Diageo has recently announced Johnnie Walker as its first global brand to provide consumers around the world with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve. From early autumn, the new labels for bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label, the best-selling Scotch Whisky around the world, go into production and will then be shipped to dozens of markets globally. By the end of the year, up to 30 million bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve will be on the shelves, helping consumers understand what’s in their glass. Every year around 115 million bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label are typically produced and shipped around the world.
The labels conform to the new Diageo Consumer Information Standard (DCIS) which comes into force in July 1, 2016 and will apply to all Diageo brands. Diageo developed the DCIS based on research of more than 1,500 consumers around the world, including people from North America, Great Britain and Spain, among other countries. The new label designs reflect the way consumers want to receive – and can understand – information on alcohol content. Those surveyed said that when too much information (especially small text) is placed on the label it can be confusing and they may ignore it all. Less information, clearly presented a consistent request across all markets. The research also found that, of all the information that could be included, their preference was for alcohol information (standard drink size, ABV, how many units), calories per serve, sugar content, allergens and brand facts, such as how a product is made and quality assurances.
Using this research, Diageo is committing to provide labelling across all its brands which is consistent in layout, so people know where to look for information on every pack, and uses icons which are significantly easier to understand than words, all of which tested well in focus groups. In order to share best practice for providing information in a way that is easy for consumers to understand, Diageo is posting a public version of the DCIS at www.diageo.com.
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo said: “We believe people should have the best possible information to make informed choices about what they drink: this includes alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve. Johnnie Walker is one of our largest global brands, which means these new labels will arm millions of people around the world with clear information about what’s in their glass and in a way they can understand at a glance, instead of expecting them to do the maths.”
From next month, cans and bottles of Ireland’s number one ale, Smithwick’s, will also hit the shelves with updated labels, and from early next year, Guinness Draught cans sold in the Republic of Ireland will also be updated to carry alcohol content and nutritional information per serve. Between them, Smithwick’s and Guinness account for 39 per cent of Ireland’s beer market.
Updates to Johnnie Walker Black Label, Double Black, Gold Label Reserve, Platinum and Green Label are also planned for the first half of 2017.
Carolyn Panzer, Director of Alcohol in Society, Diageo, said: “The new scheme is simple, clear and attractive – and most importantly, it’s based on what consumers want. There is no beverage of moderation, only a practice of moderation, and that is why we are committed to providing information on alcohol per serving, which enables people to compare the amount of alcohol in different kinds of drinks – from beer to bourbon – at a glance. Current labeling on most alcoholic beverages does not reflect how people consume alcohol and therefore does not allow consumers to understand how much alcohol is in their favorite drink or what is in their glass.”
This announcement forms part of Diageo’s strategy to deliver its commitment to providing alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve through Diageo’s responsible drinking website www.DRINKiQ.com and/or on-pack in a majority of Diageo’s markets subject to local regulatory approval, as soon as practicable. In the first move to fulfil this commitment, the first shipment of Crown Royal labelled with macronutrient and calorie information was released in the US in October 2015.