Brewers add ingredient & nutrition info in Europe

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

What's in a beer? Brewers want to help consumers find out. Pic: iStock/BristolDen
What's in a beer? Brewers want to help consumers find out. Pic: iStock/BristolDen

Related tags Brewers Alcoholic beverages Alcoholic beverage

By the end of 2017, more than half the beer brewed in the EU will carry ingredients and nutrition information, according to The Brewers of Europe. 

In the EU, regulation on Food Information to Consumers (FIC) requires food and drink products to provide information on ingredients and nutrition. However, alcoholic beverages of more than 1.2% ABV are exempt.

In March 2015​ The Brewers of Europe set out a commitment to voluntarily provide such information, thus helping consumers become more informed about the beer they drink.

Heineken, Carlsberg, SABMiller and AB InBev are among the brewers who have backed the pledge.

86% of consumers want ingredient info

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary general of The Brewers of Europe, says that brewers are “immensely proud of the beers they brew and the ingredients used to brew them.”

“We want Europe’s consumers to know the ingredients in beer and how these beers can fit within a balanced lifestyle,” ​he said.

If other alcoholic beverages also provide equivalent information, this will allow consumers to compare like-for-like facts across all beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, he added.

The pledge sees brewers provide energy values in kilocalories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, carbohydrates of which sugars, protein and salt.

The Brewers of Europe, a trade body representing Europe's 6,500+ breweries, says that consumers are increasingly interested in knowing what’s in the products they drink.

According to consumer research, 86% of Europeans think drinks producers should provide both the ingredients and the nutrition information.

Similar sentiment is being seen in the US. In July, The Beer Institute - a national trade association for the US brewing industry - launched an initiative to encourage brewers and importers to include calorie content and further nutritional information​ on products.

Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA and Constellation Brands are among the brewers who have agreed to follow these guidelines in the US. 

In March 2015, Diageo announced it would provide alcohol content and nutrition information per typical serve worldwide. Later that year, Treasury Wine Estates announced it would provide calorie information​ for its products. 

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