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News & Press: Industry News

Johnnie Walker Red adds serving facts to label

Wednesday, July 13, 2016  
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30th June, 2016 by Amy Hopkins, The Spirits Business

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The move follows Diageo’s 2015 voluntary pledge to provide consumers with alcohol content and nutrition information per typical serve for brands in the “majority” of its markets.

Canadian whisky brand Crown Royal became Diageo’s first alcoholic beverage to display the information on its label in October last year.

From early autumn, similar labels for Johnnie Walker Red Label will 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 Red Label with on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve will be on-shelf.

Every year around 115m bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label are typically produced and shipped around the world.

Label updates for Johnnie Walker Black Label, Double Black, Gold Label Reserve, Platinum and Green Label are also planned for the first half of 2017.

“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,” said Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes.

“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.”

New standards

The labels conform to the new Diageo Consumer Information Standards (DCIS) which come into force tomorrow (1 July) and will apply to all Diageo brands.

The DCIS is based on research of more than 1,500 consumers around the world, resulting in labels that “reflect the way consumers want to receive – and can understand – information on alcohol content”.

Diageo said its research showed consumers are “confused” by too much text on labels and that “less information, clearly presented was a consistent request across all markets”.

As such, the group has committed to providing labelling across all its brands that is “consistent in layout”, using icons that are “significantly easier to understand than words”.

“The new scheme is simple, clear and attractive – and most importantly, it’s based on what consumers want,” said Carolyn Panzer, director of alcohol in society at Diageo.

“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 labelling 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 favourite drink or what is in their glass.”

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