Booze News for Calorie Counters

Diageo to add calorie and alcohol content labels to popular alcohol products

Want to know how many calories are in that cocktail? There may soon be an easy way to find out.

Diageo, the company that owns popular alcohol brands like Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Bailey’s, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness announced March 19 it would voluntarily add nutrition labels with calorie and alcohol content to its products. Diageo claimed it was the first alcohol company to do so.

In a press release, the company claimed the information would help reduce the misuse of alcohol. London-based Diageo said it has already received regulatory approval for the labels in the United States.

Diageo Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said in a press release, “Currently, there is no obligation to provide such information in markets worldwide, but we know that consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass. We want to provide alcohol and nutrition information that consumers can quickly understand, instead of expecting them to do the math.”

Why doesn’t alcohol already have nutrition labels? Booze is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) — not the US Food and Drug Administration, which requires nutrition labels on all products under its purview. In 2013, TTB made nutrition labels optional for booze, but it did not require them.

Diageo currently allows customers to search for the nutritional content of their drinks on its website.