Thursday 19 September 2019

Calories to be labelled on all beer across EU

Calorie counts on beer bottles are on the way after Ireland signed a new EU-wide commitment. Stock Image
Calorie counts on beer bottles are on the way after Ireland signed a new EU-wide commitment. Stock Image
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Calorie counts on beer bottles are on the way after Ireland signed a new EU-wide commitment.

A 500ml can of lager can contain up to 143 calories while a bottle of beer can contain up to 94 calories, according to Drinkaware.ie. A pint of lager can contain up to 162 calories.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) commits beer producers to provide this consumer information on the labels of bottles and cans of beer in the EU market by 2022, including ingredients and energy values.

The voluntary MoU was officially signed by the Brewers of Europe, the sector's European trade association, on behalf of Drinks Ireland.

Across Europe, 60pc of beers have calorie information but this agreement will extend to 100pc of beers.

"This MoU further demonstrates a strong commitment by brewers in Ireland and across the EU to provide this information, with ambitious timelines for delivery," said Patricia Callan, director of Drinks Ireland.

Obesity

"The Irish beer sector is proud of the quality products it makes and wants to further empower consumers when they're making purchasing decisions."

The decision to include calorie counts on beer labels follows a tax announced in Budget 2018, which imposed a levy on soft drinks with a sugar content above 5g per 100ml. It's higher still for the most sugary drinks with more than 8g per 100ml.

Tonic water, for example, has 9g of sugar per 100ml and it falls into the higher tax band.

The sugar tax announced in the Budget is aimed at reducing our consumption of high-calorie drinks which are fuelling our rates of obesity. Diet drinks are free from tax.

Irish Independent

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