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Alcoholic Drinks Labelling - UK - March 2010

The report focuses on the role that labelling plays in enhancing product packaging in terms of on-shelf appeal and providing product information.

  • Only a third of drinkers find labelling easy to understand, suggesting that current health labelling requires refinement or else needs to take a new direction in order to have any real impact on drinking habits.
  • The greatest interest in alcohol content is coming from 35-44-year-old professionals and affluent third agers. By contrast, less educated or affluent and older C2 drinkers are most likely to be confused or ignore advice altogether.
  • The potential impact of changes to alcoholic drinks labelling legislation should not be underestimated: research from the UK government has forecast a 40% drop in on-trade sales should consumers begin drinking responsibly.
  • Bolstered by celebrity chef campaigns backing local sourcing and animal welfare, consumers are showing greater interest in the provenance of food and drink. Manufacturers have responded with increasing emphasis on the national or regional character of products – including alcoholic drinks – often as a means of tapping into demand for greater ‘authenticity’.
  • Recession and an on-trade downturn have failed to quell innovation in alcoholic drinks labelling, with a continued trend towards premium launches notable over the last few years.
  • Overall, while around a third of drinkers would be likely to ignore calorie content labelling completely, the majority of drinkers appear to be receptive to the idea.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main report themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Labels becoming increasing cluttered as “notice culture” takes control
              • Using labelling to target new consumers
                • Calorie content labelling strikes a blow against indulgence?
                • Market in Brief

                  • Responsible drinking campaign gains momentum
                    • Pointing the finger of blame: on- and off-trade battle it out
                      • On the brink of mandatory health labelling?
                        • New EU regulations enhance labelling, competitive opportunities
                          • Consumer ‘awareness’ wanes but premium trend continues
                            • Health labelling: Awareness low, confusion high
                              • Alcoholic drinks labelling: The future
                              • Market Environment

                                • Key points
                                  • Challenging market and regulatory conditions
                                    • Spotlight continues on national health and diet
                                        • Figure 1: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                      • Health-conscious consumers cutting back on booze
                                          • Figure 2: Trend analysis of alcohol drinkers within that year, 2005-09
                                        • Outlaw streets of Britain
                                          • On-trade fears unfair regulatory burden
                                            • Supermarkets come under fire for irresponsible pricing
                                              • Government poised to further regulate drinks sales
                                                • Government targets teens, health message
                                                  • Tories propose centilitre alternative to unit labelling
                                                    • Drinkaware Trust launches £100 million campaign
                                                      • Interest waivers in provenance...
                                                          • Figure 3: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                                        • ...and in ingredients
                                                            • Figure 4: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                                          • Eco interest has peaked but fair trade booming
                                                              • Figure 5: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2005-09
                                                            • Counterfeiting a continuing concern for industry
                                                            • Regulation of Alcoholic Drinks Labelling

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Mandatory regulations
                                                                  • Food Labelling Regulations 1996
                                                                      • Figure 6: Mandatory and voluntary packaged alcohol labelling, 2010
                                                                    • New allergen requirements come into force in 2010
                                                                      • Wine
                                                                        • Trade Descriptions Act 1968
                                                                          • New EU wine regulations (R479 & 555/2008, R606 & 607/2009)
                                                                            • US seeks legal advice over EU labelling ban
                                                                              • Whisky
                                                                                • Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009
                                                                                  • Spirits
                                                                                    • Spirit Drinks Regulations 2008
                                                                                      • Proposed mandatory regulations
                                                                                        • Code of Practice for Alcohol Retailers
                                                                                          • EC Ingredient & Nutrition Labelling
                                                                                            • EC Health Claims Regulations
                                                                                              • Voluntary regulations
                                                                                                • Voluntary labelling agreement
                                                                                                  • Figure 7: Current labelling scheme agreed between industry and DoH
                                                                                                • The Portman Group
                                                                                                  • International regulation
                                                                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                                                    • Strengths
                                                                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Premiumisation continues unfettered by recession
                                                                                                            • Innovation in the premium drinks category
                                                                                                              • Premiumisation – limited editions
                                                                                                                • Premiumisation – ‘bling’
                                                                                                                  • Premiumisation – minimalism
                                                                                                                    • A buoyant organic drinks category
                                                                                                                      • Organic – cider
                                                                                                                        • Organic – beer and ale
                                                                                                                          • Organic – wine
                                                                                                                            • Organic – spirits
                                                                                                                              • Tugging on consumers’ heart strings
                                                                                                                                • Telling a story: Provenance and heritage
                                                                                                                                  • An artistic bent: Tapping into youth appeal
                                                                                                                                    • Colour coding wine bottles for clarity
                                                                                                                                      • Limited activity in low-cal sector
                                                                                                                                        • International innovation in labelling
                                                                                                                                          • International NPD – wine
                                                                                                                                            • International NPD – beer
                                                                                                                                              • International NPD – spirits
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Awareness of Drinks Labelling

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Health labelling reaching less than a third of consumers
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer awareness of on-pack messages
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 8: Messages on labelling drunk in the last year, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Thirtysomething AB males heeding health labelling
                                                                                                                                                      • Older C2s don’t bother with labelling
                                                                                                                                                        • Women, elderly and least affluent most likely to abstain
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Drinks Labelling

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Thirst for information is there
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 9: Attitudes towards labelling on alcoholic drinks drunk in the past year, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Youngish professional/affluent third age seek moderation
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Calorie Content Labelling

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Drinkers are broadly receptive to calorie labelling
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Attitudes towards alcoholic drink labelling on calorie contents, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Less affluent and older consumers spurn calorie labelling
                                                                                                                                                                      • Educated thirtysomething females seeking calorie-controlled drinking
                                                                                                                                                                        • AB men and the third age rate calorie labelling a low priority
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 11: Targeting opportunities, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Unit-focused (15%)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Calorie Counters (52%)
                                                                                                                                                                                • Decadent Drinkers (33%)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Only one cluster receptive to calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Attitudes towards alcoholic drink labelling on calorie contents, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Only a small core of consumers heeding health labelling
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 13: Messages on labelling drunk in the last year, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Only a third find labels easy to understand
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Attitudes towards labelling on alcoholic drinks drunk in the past year, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Awareness of Drinks Labelling

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Most popular messages on labelling drunk in the last year, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Next most popular messages on labelling drunk in the last year, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes towards Drinks Labelling

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Attitudes towards labelling on alcoholic drinks drunk in the past year, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Calorie Content Labelling

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 18: Attitudes towards alcoholic drink labelling on calorie contents, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Target groups, by demographics, December 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aspall
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bacardi-Martini Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Badoit
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Banrock Station
                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Beer and Pub Association
                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Heart Foundation
                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Medical Association (BMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brown-Forman
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cancer Research UK
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Carlsberg UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Champagne Taittinger
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Channel 4
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Christian Lacroix
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Coors Brewers Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Department of Health
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Diageo Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Diageo UK
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Drinkaware Trust
                                                                                                                                                                                      • E.&J. Gallo Winery
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ehrmanns Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fairtrade Foundation (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fuller, Smith & Turner Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • G&J Greenall
                                                                                                                                                                                      • H. Weston & Sons
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Halewood International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hall & Woodhouse Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Heineken N.V.
                                                                                                                                                                                      • InBev
                                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Matthew Clark plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Selfridges Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sinclair Breweries Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Soil Association
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Portman Group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Publican
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Royal College of Physicians
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                      Alcoholic Drinks Labelling - UK - March 2010

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