A new voluntary initiative from the Beer Institute encourages beer companies to list calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat content on beer labels.
Photo © iStockphoto.com/Pgiam
The movement to provide more information on food and beverage labels has now reached another favorite consumer product: beer. Many of the most popular U.S. beers may soon carry labels with serving facts statements disclosing calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and alcohol content by volume.
This morning, the Beer Institute, a trade group representing some of the largest U.S. beer producers, announced a voluntary initiative encouraging its members to display additional nutritional information on product packaging and online. The labeling statements are meant to be consistent with a 2013 ruling from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which authorizes and provides guidelines for serving facts statements on alcoholic products.
Among the Beer Institute members that have agreed to the initiative are industry giants Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Brewers, and Craft Brew Alliance. Together, these companies produce more than 81% of the beer sold in the United States by volume, notes the Beer Institute.
In addition to the on-pack information about carbohydrates, calories, fat, and protein, Beer Institute members are encouraged to provide freshness dating and disclose ingredients via a list, a reference to a website, or a digital code on the label or secondary packaging. Participating brewers and importers are urged to comply with initiative by the end of 2020.
“The Beer Institute-and its member companies-believes this is a step in the right direction to demonstrate a commitment to quality and transparency through these voluntary measures,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, in the initiative announcement. “Providing meaningful information will ultimately empower the consumer when making decisions regarding the beer beverage of their choice.”
Also in the announcement, Tommy Thompson, former secretary of Health and Human Services, applauded the labeling initiative from the Beer Institute.
“American consumers are more informed than ever, and they want to know about the food and beverages that they are eating and drinking,” Thompson said. “The Beer Institute and the companies that have chosen to participate in the Brewers’ Voluntary Discolosure Initative are providing real leadership in the alcohol beverage industry by voluntarily providing this information.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine