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Calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks gains pace

Published:  25 November, 2021

The latest market review released by the Portman Group has shown that almost half (47%) of alcoholic drinks sold in the UK now feature calorie information on labels, despite no legal requirement to do so.

Released today (25 November), the Informing Alcohol Consumers: 2021 UK Market Review collected data from a sample of over 400 of the most widely consumed drinks brands in the UK. The results indicate that there is a growing commitment to provide consumers with public health information on labels.

Of the over 400 alcoholic drinks studied, the majority already contained a pregnancy warning (99%), alcoholic unit information (94%) and a reference to a responsibility message, or to Drinkaware (93%). In addition, almost four in five (79%) carry the latest UK Chief Medical Officer low risk drinking guidelines.

Portman Group CEO, Matt Lambert, commented: “Responsible alcohol marketing needs to be clear, and have information that consumers can easily understand to make informed choices. It is a significant achievement that the industry is delivering on its commitments to ensuring high standards of voluntary best practice.”

He added: “As our report shows, calorie information on alcohol labelling is firmly on track to become a majority wide industry practise as we have already seen with unit labelling, pregnancy, Drinkaware and responsibility messages.”

Since 2017, the Portman Group has been advising the industry on adhering to best practice guidelines.

The guidance recommends how to show health-related information, including: alcohol units; the Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines; advice on drinking during pregnancy; a responsibility statement; the promotion of Drinkaware advice; calorie content; nutritional information; drink-driving messages; and the communication that alcohol is an age-restricted product.

The Portman Group will now seek to engage with the small minority of producers who aren’t demonstrating the minimum requirements of the Guidance.