Nutrition Facts Coming to Alcohol Labels

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Liquor distributor Diageo has decided to alter its custom product labels to include nutrition facts on its beverages. In Europe and the United States, such labels are not required on alcoholic beverage containers, though they are necessary for food packaging labels.

Diageo intends to place the labels on each of its proprietary brands, working with regulators across the globe. In addition to custom product labeling, Diageo will have a segment of its website dedicated to nutritional information. The new labels will list alcohol by volume, fat content, and number of calories per serving.

In Europe, food product labels are required to list calorie information per 3.5 ounce serving, but because alcohol is consumed in different volumes, consumers would have to work out the math for themselves. Diageo is currently in talks with the European Union to establish a serving size for alcohol that would be standard for each of the Union’s members.

“Consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass,” Diageo Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes explained in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information from which to make informed choices.”

Diageo has been fighting for approval for custom product labeling on its beverages for over ten years. Since 2006, Diageo has listed nutritional information for its products on the website Currently, the standard serving sizes for labels are one and one-half ounces of liquor, five ounces of wine, and 12 ounces of beer.

While Diageo and regulatory committees around the world have their work cut out for them, the new labels are a step in the right direction. With the new labels, consumers will be able to see what is in their beverage simply by glancing at the packaging, without having to do extra math. Kenneth Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence told the Washington Post that Diageo’s plan “is out in front of the trend for packaged food and beverage products to disclose more about what is inside the product.” Other brands are expected to follow suit.

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