United Kingdom: How many calories are YOU guzzling? Beers including Stella, Becks and Budweiser to list all nutritional information on the bottle in a bid to stem obesity crisis
Move is part of a broader drive to curb excessive and harmful drinking
Calorie count details will start going on to cans and bottles later this year
Labels will include ingredients and details of energy in terms of calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt
Source: Daily Mail
By Sean Poulter
11 January 2016
Calorie count labels are to be put on bottles and cans of the best-selling beers Stella Artois, Becks and Budweiser.
The company behind the famous names, AB InBev, said it is part of a broader drive to curb excessive and harmful drinking.
It comes at the same time as the major brewers are pushing low or no-alcohol beers, which are also lower in calories.
Other beer and wine producers are planning to offer calorie count information on packs.
Just last week, Government health experts changed official guidelines to dramatically reduce the amount of alcohol that is safe to drink to avoid illnesses, including cancer.
The decision by AB InBev was taken independently of a recent call from the Local Government Association(LGA) for calories counts on all beer, wine and spirits.
The organisation, which represents 370 councils, is concerned that calories from alcohol have no nutritional value and are contributing to an escalating obesity crisis.
The calorie count details will start going on to cans and bottles later this year.
Calorie information will be given both per 100ml and by portion size on individual bottles and cans.
The labels will include the ingredients and details of the ‘big seven’ nutritional statistics – energy in terms of calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein and salt.
Drinkers who want the details before the new labels start being used can access the calorie count information on a special website set up by the company – http://www.tapintoyourbeer.com/
AB InBev said its research found many consumers are interested in the calorie content of their drinks but most are in the dark about the figures.
A survey found 35 per cent of British adults actively looked for the calorie information of their drinks, rising to 48 per cent of 18 to 29 year-olds the largest percentage in Europe.
Research by the LGA found a bottle of wine has the same calories as eating two hamburgers.
It claimed that four in five people did not know the number of calories in a glass of wine and a higher nine in ten were confused about the number in a pint of beer.
A pint of strong beer has 250 calories, which is equivalent to a bagel, while a pink of ordinary pub bitter is about 182, which is equivalent to a slice of pizza.
Half a bottle of wine has 340 calories, which is the same as a pain au chocolat.
Most of us have no idea how many calories our favourite drinks contain. In a bid to highlight the fattening effect, the Royal Society of Public Health has decided to highlight these drink-food equivalents
The move means AB InBev UK is going above and beyond the pledge made by industry body Brewers of Europe, whose members have agreed to provide full information on ingredients, energy and nutritional values per 100ml either on label and/or online.
However, the company is not alone. Last March, Diageo, which makes Guinness and Smirnoff, said it would put ‘per serve’ calorie information on its packaging.
Treasury Wine Estates recently revealed plans to provide the information online and include a dedicated web address on its bottles. Sainsbury’s introduced calorie information on 20 of its own label wines back in 2014.
AB InBev’s Anna Tolley said: ‘Consumers are getting savvier about their daily calorie consumption and are actively looking at nutritional information.
‘While the EU continues to discuss the best way forward for nutritional labelling in our industry, we want to give consumers the information they need at their fingertips to make well informed choices and enjoy our products responsibly.’
The firm’s UK marketing chief, Nick Robinson, said: ‘We have to ensure full information for all our beers is easily available so consumers can decide which beer is right for them on which occasion.
‘This starts with providing choice to our consumers – including great tasting low-alcohol and no-alcohol beers like market leading Beck’s Blue in the UK.’