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PROUD TO BE CLEAR - Ingredients and Nutrition Labelling of Beer

  • advocate
  • 28/10/2019
  • 81
  • Informing consumers

This report provides the latest (September 2019) state-of-play of implementation by the brewing sector of its commitment to voluntarily equip consumers with the list of ingredients and nutrition information of the beer they consumed. More information on the commitment and its implementation can be found on http://beerwisdom.eu


Executive Summary:

The Brewers of Europe, promoting the interests of over 9,500 breweries, is now into the fifth year of its push towards even greater transparency and better information for consumers with regard to ingredients and nutrition information.

Brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and energy information since 2015. In July 2018 that commitment was bolstered with a specific, focused recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories per 100ml on the labels of pre-packaged beer containers such as bottles and cans.

This report demonstrates the progress that member countries and companies are making, showing the implementation rates across Europe, as well as demonstrating some examples of how this has been done.

Brewers are providing product facts by voluntarily implementing the labelling rules already laid down in the EU’s general regulation on food information to consumers, even if there still currently remains an EU level exemption for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% abv from any legal obligation to provide this information.

Currently, The Brewers of Europe is able to report that 60% of beers sold in Europe are labelling calories in full accordance with EU law, whilst 85% of beers are already labelling ingredients.

The association and its members believe that, by fulfilling this consumer information commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is providing the right template and meeting consumers’ expectations. This is why the decision has been taken to further formalise the commitment by signing a Memorandum of Understanding and common Brewers’ Ambition, with the European Commission as witness. The Brewers of Europe’s wish is that all beers be labelling in this way by 2022.

Brewers also want to set the standard for all alcohol sectors, and hope that others may sign this Memorandum of Understanding and thereby make the same commitment towards providing this basic product information, in line with all other beverages. We will continue reporting on roll-out and inviting the other alcoholic beverage sectors to follow our lead, in order to help ensure consumers receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all drinks.

As this report shows, brewers are well on their way to fulfilling their commitments. The future will see a beer sector that is proud to be clear.