Although voluntary for the time being, wine, beer, and spirits manufacturers may soon disclose calorie content and other nutritional information on their packaging.
In 2007, the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau proposed a labeling rule that would require alcoholic beverage manufacturers to include calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein content on product labels. However, the rule has yet to be implemented by force. For now, manufacturers have been encouraged to do so.
For the calorie conscious this measure would be helpful, as the majority of people who enjoy the occasional glass of wine or appetizingly pretty cocktail fail to consider the empty calories they are imbibing. Unlike food, alcoholic drinks have very little to no nutritional value – unless of course you include the piece of fruit used to garnish it.
Granted, red wine does have polyphenols/flavonoids, but you can get the same beneficial antioxidants from a serving of coffee, tea, apple juice, cocoa powder, raspberries, and strawberries – without the risk of developing excessive-alcohol related side effects and with lesser calories.
A single standard portion (175ml) of wine can equate, depending on the grape and brand, to 124 calories. This means you’d have to walk briskly for about 25 minutes to expel the caloric energy from that single glass.
Beverage makers and consumers have similar reasons for wanting label transparency – manufacturers want to narrow in on the weight and calorie conscious buyers whilst consumers want more information that will allow them to make educated choices regarding what they put in their bodies.
Brands such as Skinnygirl, for example – trademarked by Bethenny Frankel and marketed under liquor-maker Beam (Jim Beam) – tout the sinless pleasure of sipping down one of a variety of low calorie cocktails.
Skinnygirl Cocktails outpaced the spirit market with 388 percent growth when the brand first came out onto the general market under Beam – providing alternatives to margaritas and mojitos, which are traditionally very high in calories and carbs.
Do you want to see more nutritional information on your wine and spirit labels?
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