Fresh concerns over alcohol labelling after new report

Campaigners are warning that consumers are being failed by alcohol labelling.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 7th July 2022, 6:46 pm
Ailsa Rutter, director of Balance.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Balance.

Fresh concerns over people being “left in the dark” in relation to health warnings, ingredients, calories, sugar content and nutritional information on products are being raised.

Balance is the North East of England’s alcohol programme and along with colleagues at the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), it is now calling for the Government to make it a legal requirement for alcohol companies to display nutritional information and health warnings on their products.

In a new report, the AHA examined 369 alcohol products at locations across the UK, including in the North East, to find out what information is available to consumers on alcohol labels.

It said just 20 per cent of the products examined provided the full list of ingredients and 41 per cent of them stated calorie content, whilst only three per cent included a general health warning.

In contrast, a survey by Balance has found that 72 per cent of North East adults would support a general health warning on alcohol and 66 per cent support listing ingredients.

In the UK, alcoholic drinks are only required to display the volume and strength (in ABV) and common allergens on labels. Information on nutritional values (including calories and sugar content), ingredients, or health warnings is not required.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Balance, said: “People have a right to know what their drinks contain and the risks of drinking, even if this is just to make informed decisions, and so we are urging the Government to intervene.

“Unlike tobacco, alcohol products contain no information about health and people are left in the dark.”