Should printing nutrition information on wine labels become a mainstream practice, it would could create a series of dramatic changes to traditional wine labels. Winemakers would need to decide what specific information to include, while graphic designers would need to decide where to place the information boxes. Text and images would need to be moved around, and perhaps more real estate within the label would be made available. It remains to be seen if this practice catches on throughout the vast and lucrative wine label industry.
Currently, the law in the US states that substances to which people might be sensitive, such as sulfites and yellow No. 5, must be labeled. And labels of distilled spirits must state percent alcohol, and they may list calories (but usually don't).
Wine label rules depend on alcohol percentage. Wines from 7 to 14 percent must list alcohol and may list calories (but don't). Wines with less than 7 percent alcohol are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. They must display Nutrition Facts labels with calories, nutrients and actual ingredients. They may disclose percent alcohol, and some do.
TWE, an Australia-based winemaking operation, owns US-based brands like Beaulieu, Sterling and Stag’s Leap, as well as other internationally known brands such as Penfolds. The winemaker will become the first in the global wine industry to provide nutrition information on the label of its products, reports the Drinks Business.
In March, liquor giant Diageo became the first alcoholic drinks producer to announce that it would be adding a nutrition panel to all of its products, which include beer, wine and mostly spirits. Crown Royal in October became the first Diageo brand to include a nutritional label, which features information on calories, carbohydrates and fat per serving, on its bottles.
“We recognize that consumers are increasingly interested in accessing the facts on calorie content to help them make more informed choices on alcohol consumption,” says Dan Townsend, TWE general manager for Europe. “TWE has a significant footprint across the world, with our wines sold in more than 70 countries. We believe a commitment to providing calorie information on our brands is a positive step that leads the wine industry in responding to consumer interests in this important area.”
Treasury Wine Estates will be the first wine producer to ship nutritionally labeled wine internationally but Spanish wine producer Félix Solís Avantis has been included nutritional informational on wine sold domestically for many years.
In April, members of the European Parliament backed the introduction of a new law that would mandate alcoholic beverage producers to include calorie counts on product labels after research found that many adults were “completely unaware” of how many calories they were consuming when drinking alcohol.
TWE will first start rolling out its new bottles of wine with calorie information in Europe following the vintage 2016 labeling process. The Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand will follow.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has applauded the decision as a way to provide more information to customers so they can make informed decisions. Mike Beal, group CEO told the Drinks Business that the move “also provides the sort of calorie information their consumers want and in a format that they can access easily.”