European spirit producers will start mentioning the number of calories in their drinks on their packaging. Officially, alcoholic beverages are exempt from this European regulation. This non-binding agreement does also not apply to wine and beer.
Calories, all ingredients and extra info
The European industry organisation for spirits manufacturers, Spirits EUROPE, has reached an agreement whereby the producers commit to revealing more information. Besides information on the number of calories, they promise to show the full list of ingredients on their labels and display more product-specific information online. A number of members (Brown-Forman, Campari and Edrington) decided not to sign the agreement. The 31 national industry organisations did sign up, as did six multinationals: Bacardi-Martini, Beam Suntory, Diageo, Moet Hennessy, Pernod Ricard and Remy Cointreau.
These measures were demanded by European consumer organisation BEUC, who believes that given the coming obesity crisis in Europe, it is necessary to state the number of calories on alcoholic drinks as well. Earlier on, the European Commission had also suggested that the industry should come up with a plan of its own in this regard.
One bottle in four by 2020
According to Euronews, manufacturers who take part get six months' time (until December 2019) to adjust their labels and provide all newly produced bottles with the new labels. The number of calories will be indicated per 100 ml, as well as per 'recommended portion', which was a major issue for the spirits manufacturers during the negotiations.
By the end of 2020, one in four bottles in the EU will show the calorie count. By the end of 2022, that should be two out of every three. Twice a year, interim meetings will take place to evaluate the state of affairs. The impact and efficiency of the initiative will also be monitored.