Survey: Consumers are interested in information on the ingredients and energy content of alcoholic beverages
Finns feel that it is useful for alcoholic beverages to be labelled with information on their ingredients and energy content, according to a survey commissioned by the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry from Taloustutkimus. Legislation does not require labelling alcoholic beverages with ingredients and energy content, but the member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry have done so for years on the packaging of all beers, ciders and long drinks manufactured in Finland as set out in the Food Act.
According to the Taloustutkimus survey, 86% of Finns consider it either very or quite useful for alcoholic beverages to be labelled with their ingredients. The figure is at the same level as in the previous two years. Only 10% of the respondents feel that such information is either quite or entirely unnecessary.
Three out of four Finns consider that indicating the energy content of alcoholic beverages is necessary. The percentage of Finns who consider this information important has remained at the same level in recent years. As many as 88% of women and 71% of men are of the opinion that information on energy content is useful. 21% of respondents consider the disclosure of this information either quite or entirely unnecessary.
As part of its social responsibility, the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry has recommended to its member companies since 2005 that they should disclose the ingredients of all mild alcoholic beverages on the labels, and since 2008 that they should also include nutritional information as set out in the Food Act. Legislation does not currently require such labelling on alcoholic beverages. However, this week, the European Commission announced that it expects the alcoholic beverage industry to take voluntary steps within a year to include ingredient lists and nutritional information on all alcoholic beverages.
“Consumers want information about the content of alcoholic beverages, but the disclosure of this information is still rare even in Europe, because it’s not mandatory. The Finnish brewing industry is a pioneer in transparency in product information,” says Communications Manager Outi Heikkinen from the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry.
Under the lead of The Brewers of Europe, breweries in Europe have committed to the voluntary disclosure of ingredient lists and nutritional information on their products or websites. Consumers still do not have access to such information on spirits or wines.
Packaging labels on alcoholic beverages provide consumers with important information for making informed choices. Ingredient lists and nutritional information for alcoholic beverages are voluntary, but all nutritional information must be disclosed on the package if nutritional claims are made on the label or in connection with sales. For this reason, such markings are provided on light beverages and gluten-free beers, for instance.
The study commissioned by the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry was carried out using a Taloustutkimus Internet panel from 17 to 22 February 2017. The survey respondents were 1,403 Finns aged 18 to 70.
Managing Director Elina Ussa, tel. +358 (0)45 269 7711
Communications Manager Outi Heikkinen, tel. +358 (0)50 370 8677
The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry promotes the interests of producers of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters in Finland. Its members are Captol Invest Oy, Oy Hartwall Ab, Olvi Oyj, Red Bull Finland Oy, Saimaan Juomatehdas, and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry is a member of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation.