Diageo share price edges lower as spirits maker commits to content labelling

on Mar 20, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Diageo’s (LON:DGE) shares have been trading lower today after the world’s largest distiller pledged to begin displaying nutritional information on many of its biggest-selling products, including Guinness, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Irish stout and Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky. The group said in a statement yesterday that it would provide per-serving information on calories, fat content and alcohol per volume through its responsible drinking website, DRINKiQ.com, and on-pack in a “majority of its markets subject to local regulatory approval, as soon as practicable”.

The US is likely to be the first market to see the new labels, which could hit the shelves in the next few months. Diageo, which operates in more than 180 countries, has already received approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for a ‘serving facts’ panel to be added to its labels. The company is also working with regulators globally.
Currently, alcoholic drinks are exempt from regulations in the EU to provide nutritional information on labels. Diageo said it is working to establish a standard alcohol unit across the 28 member states. The UK drinks industry has already labelled 80 percent of products with key health information, with 90 percent carrying a warning about drinking while pregnant, as part of the Responsibility Deal backed by the Government.
Diageo said that this is the first time that drinkers would be told the health implications of consuming the alcoholic beverage in their hand. The company noted that it did not want to emphasise the health benefits of its drinks, but rather hoped the information would help promote responsible drinking.
Commenting on the voluntary move, Diageo’s chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said: “Currently, there is no obligation to provide such information in markets worldwide, but we know that consumers are increasingly discerning about what’s in their glass. We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information from which to make informed choices.”
As of 13:49 GMT, Friday, 20 March, Diageo plc share price is 1,917.50p.