The Victorian Government has introduced the requirement that all major Victorian food outlets and supermarket chains must display kilojoule contents on their menus.

The Food (Kilojoule Labelling Scheme and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2016 will, from May 2018, require large chain food businesses and large chain supermarkets to display:

  • the average kilojoule content of standardised, ready-to-eat food and non-alcoholic drinks on menus, menu boards and food labels; and
  • the statement “The average adult daily energy intake is 8 700 kJ” on menus, menu boards and on each display cabinet, stand or area where standard food items are displayed.

Large chain food businesses are those that have 20 or more outlets in Victoria, or 50 or more outlets nationally and at least one in Victoria. This new legislation will apply to around 3,000 individual outlets in Victoria.

Smaller businesses such as mobile food businesses, smaller delivery services, food catering businesses and not-for-profit services such as “Meals on Wheels” will not fall under the legislation and will not have to display kilojoule contents.

At the time this legislation was introduced, around 50 per cent of large chain food businesses voluntarily displayed kilojoule content. The remaining 50 per cent will be required to comply within the next year.

Businesses that fail to display kilojoule contents risk fines of up to $3,100 for an individual or $15,500 for a corporation.

New South Wales introduced kilojoule labelling laws a number of years ago, and an evaluation found there was a 15 per cent reduction in the kilojoule content of food purchased by people after the laws took effect.

A free kilojoule measuring service is being offered by the Victorian Government for the first 12 months of the scheme, as well as workshops and guides for businesses and staff.