Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association:
“Following the announcement of the PHE led programme on removing sugar from children’s food the British Hospitality Association (BHA) is forming an industry position on what is feasible and achievable for businesses.
The BHA represents over 40,000 hospitality and food service management establishments across the country, and together with our members we have long been working to reduce calories, cut sugar and salt in products and provide healthy menu options.
“Yesterday’s announcement is a hard ask for much of the catering industry because, unlike retailers and manufacturers, menus and recipes come in all shapes and sizes. To assist our members the BHA is working to create a nutrition guide which will provide sensible and manageable ways to provide more healthy menu options.
“Our industry will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and support the Government in our shared ambition to reduce childhood obesity as long as the proposals are practical, workable and likely to be effective.”
Case Studies: Examples from BHA members
Some of our BHA members have already been taking steps towards providing healthy menu options:
CH&Co Group is a collection of specialist corporate and commercial caterers offering broad range of eating, hospitality and venue experience.
“CH&Co has made huge strides in making this possible. Our reduced fat mayonnaise, 1% fat milk, reduced sugar baked beans, tuna in water, not brine, all as default products, along with our Under 500 calorie meals, the Love Me range of calorie-counted sandwiches, our Healthiest Cakes Ever range, all being part of creating an intrinsically healthier platform for our customers to both benefit without realising (in the case of mayo, baked beans and 1% fat milk) and through conscious choice to be healthier.”
Mitchells and Butlers
Mitchells and Butlers is one of the UK's largest operators of restaurants, pubs and bars with a wide choice of eating and drinking-out experiences.
“Mitchells and Butlers are signed up to a number of the Department of Health Responsibility Deals including the salt reduction targets 2012 & 2017.
"Over the past 4 years we have been continuously reducing salt in our existing products and for new products Mitchells and Butlers have a specification system in place where suppliers have to select the appropriate 2017 salt target for Company Nutritionist approval.
"Mitchells and Butlers have also introduced a mineral salt which contains 15% less sodium than regular table salt.
"As an example of how beneficial this is to our guest – Based on 29m meals served in harvester, by switching the salt and BOH seasoning to Mineral salt, we will be removing 3.25 tons of salt from our Guests diet per year!"
Children’s Menus Standards
“Mitchells and Butlers have recently created and published an internal Nutrition Framework for Children’s Food and Drink.
"This includes strict mandatory standards for our children’s menus, for example: not to serve fries as default option and to limit the portion size, every meal must contain at least one portion of vegetables and high salt products such as bacon and gammon are not allowed on the menu.
"Our leading brand is Harvester which in 2015 came second out of 21 leading chain restaurants in the Soil Association Out to Lunch Table."
"Mitchells and Butlers have a Nutrition Strategy in place which focuses on 9 key initiatives such as guilt free options/portion control, proactive communication to educate or inform our guests, the provision of nutrition information and the DoH responsibility deal partnership.
The main family brands within Mitchells and Butlers such as Toby Carvery, Harvester, Ember Inn and Sizzling Pubs have full nutrition guides available to inform the guests of the nutritional content of their dishes.
Some brands such as All Bar One, Harvester and Premium Country Pubs highlight Kilojoules and Calories on the ‘healthier’ options within the menu and some brands have ‘Less than 500 calorie sections’ giving the guest choice."
"Mitchells and Butlers are working with suppliers for reduced sugar versions of our high selling sugar containing products to coincide with the Government Obesity Plan released in August 2016 – aiming for a 20% reduction in products by 2020. Mitchells and Butlers are currently working on a Company Strategy to achieve this."
Holroyd Howe is a leading caterer for schools in the independent sector, providing freshly made, nutritiously balanced meals for school pupils aged 3 to 18.
"At Holroyd Howe, we believe enhancing pupils’ knowledge and the understanding of food and nutrition goes hand in hand with providing a nutritious and balanced menu.
"To help with this, we have a team of registered nutritionists who visit the schools we cater for to give guidance and education not only to the pupils, but also to academic staff, sports departments and parents. This ensures the pupils have all around support on the importance of food & nutrition.
"Holroyd Howe appointed Amy Roberts as Director of Nutrition and Food Development earlier this year, which has strengthened Holroyd Howe’s commitment to educating pupils on the importance of healthy eating. Holroyd Howe have also created our own nutritional guidelines which go above and beyond the governments advice. This enables our teams to provide well balanced nutritional menus."
"Holroyd Howe have an exclusive relationship with The Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour, a charitable organisation that undertakes scientific research into the impact food has on the brains development, on learning capabilities and also behaviour in children.
"We work closely with the IFBB to take the scientific knowledge out of the lab and into our schools in a practical manner".
Holroyd Howe concepts
"Half Measures - which reduces sugar in desserts by 50%, significantly reducing sugar in the diet of all who dine with us.
"Food Explorers Tasting Table – which is aimed at our younger pupils, and tempts them to eat a wide range of fresh fruit & vegetables, including some more unusual items such as kale, rhubarb, pumpkin and understand where their food comes from."
Information on the Childhood Obesity: A Plan For Action, the government’s plan for action to significantly reduce childhood obesity by supporting healthier choices, can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action.