Calorie counts on alcohol

Lee Suckling writes:

Ever wondered why you can’t find ingredients lists or nutritional information on alcohol labelling?

So have we.

When a delicious “adults only” bottle of Lewis Road Creamery’s new Chocolate Cream Liqueur arrived on our desks, we looked at the label, noticed the absence of information about sugar and general calorie content, and began to wonder. Why do alcohol products not list what’s in them? …

Labelling fits within Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)’s jurisdiction. “Because the ingredients used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages are ‘substantially transformed’ during fermentation, providing a list of ingredients is unlikely to provide useful information for consumers,” says Lorraine Haase, communication and stakeholder engagement manager at FSANZ.

“As most alcoholic beverages are of minor nutritional significance, except for their energy and alcohol content, they are not required to provide a nutrition information panel.”

It remains unclear why FSANZ decrees “energy and alcohol content” as insufficient in order to enforce mandatory nutrition labelling.

I think alcohol should include the energy or calorie count on its bottles. A full nutritional panel isn’t needed, but just the level of calories or kilojoules would be very useful information for consumers.

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