The existing disparity between alcohol and food labelling requirements has proven to be a source of constant confusion and inquiry on behalf of curious consumers as well as industry professionals throughout the past several years. This unique double standard has left many people scratching their heads, wondering how it could be that alcoholic beverages, arguably more dangerous than fruits, meats and vegetables, are exempt from the tight regulatory burdens facing many food manufacturers today.
With this in mind, a growing number of individuals and advocacy groups have begun to push for more equitable standards for beer and wine labels. One of the many reasons why experts are pushing for the use of detailed labelling on alcoholic beverages is the general confusion amongst the public regarding the nutritive content of these products. According to those who are knowledgeable within the industry, the idea of “safe” drinking is largely a myth – the products found within these beverages will invariably contribute to a decline in health if imbibed regularly.
On the simplest level possible, some label advocates are asking for increased information concerning caloric intake counts on alcoholic beverages. The public is largely in favour of such measures as well. For example, a recent UK survey revealed that nearly 83% of the general public was in favour of new protocols allowing for more in-depth labelling standards on alcoholic beverages country-wide. It has also been found that 87% of the UK public supports the use of warning labels to warn pregnant women against alcoholic consumption.
According to Barbara O’Donnell, the acting chief executive of Scotland-based advocacy group Alcohol Focus Scotland, “This isn’t about frightening people or putting them off drinking altogether. This is about us all having the right to know what we’re putting into our bodies and how we could be risking our health. Let’s not keep drinkers in the dark any longer.
As labelling standards continue to evolve in the UK, it is unlikely that alcoholic beverages will escape the regulatory constraints levied on other products. That being said, it will be very interesting to observe what, if any impact these new beer and wine labels will have on overall sales.