In Europe, alcoholic drinks do not have to provide the same nutritional informational and ingredients listings as non-alcoholic drinks. There is a growing movement, however, to voluntarily provide consumers with such information in order to give consumers more information.
In 2019, a ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Consumer Information' was facilitated by the European Commission: setting out clear guidance on how nutritional information and ingredients listings should be displayed on spirits drinks.
SpiritsEurope, the trade association for the spirits industry which represents 31 associations and 10 international companies, says around 25% of bottles featured such information by December 2020. This is set to rise to 50% by the end of 2021, and 60% by the end of 2022.
Christian Porta, President of spiritsEUROPE, said: “Despite the difficult market environment and tremendous challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, we are proud to report that the sector is on track in delivering on our labelling commitments and providing European consumers with the information they are looking for.
“Since 2019, more and more trade associations have signed up to the MoU, and more and more producers have started to roll out labels in line with its commitments.”
Progress is also being made on initiatives to provide digital information, continued Porta. For example, the spirits and wine sectors are working together on a bespoke platform to generate product specific e-labels that consumers can access via a QR code on a bottle. This platform will enter a pilot later this year.