The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages

Page last updated: 06 December 2017

Cost benefit analysis of the impacts of mandatory labelling of energy content on alcoholic beverages.

In 2009, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) agreed to a comprehensive independent review of food labelling law and policy. An expert panel, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett AC, undertook the review and the panel’s final report, Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (Labelling Logic) was publically released in January 2011.

In response, to the Labelling Logic recommendation 26, the Forum gave ‘in principle’ agreement “that energy content be displayed on the labels of all alcoholic beverages, consistent with the requirement for other food products”. The premise of this recommendation was that the provision of energy information would assist people wanting to manage their energy intake. Prior to further consideration of the issue, the Forum requested Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to undertake research, including discussions with industry, and complete a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to assess the impact of implementing this recommendation. FSANZ contracted the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to complete a CBA to assess the impact of implementing this recommendation. The Final report is entitled: The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages and is published on the FSANZ website
The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages

The CBA considered the cost of obesity and the likely benefits associated with obesity reduction; it did not include consideration of the costs of overweight which affects a large proportion of the population and is also associated with adverse health outcomes. The focus of the CBA was also limited to a mandatory regulatory approach and the associated impact on obesity rates.
The development of the CBA report in response to Recommendation 26 has led to further work being undertaken by the Food Regulation Standing Committee to consider a range of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches with associated impacts on obesity and other outcomes to fully inform the food regulation policy development process.

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