1.Others talk the talk,
but Brewers walk the talk
Brewers believe in empowering people with facts to make informed decisions. That’s why they have been voluntarily stating what’s inside their beers on the outside since 2015. We are working hard to make this a reality for the 9,500 breweries in the EU.
Across Europe there are 20 new breweries opening every week, and The Brewers of Europe have developed toolkits to make EU legislation more accessible to brewers and to decode the jargon. We help them understand the commitment and explain how nutritional values can be calculated and presented.
We will continue to lead the way by supporting the implementation of this commitment by brewers; through the dissemination of guidance tools and using detailed monitoring to report annually on progress.
2.Brewers exceeding expectations with better ingredients and calorie labelling
Brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and calorie information in full accordance with EU law, on-label and online, since 2015. In July 2018 the commitment was bolstered with a recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-pack containers.
As we enter the 5th year of action, we’re more determined than ever to meet consumers’ expectations.
85% of our pre-packaged beer in the EU now label ingredients and 60% of pre-packed beers label calorie information.
3.Respecting EU law
EU law currently exempts alcoholic beverages over 1.2% abv from the legal obligation to label ingredients and energy values.
However, it does set the clear rules for any company wishing to respond to consumer expectations and voluntarily do this.
Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use.
Energy values must be provided (just as they are for non-alcoholic beverages) in kj and kcal per 100ml to allow a like-for-like comparison amongst all beverages.
4.Leading by example
Consumers can only be empowered to take informed decisions if there is a level playing field of comparable information. Ingredients lists and calorie values per 100ml are the most basic of information that all consumers should expect to see for all drinks.
86 percent of Europeans* expect alcoholic beverages to list ingredients and show calorie information per 100ml, the well-known and understood legal reference volume that also applies to all non-alcoholic beverages.
Our commitment is about meeting consumers’ expectations. We believe that we have the right approach – implementing the horizontal rules in Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 – and we encourage other sectors to bring their own proposals into line with both our own commitment and EU Regulation.
*2016 Gfk survey of 9,000 adults
5.Committed to clarity
Consumers like clear, consistent, honest communication. That’s why Europe’s brewers have voluntarily committed to providing consumers with the list of ingredients and nutrition information in full accordance with EU law, a decision welcomed by policymakers and NGOs alike.
Commenting on the latest implementation figures published in May 2019, the EU’s Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis stated: “I welcome brewers’ commitment to provide the full list of ingredients and the energy values per 100ml on the labels of all pre-pack beers. The EU Regulation sets the rules to follow and I’m delighted that brewers are fulfilling these high standards. This is in the interest of public health and consumers information”.
Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) states that, “It is crucial that nutritional information and ingredients listings are provided for the consumer on the label of alcoholic products and in conformance with the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (1169/2011).” *
* Published letter from Monique Goyens to the EU Health Commissioner on the alcohol industry self-regulatory proposal, 12 April 2018
Brewers’ Pledge Reporting
The decision to provide this information is just one of the +100 responsibility commitments made by Europe’s brewers under the Beer Pledge. This pledge is our promise to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm by taking concerted and measurable actions.
Discover how Europe’s brewers take their responsibility to help in Brewers’ Pledge Reporting.