AB InBev UK is rolling out new packaging across the UK to contain full ingredient and nutritional information for its beers – with ‘King of Beers’ Budweiser and German favourite, Beck’s marking the first big names to incorporate the changes. The information will be available per 100ml as well as per serving size and will cover: energy values, fat, saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and salt (the Big 7).
This announcement comes as recent figures from The Brewers of Europe’s Consumer Insights Survey reveal that 85% of European consumers want to see nutritional information on alcoholic beverages and 86% want ingredient information displayed. These figures are up from 74% and 69% respectively since 2014, demonstrating increasing consumer demand for both nutritional and ingredient information on alcoholic products. In the UK specifically, 82% of consumers think ingredient information should be displayed on all food and drink products and 56% of consumers want full nutritional and ingredient information for alcoholic beverages.
The arrival of the new packaging for Budweiser and Beck’s in the UK follows the major pledge AB InBev made back in January 2016 to provide consumers with full ingredient and nutritional information for 80% of its European volumes by the end of 2017.
On average, over 15million bottles and cans of Budweiser and almost 3million bottles and cans of Beck’s brewed each week in the UK will now be accompanied by consumer information on packaging. The new labels, being rolled out on primary and secondary packs, support the brewer’s progress across the EU – with 50% of all volume expected to carry the new information by the end of 2016 – taking AB InBev over halfway to reaching its goal of 80%. For the UK specifically, the addition of Budweiser and Beck’s means 50% of its UK packaging will now carry full consumer information.
The Consumer Insights research also revealed that consumers are increasingly using multiple sources to find nutritional and ingredient information on alcoholic beverages, with two thirds of consumers considering two or more sources to investigate product content. By making full ingredient and nutritional information available both on pack and online, AB InBev is committed to providing the right information, in the right places, to help increase consumer knowledge and encourage smart drinking decisions.
Following Budweiser and Beck’s, AB InBev UK will look to provide full information for other major brands, including Stella Artois, which is expected to take effect from the middle of 2017. Stella Artois fans may already have noticed the new information appear on some Stella Artois limited edition packaging over the summer, including for Wimbledon. In the meantime, full consumer information for all AB InBev beers is already available online here.
AB InBev’s pledge is part of parallel commitments by other major brewers across Europe under the umbrella of The Brewers of Europe (BoE), which brings together the European brewing sector. AB InBev has been a driving force in this initiative and has committed to going beyond the common baseline, with the aim of setting an example that others can follow.
BoE have committed to providing full information on ingredients, energy and nutritional values per 100ml either on label and/or online. AB InBev’s pledge goes above and beyond this minimum BoE commitment by:
- Placing full ingredient, allergens and energy information on primary packs
- Placing full ingredient and Big 7 nutrition information on non-returnable secondary packs as well as online via Tapintoyourbeer.com
- Providing not only the mandatory ‘per 100ml’ info but serving size as well
Jason Warner, President of AB InBev UK & Ireland said: “Our ambitious pledge goes above and beyond current industry practice. As part of the world’s leading brewer, we have a responsibility to ensure that our products are enjoyed in a responsible manner and Budweiser and Beck’s represent our first big step towards ensuring our UK beer drinkers are fully informed about the drinks they consume. We believe providing beer fans with access to information, as well as a wide portfolio of options from low-or-no alcohol beers to premium lagers, will help them make well informed and smart choices about what and how they drink.”
In 2015, AB InBev conducted research by IPSOS Mori which revealed that UK consumers have limited knowledge of calorie levels in beer, with less than 1 in 5 claiming to be aware of them. The survey showed that providing more information on beer would be beneficial for consumers with over a third of respondents saying they pay close attention to their daily calorie consumption (36%) and 35% actively look at the calorie information of their drinks. This figure rises to nearly 50% (48%) among 18-29yr olds – the largest percentage among millennials across Europe.
AB InBev’s performance on this commitment will be subject to external independent auditing.
Source: AB InBev UK