Diageo to provide calories and alcohol content per typical serve

By Robyn Black

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Diageo chief executive Alcoholic beverage European union Diageo

Diageo to provide calories and alcohol content per typical serve
Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer owner, Diageo, will become the first drinks company to provide drinkers with information on both nutritional information and alcohol content per typical serve, it announced today (19 March 2015).

The information will be available on-pack and via the company’s responsible drinking website, DRINKiQ, in the majority of Diageo’s markets worldwide, “as soon as is practicable.”

It is hoped the move will help people understand how much they are drinking and help reduce misuse of alcohol.

Scottish MEP and member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, Ian Duncan, welcomed the decision.

“Today's announcement from Diageo is a fine example of their commitment to giving consumers the information that they need to make sensible decisions about alcohol,” he said.

“Providing both the nutrition and alcohol content of alcohol drinks, in an easy to understand 'per serving' format, is a major improvement on the confusing current system, where there are different measurements of alcohol units across the EU.

“This is a hugely positive step and one that the European Commission should reflect on, as it considers how to tackle harmful drinking”

Diageo will not be putting the information in terms of 100ml measures, which is currently the standard measurement of nutritional information on food and drink in the European Union, as it believes this does not reflect “the reality of the way drinkers consume alcohol.”

The information will therefore be given in terms of typical serve.

“Currently, there is no obligation to provide such information in markets worldwide, but we know that consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass,” said Diageo Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Menezes.

“We want to provide alcohol and nutrition information that consumers can quickly understand, instead of expecting them to do the maths.”

The UK’s alcohol industry watchdog the Portman Group said the move “exemplifies” the industry’s commitment to improving consumer information about their products.

 “Alcohol producers have voluntarily labelled 80% of products with key health information, and over 90% with a warning about drinking when pregnant,” said chief executive Henry Ashworth.

“The industry also provides detailed consumer information on their websites and promotes and funds Drinkaware, the alcohol information charity. Diageo’s announcement is further proof that responsible companies are taking decisive action to help consumers make informed choices.”

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