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Daily Mail, 10th Feb: Tennent’s lager to become first alcohol product in the UK to display calorie information on its packaging.

February 12th 2016

Thank you to SHAAP for their weekly media monitoring.
This article was taken from Daily Mail, 10th Feb.

Tennent’s lager is to become the first alcohol product in the UK to display calorie information on its packaging.

Cans and bottles will carry the information from March in a move to ‘educate drinkers and promote the responsible consumption of alcohol’.

Drip mats in pubs and clubs will also display the information that a 500ml can of Tennent’s lager contains 152 calories.

The information also states 100ml of Tennent’s typically contains 30 calories. There are 568ml in a pint, equivalent to around 170 calories.

Brewers Tennent Caledonian said it is the first alcohol product in the UK & Ireland to print clear nutritional information on its cans and bottles.

Managing director Alastair Campbell said: ‘As a responsible producer of alcohol and proud owner of brands that are trusted and enjoyed by drinkers across Scotland, we wanted to further extend our commitment to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol.

‘We are introducing calorie information onto our cans and bottles to ensure people can make an informed decision.’

He continued: ‘There is increasing interest among consumers around the nutritional content of the food and drink that they consume.

‘We feel that it is a natural next step to include calorie information on our cans and bottles to sit alongside the responsible drinking messaging and number of alcohol units already displayed.’

In Scotland, nearly one in four men and around one in six women drink at harmful or hazardous levels, according to Alcohol Focus Scotland.

There were 1,152 alcohol-related deaths in 2014 and 35,059 alcohol-related hospital stays in 2014/15.

Public health minister Maureen Watt said the Scottish Government supports improved alcohol product labelling.

‘Many people are unaware of the calorie content of alcoholic drinks, so this is an important step forward in informing consumers and, as such, we are happy to support Tennent’s commitment today,’ she said.

‘Raising awareness on alcohol labels is an important tool to allow consumers to make informed, positive lifestyle choices, change their drinking habits and drink more responsibly.’

Tennent’s owner C&C Group also manufactures Bulmers and Magners cider, and plans to add nutritional information to other products over the next year.

Earlier this year local councils in England demanded drink manufacturers put calorie information on beer and wine bottles.

They warned that putting on weight from drinking is less well known than other alcohol risks, so calorie content should be highlighted to tackle obesity.

Local authorities claim five pints of beer with a strength of 4 per cent – roughly the alcohol level of ordinary bitter – is equivalent to eating more than three hamburgers, and provides calories that would take 90 minutes’ running to burn off.

The Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: ‘While the long-term health effects of drinking, such as liver and heart damage and increased risk of cancer, are relatively well-known, the huge number of hidden calories contained in alcohol is not.’

At the beginning of this year, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies warned just one alcoholic drink a day could put people at risk of cancer and other illnesses later in life.

In the biggest shake-up of alcohol advice in 30 years, Britons were told there is no safe level of drinking booze.

The move follows new evidence that even small amounts greatly increase the risk of cancer.

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