Product labels can serve a number of purposes, providing information about the product to the consumer, enticing the consumer to buy the product and warning consumers of dangers and health risks from the product.
Listing the ingredients contained in a particular beverage alerts the consumer to the presence of any potentially harmful or problematic substances. Even more importantly, providing the nutritional information such as calorie content allows consumer to monitor their diets better and makes it easier to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, on July 6 2011 the European Parliament adopted the compromise with the Council on the proposal for a regulation on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers with 606 votes in favour, 46 against and 26 abstentions (regulation No 1169/2011)
The vote was a culmination of some very heated debates over a number of contentious issues.
Alcohol (beverages containing more than 1,2% by volume) has been exempted from the obligation to list its ingredients and provide nutrition information; consumers will still be unable to know exactly what is in wine, beer or spirits or how many calories they are consuming.
European Commission Report January 2014 'State of play in the use of alcohol beverage labels to inform consumers about health aspects'
SHAAP's European partner EUROCARE has produced several reports on alcohol labelling and its health implications:
Eurocare considers that labelling should be part of comprehensive strategy to provide information and educate consumers about alcohol and should be part of integrated policies and programmes to reduce the harm done by alcohol.
Consumers have the right to know the ingredients contained in alcoholic beverages they drink.
Eurocare would like to call on the European decision and policy makers to work towards prompt inclusion of a list of ingredients, nutritional information (kcal) and health information on the labels
Eurocare believes there is a public health interest in informing consumers, by means of labels, of the dangers and health risks associated to the consumption of alcohol. These messages would be a symbolic statement concerning the nature of the product and a low cost reminder that alcohol consumption has some risks.
In this document, you will find a number of sample labels that can be used as a basis for a more elaborated library.