Diageo Is Going to Tell You Exactly What's In Your Drink

Freshly poured Guinness settles in branded pint glasses in Dublin, Ireland.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Drinkers will soon find out just how good Guinness is for them as Diageo Plc plans to display nutritional information on its Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and the iconic Irish stout.

The world’s biggest distiller will disclose alcoholic content and nutritional information per serving on its responsible drinking website or on product packaging as soon as possible, the London-based company said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. Diageo, which operates in more than 180 countries, is working with regulators globally and has already gained approval for a label on its products in the U.S. from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, it said.

“Consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass,” Diageo Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes said in the statement. “We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information from which to make informed choices.”

In the European Union, alcoholic drinks are exempt from regulations to provide nutritional information on labels, Diageo said. Other foods are required to provide the information per 100 milliliter (3.5 ounce) portions, which Diageo said don’t reflect the way alcohol is consumed. It’s working with the EU to establish a standard alcohol unit across the 28 member states.

“This is a hugely positive step,” Ian Duncan, a member of the European Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee, said in the statement. It will be a “major improvement on the confusing current system, where there are different measurements of alcohol units across the EU.”

Diageo said it is the first company to voluntarily disclose nutritional information on alcoholic drinks. The move “is a smart one that is out-in-front of the trend for packaged food and beverage products to disclose more about what is inside the product,” said Kenneth Shea, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in New Jersey.

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