Over the last four years brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients and energy labelling, with 60% of beers already labelling calories and 85% displaying an ingredients list.
Understandable, recognisable information
While EU food regulations require producers to label ingredients and energy values, beverages over 1.2% ABV are exempt. The beer industry, however, has been building on its efforts to provide the same information for consumers on their products in an effort to increase transparency and make it easy for consumers to find such information.
The Brewers of Europe – which represents European brewers - and its members have now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to display ingredients and energy information on pack.
“The purpose of the MoU is that companies take public responsibility for the declaration of ingredients and energy information on the labels of their products, whilst trade associations support these efforts including through setting local sectoral ambitions and collective reporting,” says the Brewers of Europe.
“The MoU is open to companies and associations from all alcoholic beverage sectors, provided that the signatory fully endorses the MoU and its commitment to the on-pack labelling of both ingredients and energy values. The ultimate wish is that consumers receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all alcoholic beverages.”
Thirty-seven initial signatories, including 25 national brewers’ associations, have put their names to the MoU and the Brewers’ Ambition 2022.
While beer is exempt from EU food labelling regulations, those who do provide such information voluntarily must follow the same rules as food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use. Energy values must be provided in kj and kcal per 100ml to allow a like-for-like comparison against other beverages.