A number of major brewers have agreed to the standards of the new Brewers Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.
In an attempt to help consumers make informed decisions when it comes to choosing which beer to purchase, The Beer Institute has launched a new initiative to encourage member companies to display specific information on their products, packaging and/or websites. This new initiative, The Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, encourages beer companies to voluntarily include a serving facts statement on their products, as well as disclose product ingredients.
Product ingredients will either be listed on the label or secondary packaging, or they will be accessible via a reference to a website with the information or through a QR code.
Participating brewers and importers will voluntarily list calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat and alcohol by volume on their beer products by including a serving facts statement consistent with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TTB) ruling 2013-2. In addition, the companies will provide freshness dating. Beer Institute member companies, including industry leaders such as Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries and Craft Brew Alliance, have agreed to follow these standards. These companies together produce more than 81% of the volume of beer sold in the U.S.
“The Beer Institute, and its member companies, believes this is a step in the right direction to demonstrate a commitment to quality and transparency through these voluntary measures. Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the U.S., and I look forward to brewers and importers including a serving facts statement along with disclosing all ingredients in their products,” said Jim McGreevy, Beer Institute president and CEO. “Providing meaningful information will ultimately empower the consumer when making decisions regarding the beer beverage of their choice.”
Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing more about the products they purchase. According to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nielsen, 72% of beer drinkers think it’s important to read nutritional labels when buying food and beverages.
“I applaud the Beer Institute for encouraging its members to include valuable consumer information through a serving facts statement and list of ingredients,” said Tommy Thompson, former secretary of health and human services. “American consumers are more informed than ever, and they want to know about the food and beverages that they are eating and drinking. The Beer Institute and the companies that have chosen to participate in the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative are providing real leadership in the alcohol beverage industry by voluntarily providing this information.”
The beer industry is truly diverse, including brewers both large and small. No two brewers, breweries, importers or beers are alike, and these differences were taken into account when designing and rolling out this initiative to member companies. Participating brewers and importers are being encouraged to achieve compliance across their product lines by the end of 2020.
Consumers should begin to see the impact of the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative immediately across the U.S. market, as many members currently provide some nutritional facts and ingredients information.