The Victorian Government has introduced a kilojoule labelling scheme that will apply to large chain food businesses and supermarkets.
From 1 May 2018, the Victorian kilojoule labelling scheme requires chain food businesses and supermarkets to display:
- the average kilojoule content of standardised, ready-to-eat food and non-alcoholic drinks on menus, menu boards, food labels and price tags
- the statement 'The average adult daily energy intake is 8,700 kJ' on menus, menu boards and on each display cabinet, stand or area.
(An example of a fast food outlet's menu under the kilojoule labelling scheme.)
There is increasing evidence that links kilojoule labelling to a reduction in kilojoules purchased or consumed.
Currently, Australian law requires that packaging on manufactured, pre-packaged foods (such as frozen pizzas or muesli bars) includes nutrition information, including kilojoule (energy) content. However, unpackaged food that is ready for immediate consumption, such as pizzas, hot chips and muffins are not required to display kilojoule information when sold in Victoria.
With nearly two-thirds of Victorian adults and one quarter of Victorian children overweight or obese, obesity and related chronic disease results in significant health and productivity costs to the Victorian community.
There are many complex causes of obesity. One factor is excessive consumption of energy dense food - that is, food high in kilojoules (energy) per gram of food.
The average Australian dines out more than four times a week and 44 per cent of those meals are energy dense. Studies show that consumers greatly underestimate the energy content of their foods.
Kilojoule labelling will provide Victorians with information about the energy content of the food they buy and help them take steps to reduce their kilojoule intake - improving their health and wellbeing.
Resources are available for businesses affected by the kilojoule labelling scheme.
Visit the Businesses and kJ labelling
section for answers to common questions about the scheme.
Download a copy of the User guide for large chain food businesses and chain supermarkets for detailed information on complying with the kilojoule labelling laws.
The Food Standards Australia and New Zealand website features a Nutrition Panel Calculator that can assist businesses in calculating the average nutrient content of their food products and prepare a nutrition information panel.
View the Food Act 1984 at the Victorian legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.
The Better Health Channel's Kilojoules on the Menu section features useful information for the public on kilojoule labelling, including information on the energy content of food, a tool to calculate your daily kilojoule requirements, and more.
Kilojoules on the Menu at the Better Health Channel
Environmental health officers working with Victorian councils can access the secure EHO portal
for enforcement protocols and guidance materials.