August 4, 2021
Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, firstname.lastname@example.org, (412) 945-3242
Washington, DC—At a time when nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults consume alcoholic beverages and need alcohol content labeling to make responsible drinking decisions, the National Consumers League (NCL) welcomes the findings of an independent survey commissioned by the Beer Institute showing that more than 70 percent of the beer products sold in 2020 included a Serving Facts statement listing the alcohol by volume (ABV) and the number of calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat on products, packaging, or websites.
The survey, which summarizes the results of the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (VDI) launched in 2016, is noteworthy because it shows that brewers and importers have the capability to put a comprehensive nutrition label on both bottles and cans of beer. As documented by the survey findings, of the 78 percent of beer sold by VDI participating companies in 2020, 95.5 percent—or 152.5 million barrels—included nutritional content disclosures. This translates into 45.4 billion 12-ounce bottles and cans. The companies participating in the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative are Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Constellation Brands Beer Division, HEINEKEN USA, and FIFCO USA.
Beyond the number of beer products now carrying helpful nutritional information, the findings of the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative are crucial for overcoming the concerns of the federal agency that regulates beer, wine, and distilled spirits—the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) within the Treasury Department—that requiring standardized nutrient content labeling on alcoholic beverages is costly and burdensome for beverage alcohol manufacturers. Due to these concerns, TTB has yet to issue final regulations requiring Serving Facts statements on alcohol beverage labels.
Getting TTB to issue rules that mandate this labeling has long been a priority for the National Consumers League and other consumer, public health, medical, and nutrition organizations. In fact, NCL’s efforts go back to 2003, when the organization and 75 others first petitioned TTB to require an easy-to-read, standardized “Alcohol Facts” label, similar to the popular “Nutrition Facts” labels on foods and nonalcoholic beverages. While NCL will continue to press for a mandatory “Alcohol Facts” label, the efforts by the beer industry through the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative represent an important step in the right direction and are welcomed by the nation’s consumers. NCL looks forward to working with the beer industry, other alcohol product manufacturers, and the TTB to ensure that that all alcoholic beverages have nutritional facts on a standardized label by a date certain. We commend the Beer Institute for leading the way.
 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Page 104.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.