Diageo announced that it has begun shipping cases of Crown Royal which include macro-nutritional information on the product. This is the first alcohol beverage brand to include a serving facts panel on its packaging. The panel details serving size, number of servings per container, alcohol by volume, number of calories and grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat per serving – and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines definition of a standard drink – 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.

This is the latest step in Diageo’s leadership for more than a decade on the issue of making alcohol facts readily available and easily understandable for consumers. Since 2006, Diageo has provided serving facts information about its brands on its DRINKiQ (www.DRINKiQ.com) website. Diageo will now continue to add this important information to its labeling and packaging as brands change or update their labels.

A 2014 study conducted by FoodMinds LLC found that 86% of US alcohol consumers agree that serving facts labels that include the 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol per drink definition provide useful and relevant information, while 83% agree the same information on a label helps them understand the definition of a standard drink. The majority of respondents in the same study specifically indicated that beverage labeling that includes alcohol content per serving is helpful to them in following the recommended dietary guidelines for alcohol consumption.

Twelve years ago, Diageo led the industry in the US when it stood with a coalition of consumer and public health advocates to publicly ask US regulators to allow Serving Fact information on beverage alcohol products. In 2013 the US Treasury’s Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved that request, finally allowing labels that include serving size, number of servings per container, alcohol by volume, number of calories and grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat per serving. Since that time, the TTB has approved a label that specifically references the US Dietary Guidelines, which defines a drink as being 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.

Many people don’t realize that before the recent ruling by the TTB, it was actually not allowed in the US for beverage alcohol manufacturers to list these basic serving facts on most labels of alcohol products. It is important to note that including serving facts information is now voluntary, so producers have the option to include this information, or not.

“We are proud to take this latest step in the decade-long effort of our company, and that of the more than 70 consumer and public health groups that stood with us in support of labeling in 2003,” says Guy Smith, executive vice president, Diageo North America. “We specifically commend the National Consumers League, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Consumer Federation of America, and Shape Up! America, who supported this important initiative from the beginning. And we are grateful to the TTB who are allowing the industry to give consumers the information they have been asking for.”