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Coming Soon to Beer Bottles: Calorie Counts

November 02, 2016

Have you noticed that product labels just keep getting smarter and smarter? First we talked about smart labels and then we discussed security labels—now we’re excited to announce the future of beer bottles! No, beer bottles themselves aren’t getting smarter—but their labels are!

It turns out that beer bottles will soon be required to include calorie counts on custom printed labels, which is a pretty big deal since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t normally play a part in regulating beer labels. Beer labels are actually regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). However, it’s very clear that customers want transparency and the beer beverage industry is willing to satisfy the growing demands of its customers.

New Changes for Beer Labels—Nutrition Information

Whether you sell, manufacture, or drink beer, you’ll definitely be interested in these new changes to beer labels. Two changes are in the works, so let’s dive in and discuss these important updates!

First of all, the FDA will require the complete disclosure of calories and nutritional information for standard menu items on menus and menu boards, including beer. This new rule will go into effect in May 2017. All chain restaurants and retail food businesses with 20 or more locations nationwide will be required to make this change to include nutritional information for all menu items.

With this change, the FDA will expect a calorie disclosure for every alcoholic beverage on the menu, and the calories must be specific to the beer, style of beer, and to the serving size.

In addition, many grocery stores, convenience stores, movie theaters, sports venues, bowling alleys, and vending machines will be subject to these rules. The compliance deadline is May 5, 2017, and many companies are already taking action to analyze and verify nutritional information for their menu offerings.

The Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative

Beer manufacturers have another big change in store for them, but this time it’s voluntary. However, we know how important product transparency is, so brands may all feel the pressure to disclose nutrition information if they worry about losing their customers due to lack of transparency.

In addition to the recent menu item changes that will require calorie counts, the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative encourages companies to display nutrition information on products, packaging, or websites. Participants will voluntarily list carbohydrates, protein, fat, calories, and alcohol by volume on their beer products. A full ingredients list may also be included on their custom printed labels, website, or QR code.

According to the Beer Institute, beer industry leaders such as Heineken USA, MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch, North American Breweries, Constellation Brands Beer Division, and Craft Brew Alliance have all agreed to follow these new voluntary standards. These companies produce more than 81 percent of the volume of beer sold in the U.S. so smaller brands may wish to jump on board in order to keep up. Knows Custom Printed Labels

If you plan to update your beer labels now or in the near future, we can help. The beer industry is just one of our many market specialities here at and we know what it takes to create an eye-catching but informative product label.

Learn more about our beer bottle labels and liquor bottle labels and let us help you to prepare for these new rules in the beer and alcoholic beverage industry. We’re here to help you every step of the way! 

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