Mandatory calorie labelling in the out of home sector in Scotland

Closed 1 Jul 2022

Opened 8 Apr 2022

Feedback updated 3 Jan 2024

We asked

Following a commitment made in the 2021 Programme for Government, the then Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health & Sport published the Scottish Government’s Out of Home Action Plan. This plan made a commitment to consult on proposals to introduce Mandatory Calorie Labelling in Out Of Home settings in Scotland.  The Consultation ran from 8 April 2023 to 1 July 2023. 

You said

We received 660 responses: 574 from individuals and 86 from organizations or groups. 

Respondents were generally opposed to the introduction of mandatory calorie labelling with most citing concerns that the proposals would present difficulties for people with an eating disorder. Some respondents (both businesses and individuals) also expressed concerns about the relative costs of implementation. 

Those in agreement with the proposal suggested that mandatory calorie labelling would provide consumers with transparency; encourage people to make healthier choices; encourage out of home food providers to make their offer healthier; and maximize consumer control over the choices they make. 

The Scottish Government has published on 30 May 2023 an independent analysis of the consultation responses carried out by the Diffley Partnership. 

We did

The Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health announced on 30 May that the Scottish Government would take a pause before making a final decision on mandatory calorie labelling. 

The consultation supports the need for the Scottish Government to fully consider the impact that these proposals might have on people with an eating disorder. The Scottish Government notes that Public Health Scotland has commissioned research on this issue, due in the autumn 2023. 

The Scottish Government would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide a written response to the consultation exercise and who took the time to meet with officials. 

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Mandating calorie labelling at the point of choice can support our Out of Home (OOH) sector to make a key contribution in improving our dietary health.

This consultation fulfils a pledge made in our 2021 Out of Home Action Plan. The Plan builds on the commitments made in the 2018 Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan and recommendations made by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) to Scottish Ministers in 2019.

We are consulting on:

1. whether the provision of calorie information in OOH settings at the point of choice should be mandatory

And if so:

2. the manner in which calorie information would be presented so that it is easily accessible and understood
3. the advice and guidance that OOH businesses may require to ensure that there is parity in provision of calorie information across the sector
4. identifying any unintended consequences and impact on health and other inequalities that may arise from mandating calorie information at the point of choice in OOH settings and measures potentially required to mitigate the unintended consequences and impacts
5. whether there should be any exemptions to the application of requirements for the provision of calorie information in OOH settings.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

We will consider the Scottish Ministers’ options to proceed to implement proposals once we have received responses to this consultation.

Primary legislation may be required to allow Scottish Ministers to make regulations to introduce mandatory calorie labelling in OOH.

This consultation will inform whether and on what basis the Scottish Government will proceed with mandatory calorie labelling and we will keep the position under review as the policy develops. We anticipate that a further consultation may likely be required to inform any regulations for implementing mandatory calorie labelling in OOH, as well as the scope of the requirements and any exemptions.


  • Health and Social Care