Tennent’s calorie announcement could push legislative change warns Acoura

26 February, 2016

Last week, Scottish Brewing giant Tennent’s announced it will display calorie details on its bottles, cans and beer mats.

The move, is the first of its kind from any of the UK’s major breweries and could have major repercussions for both the on and off trade according to food safety and legislative compliance specialists Acoura.

Lisa Ackerley, one of Acoura’s Strategic advisors said:

“Tennent’s claim that its calorie content, at just 30 per 100mls, is the lowest of the UK’s big beer brands.  So it’s perhaps not surprising that they have announced they’ll be displaying calorie information on all their bottles, cans and beermats.

“While the move will be seen by many as innovative marketing from the brand at a time when health is top of the agenda, the reality is, that it could soon become a legislative requirement.

“Only last month, the Local Government Association in England and Wales were very clearly shouting about the need for calorie displays on alcoholic beverages to become the norm and not the exception.  And the LGA aren’t the only ones looking long and hard at how brewers and distillers display nutritional information.

“With ingredient, allergen and provenance claims more sought after than ever, the lack of transparency on the calorie content of beers, wines, ciders and spirits feels genuinely at odds with the way consumers choose their products.

“I’m certain that Tennent’s labelling move and relatively low calorie content will help them sell a few more beers in the short term, but it may also start the process of tighter labelling legislation for the whole industry.”

Acoura Director Stuart Kelly warned that any move to change legislation could have serious implications for hospitality providers already struggling to keep on top of legislative changes:

“In recent years we’ve seen the impact allergen information legislation has had on areas such as staff training, menus and point of sale displays. Any law changes enforcing compulsory calorie information for alcoholic drinks could be equally disruptive to pubs and restaurants so if there are moves to this effect pubs and restaurants shouldn’t wait till the last minute before acting.

“For example, I can already see communicating information on the calories of guest ales and draught beers causing an issue as calorie content can vary broadly depending on brand and style.”

Acoura is one of the largest suppliers of risk services to the UK’s pub sector, from labelling advice to food safety, training and site inspections.  Its customers include Fullers, Mitchells and Butlers and JD Wetherspoon. Contact us on 0330 024 0255 to find out more about how we can help build and protect your business. 

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We offer specialist services and solutions aimed at protecting businesses who operate across the food and drink supply chain.


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