Nutritional labelling on alcoholic beverage packaging is voluntary in the US, rather than mandatory. Scott Bussen, marketing communications rep with MillerCoors, said the brewer decided to be proactive and step up with the industry-first labelling on its Miller64 packaging.
“We’re doing this now because it’s what we believe is right for our business and our consumers,” he said.
The newly labeled cans are expected to hit retail shelves in mid-March, with bottles pouring into stores a month later. Bussen said the Miller64 brand (named for the number of calories in a 12-ounce serving) is a good brand to debut its nutritional labeling.
“We believe the nutritional labeling will be especially relevant for light beer drinkers who are considering a super low-cal option,” he said. “That’s why we thought Miller64 was a good starting point to help us learn more and determine the best way to move forward.”
Bussen added that while beer consumers normally aren’t calorie counters, light and ultra-light beer drinkers are a possible exception.
“Consumers view alcohol as an indulgence and don’t apply the same rules as when they’re deciding what to make for dinner, but we believe many people would be interested to better understand this nutritional information, especially someone looking at a brand such as Miller64,” he told FPD.
The MillerCoors team expects to adopt voluntary nutritional labeling on other beverages in its portfolio, Bussen said, but first things first.
“Our focus now is on getting the new label into the market with Miller64 and learning more about consumer reaction,” he said. “We expect to adopt the voluntary standards for other brands in our portfolio but don’t have details at this time.”
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau recently issued guidelines about placing nutritional data on beer, wine and liquor labels. The guidelines outline how to place info on serving size, servings per container, alcohol content by volume, calories, protein, and fat per serving on packaging.