AB InBev UK commits to calorie labelling

AB InBev UK has pledged to include full nutritional and calorie information on 80% of its beer packaging by the end of 2017.

ab inbevThe move follows calls by Members of the European Parliament to introduce compulsory calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks. MEPs voted in April last year in favour a new law that would compel all drinks producers to include the calorie content of products on labels.

Currently, any alcoholic drink with an ABV of more than 1.2% is exempt from EU regulations that impose nutritional labelling on food and drink. While the proposals are yet to become law, several producers are already taking steps to include nutritional information on their products.

“Consumers are getting savvier about their daily calorie consumption and are actively looking at nutritional information”, said Anna Tolley, UK legal and corporate affairs director for AB InBev. “While the EU continues to discuss the best way forward for nutritional labelling in our industry, we want to give consumers the information they need at their fingertips to make well informed choices and enjoy our products responsibly.”

AB InBev UK’s pledge follows a survey by IPSOS Mori for the brewer which found that millennials in the UK are more calorie conscious than older age groups and their European counterparts. While 35% of European adults said they paid close attention to their daily calorie consumption, this figure rose to nearly 50% among consumers aged 18 to 29. Despite increased calorie awareness, less than 1 in 5 adults in the UK were aware of the calories contained in beer.

Changes to its labelling will begin this year, with AB InBev UK promising that at least 80% of its European volumes will include calorie information by the end of 2017. Full information on all AB InBev brands’ nutritional information is already available at www.tapintoyourbeer.com.

Diageo confirmed plans to introduce calorie labelling on all of its products worldwide – the first alcohol company to make such a pledge – in March. While no time frame was given, the producer said it would be providing full nutritional information through its responsible drinking website DRINKiQ.com, and on pack “subject to local regulatory approval, as soon as practicable.”

Meanwhile in December last year Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) became the first major wine producer to commit to including calorie information on all of its products TWE will initially provide calorie information on its wines sold in Europe following the vintage 2016 labelling process. Other regions including the Americas, Asia, and Australia & New Zealand will follow.

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