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Science news

07 April 2017

EU rules on listing ingredients and nutrition information should apply to all alcoholic drinks

The Brewers of Europe welcomes the European Commission’s call of 13 March 2017 for alcoholic drinks to list ingredients and nutrition information, matching the requirement for non-alcoholic beverages that came into force in December 2016. EU rules oblige producers of beverages below 1.2 per cent ABV to list ingredients and provide the seven nutritional values per 100 ml. The EU Regulation also requires companies voluntarily providing ingredients and calorie information for alcoholic beverages above 1.2 per cent ABV to do so per 100 ml.

“The 100 ml reference is laid down in the Regulation for all beverages, non-alcoholic and alcoholic, and widely understood by consumers across the EU as the robust standard for comparing the nutritional contents of different drinks. When there are anyway no standard portions for any alcoholic beverage across the EU, a solely portion-based scheme can never replace the 100 ml reference,” stressed Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe. “EU law in any case allows companies to add relevant portion size references, provided they are not misleading and are included alongside the 100 ml reference.

Following a public commitment made by The Brewers of Europe in March 2015, Europe’s brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and nutrition information across Europe, following the rules that apply to non-alcoholic drinks. We expect that by the end of 2017, over 60 per cent of new beer volumes hitting the shelves across Europe will carry this information, on labels and also via online platforms, meeting the expectations and needs of today’s consumers.

The Commission states that it will report back in one year on how alcoholic drinks producers are progressing with the voluntary roll-out of ingredients and nutrition information.