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01/07/2016

Diageo to provide per serving alcohol content and nutritional information on-pack

Diageo has announced Johnnie Walker as its first global brand to be on the market from early autumn providing consumers with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve.

From next month, cans and bottles of Ireland’s ale, Smithwick’s, will also hit the shelves with updated labels, and from early next year, Guinness Draught cans sold in the Republic of Ireland will also be updated to carry alcohol content and nutritional information per serve. Many other brands will follow on the first half of 2017.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo said: “We believe people should have the best possible information to make informed choices about what they drink: this includes alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve.”

Eurocare welcomes this move in the right direction by Diageo, who now joins the Brewers of Europe in providing consumers with information which also includes pictograms referring to the risks of drink driving and of drinking alcohol while pregnant.

Eurocare is challenging other major alcohol producers, including the wine industry, to join the ranks of the companies who – at least in this context - are beginning to show that they care about consumers.

Eurocare views on consumer Information and product labelling are the following:

  • Listing the ingredients contained in a particular beverage alerts the consumer to the presence of any potentially harmful or problematic substances.
  • Providing information about the ingredients and energy content enables the consumer to monitor their diets better and supports them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Labelling on alcohol products should provide information not only on ingredients, but also about the risks associated with alcohol consumption: damages to health (liver cirrhosis, certain kinds of cancers (such as breast, oesophageal and oral cancer), risks of dependence, dangers associated with drinking alcohol during pregnancy, when driving, operating machinery and when taking certain medication.

The European Commission is well positioned to coordinate efforts to protect consumers from side effects of products which are sold in the internal market of the EU. Labelling should be part of a comprehensive strategy to secure information and educate consumers about alcohol.

Eurocare recommendations:

• There should be compulsory EU wide introduction of health information labels on containers of alcoholic beverages.

• Containers of alcoholic products should be required to provide the following information about the product to consumers:

• Country of production

• Ingredients

• Substances with allergenic effect

• Relevant nutrition information (energy value kcal)

• Alcoholic strength

• specific warning about the risks of drink driving and of drinking alcohol in pregnancy