The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Industry insights: Calories, kilojoules and claims

By Dylan Firth, Executive Director, Brewers Association of NZ

Later this year Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) – the regulatory body that looks after the food code and deals with labelling requirements for Australia and New Zealand – will be consulting on two pieces of work that could lead to alcohol producers required to provide consumer information on labels, as well as possibly restrict the ability to make some claims about their products.

These two pieces of work relate to the introduction of energy labelling and the ability to make low or no sugar and carbohydrate claims.

The former – energy labelling – would place the requirement for alcohol producers to label their product with the amount of kilojoules or calories present.

This will likely be in the form of a truncated Nutritional Information Panel like what you see on other foods, but only with calories/kjs. And, depending on feedback from stakeholders (industry, public health groups and others), may be per serve and or per 100ml.

The key for our sector if this is implemented is to ensure the cost on implementation and measuring these levels is kept at a minimum.

This could be through using standardised tables or measurements for styles and levels of alcohol content for energy.

Secondly, and likely more contentious for some, is the ability to make carbohydrate and sugar claims.

In 2018, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation directed FSANZ to investigate this matter which it was determined should run alongside the energy labelling work to align any potential changes.

This piece of work will look at whether it is appropriate for low and no carb and sugar claims in the sector.

For many this will be of concern given the growth of low and no sugar and carb beverages in the last few years.

For beer alone, low carb products made up 8% of the entire sector in 2021.

Public consultations for these will run in late 2022 and we encourage you to get involved and have a say.

Originally published in the July issue of The Shout NZ.

Did you know?

There are six ways you can catch up with The Shout NZ?

Our print magazine – September issue out now! Subscribe here.
Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
Our digital magazines – the latest issues are online now.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!EditCocktail culture driving the evolution of spirit-based RTDs