PROUD TO BE CLEAR
European brewers ahead of schedule with better ingredients and calorie labelling
Brussels, 28 May 2019. Continuing to exceed expectations, The Brewers of Europe have announced that 60% of beers sold in Europe are now labelling calories.
Brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and energy 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-packaged beer containers (bottles, cans etc.).
As reported on beerwisdom.eu, in addition to beating the target on energy information, 85% of beers in Europe now also label their ingredients.
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. Brewers are providing these basic 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 currently remains an EU level exemption for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% abv from any legal obligation to provide this information.
“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”, said EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.
Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, added, “we are ahead of schedule in fulfilling our landmark voluntary commitment. Today no less than 85% of our beers in the EU label their ingredients and 60% of pre-packed beers label calorie information, per 100ml, the legal reference volume for all drinks, alcoholic or not”.
The Brewers of Europe commitment is about meeting European consumer demand. According to (*) Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), “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).”
The Brewers of Europe believes that, by fulfilling its consumer information commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is providing the right template and meeting consumers’ expectations. We will continue reporting on roll-out and inviting the other alcoholic beverage sectors to follow our lead, in order to ensure consumers, receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all drinks.
(*) Published letter from Monique Goyens to the EU Health Commissioner on the alcohol industry self-regulatory proposal, 12 April 2018