Alcohol content labeling: Kirin Brewery Company sharpens label information for responsible drinking
17 Feb 2022 --- As part of its “Zero Harmful Drinking” initiative, Kirin Brewery Company will start labeling the amount of net alcohol contained in its main alcohol products sold in Japan.
The labeling changes will begin in May with the brewery company aiming to complete labeling of all alcohol products by the end of 2023.
The target products are 350 ml and 500 ml cans of beer (beer, happoshu and new genre) and ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktails.
In addition to displaying the amount of net alcohol, a URL that takes consumers to a Japanese educational website on responsible drinking will also be displayed on the label.
The Kirin Group says it’s strengthening its social responsibility with this move, recognizing that as a business producing and selling alcohol, more needs to be done to be transparent with drinkers to help them have a better understanding of the content of beer.
“By not only displaying the amount of net alcohol, but also an educational website URL, Kirin Brewery hopes that customers will deepen their knowledge of the proper amount of alcohol to be consumed and responsible drinking,” says the company.
“This is so that they can better consciously control the amount of alcohol they drink on their own, leading to the eradication of the harmful use of alcohol.”
Difference between alcohol percentage and net alcohol?
Until recently, alcoholic products, particularly beer, have been conventionally labeled with Alcohol by Volume (ABV). This numerical value indicates the percentage of ethanol volume contained in alcohol.
ABV differs from the amount of net alcohol that actually affects the drinker's body.
The net alcohol content indicates the amount of alcohol that is consumed when you drink and is tallied in grams.
Kirin Brewery will now begin to label canned products with the amount of net alcohol that actually affects the body of the drinker.
In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) have been included as one of the goals in the area of health.
As a result, alcohol-related issues have become a global issue that needs to be addressed in consultation with society as a whole.
The Japanese government has approved the second phase of the Basic Plan for Promotion Against Alcohol-related Harm in March 2021, and efforts to address alcohol-related issues are accelerating.
Kirin targets socially responsible marketing
In January, Kirin outlined its 2022 business strategy, which included becoming more socially responsible and focusing on consumer health. The company says it wants to instill healthy habits in consumers and strengthen its image within the domain of health sciences.
Last December, a study found that Kirin’s alcohol-free beer with matured hop bitter acids may improve mental well-being in healthy adults.
By Benjamin Ferrer and Gaynor Selby
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