Calorie Wise

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Calorie Wise is a new scheme to help businesses display calories on menus so people can have the information they need to make healthier choices when eating out. This follows the success of a pilot scheme run in 2012.

Calorie Wise is free and voluntary and is run in partnership with the Food Standards Agency and District Councils in Northern Ireland.

If you’re a business and keen to join the scheme you’ll receive help and advice on how to calculate and display calories. There will also be guidance on how to provide healthier options for your customers by making small and simple changes to your menus. And with 6 in 10 adults either overweight or obese in NI1, this can make a big difference.

Window stickers will also be provided so people can look out for the scheme when eating out across Northern Ireland.

Why is Calorie Wise good for your business?

  • It can increase profit due to standardisation of recipes and reduction of food waste
  • Current food trends all point towards a rise in demand by consumers for healthier foods and products
  • 96% of people want calorie labelling in all or some food outlets2

1 HSNI, 2015  2 FSAI, 2012 


What are Calories?

Calorie Information

Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food or drink. Knowing how many calories are in our food and drink can help us to have the right amount we need every day. The key to maintaining a healthy weight is balancing the energy we take with the energy we use.

A man needs around 2,500 calories a day
A woman needs around 2,000 calories a day

Calorie Wise Scheme

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Calorie Wise aims to inform and enable people to make healthier choices more often when eating out, as well as encouraging food businesses to make healthier options more available.

The scheme asks businesses to make a voluntary commitment to display calorie information clearly and prominently at the point of choice i.e. on menus and/or menu boards, for standardised food and non alcoholic drinks.

Any restaurant, quick service restaurant, takeaway, café, pub, sandwich shop & staff restaurant or other outlet where we eat out, can join the scheme.

To take part businesses should take the following steps:

  • Complete accurate nutritional analysis of menu items to identify kilojule (kJ) and calorie content using a tool such as
  • Display energy information according to the 4 principles in the technical guidance:
  1. Energy information is provided for ALL standard food and drink items sold
  2. Energy information is displayed clearly and prominently at the ‘point of choice’ for the consumers
  3. Energy information is provided per portion or per meal
  4. Information on how many kJ and calories an average person needs in a day is given to help consumers ‘make sense’ of calories on menus

* Full technical guidance- including suggestions on how to apply the above principles- is below

  • Seek approval / assessment by your local Environmental Health Officer (EHO)
  • Submit application to local EHO for assessment
  • An audit will then be carried out using the form below
  • Display membership of the scheme- if compliant- as advised by local EHO Commit to reviewing accuracy of energy information at least every 6 months