66% want calorie labelling standards to apply to alcohol

25th February 2014 - Fine Cut

National supermarket chain Sainsbury's has announced the inclusion of calorie counters on a selection of its new own-brand wines, after research showed many people would welcome the same calorie information to appear on alcohol as it does on food labelling.

According to the research, many consumers rely on this for their nutritional know-how, with as many as two in three (66 per cent) of people stating they'd like to see the same on-pack labelling standard apply to alcohol as they do to food, in a bid to make calorie content clearer.

The figures showed 85 per cent of adults do not know how many calories there are in a glass of wine, while 63 per cent of people don't include the wine they drink when counting calories - despite the fact it could make up a significant proportion of a person's daily total!

"It is clear from our research that shoppers are confused regarding the calories in alcohol. We hope that by clearly displaying this information on the bottle, we’ll be able to help our customers to make responsible choices more easily," explained chair of Sainsbury's Responsible Drinking Steering Group Helen Buck.

The move may be welcomed by consumers, as further statistics showed as many as two-thirds of people would like to see calorie count labels on alcohol - especially as more than one in three target alcohol consumption when trying to adopt a more healthier lifestyle. As many as 44 per cent of individuals go out of their way to limit how much they drink in a bid manage their weight.

Calorie counting is hardly a new phenomenon. Many people use it as a way of monitoring their diet, to ensure they are not consuming more energy than they are burning off. However, while three-quarters (74 per cent) of individuals know what their recommended daily calorie intake should be, more than half had no idea what the government guidelines for daily alcohol consumption were.

As public health minister Jane Ellison concluded: "Clear labelling has an important part to play in helping customers make healthier choices."

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