-veg or veg food, and nutritional information on their menu card or display boards. Such information helps customers make informed decisions about their food.
In case they have any allergies or any other major or minor health issue, this information helps both customers & the restaurants in providing a safe customer experience.
2. Good Impression
Adding this information and following the rules may seem like additional work to the restaurants; however, they are sure to create credibility in your customers’ minds and increase your brand value. It shows your concern for the community, making you stand out.
3. Builds Confidence
With increasing health and wellness awareness amongst consumers, transparently putting nutritional information on your menu will build confidence amongst your customer base. Displaying calorific details on your dishes is a great way to attract calorie-conscious customers and turn them into a loyal customer base.
4. Higher Profits
The information will build trust amongst your customers, translating into higher revenue for your business. According to a survey, 81% of respondents supported restaurant menu labelling. Labelling your food will also help you reach a new consumer demographic who appreciate more information about their food.
5. Marketing and Branding
When consumers know about the ingredients and the value of their dishes, it not only builds their trust but also gives you an opportunity to do no-cost marketing. They will likely share their experience on social media and in their circles, thus attracting more customers and increasing your revenue.
Cons of Food Labelling
1. Lower Sales
With food labelling, consumers can know exactly the ingredients put into making the food they are eating. Some components might be subject to bias in the customers and turn them away from your restaurant. Moreover, displaying calorie content can adversely affect your sales if you sell high-calorie food.
2. Additional Work
Providing the required information in your menu and display board can increase the workload of your business It will also increase your expenses. You must update your menu and carefully inspect your dishes in food labs or by experts to analyze the precise calorie count to add it to your menu.
3. Constant Fluctuations
Menu labelling is complex as there may be constant fluctuations in your meal preparations. Restaurants often customize their recipes to suit their customers. Putting the calorie count is easier for pre-packaged food. However, it poses some challenges for restaurants.
Displaying nutritional information and calorie count in your food has its share of positives and negatives for a restaurant. It can raise awareness in the community but also adversely affect your overall sales. With the implementation of new guidelines, it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the market.
We hope this blog helps you get a better idea about food labelling. To know more about the F&B industry and get regular updates, follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter!