The Portman Group has drawn up new guidelines on alcohol unit labelling in a bid to iron out inconsistencies and respond to government pressure for the trade to become more proactive in promoting sensible drinking.
The government’s Alcohol
Harm Reduction Strategy warns that the industry could face legislation if it fails to display unit information and messages about responsible drinking on packaging.
Companies, including Diageo and Allied Domecq, already display unit information but discrepancies have led the Portman Group to issue guidelines after consulting suppliers.
Portman director of policy, David Poley, said: “We are trying to bring consistency in the way companies go about unit labelling.” He pointed to discrepancies such as wine labelled per bottle or per glass. “They are not helpful to consumers,” he added.
The guidelines lay out how products should be labelled according to alcoholic strength - for example it recommends that a bottle of wine is labelled by total units (around nine) or 175ml serving (2.1 units)
Portman is also in discussions with companies over formulating an industry-wide sensible drinking message (Industry talks sensible unity, The Grocer, Sept 4, p76).
Claire Hu