McDonald’s to display kilojoule count on menus

Australian McDonald’s outlets will soon follow in the footsteps of their counterparts in the UK by introducing kilojoule information on restaurant menus.

On Monday the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said it was “disappointed” by the decision by some states and territories to introduce their own calorie information on fast food menus.

The AFGC is developing a national approach to provide kilojoule information on all quick service restaurant (QSR) menus.

“It’s concerning that some jurisdictions have gone ahead with menu board labelling despite the Food Regulation Ministerial Council developing nationally consistent guidelines for point-of-sale labelling in QSR outlets,” AFGC chief executive Kate Carnell said.

“Having a nationally-consistent approach will make it easier for consumers to understand menu board labels – and it provides cost benefits for industry."

The decision to introduce the system in the UK came as a result of more awareness by consumers about nutrition and health.

“Research shows that calorie labelling makes people more aware of the energy content of their foods and does influence people’s choices,” a spokesperson from the UK Department of Health said.

“So with McDonald’s serving three million meals every day in 1,200 restaurants, this will have a huge effect on the high street and will help people to make healthier choices when they are eating out.”

But whether it will be the same in Australia remains to be seen, as last week it was revealed that most Australians understand the Daily Intake Guides on food products, but do not necessarily use them to make healthier food choices.

In a survey by Westfield, it was also found many Australians lack confidence in their cooking abilities so are less likely to entertain at home.

A McDonald’s Australia spokesperson told Food Magazine the kilojoule content on menus will be rolled out across Australia from November.

"McDonald’s supports the introduction of kilojoule labelling on menu boards," the spokesperson said.

"We’ve always been committed to ensuring our customers can make informed food choices.

"We were the first Quick Service Restaurant to introduce nutrition labelling on our packaging in 2004.

"This information is also available on our website, along with a range of fact sheets addressing specific dietary needs.

The spokesperson told Food Magazine the kilojoule information is indicative of consumers desire for more information on food content.

"We believe that menu board labelling is a natural extension of the information we already provide and is another way we can help our customers make the right choice for them."


Send this to a friend