You blubbering Americans just can’t take care of yourselves, can you? Just look at you monsters! How did you suddenly become this nation of ghouls? Because you can’t make reasonable lifestyle decisions, our helicopter government is very eager to help make all the right decisions for you. Food and drink choices are especially difficult for all of you face-stuffing fatties born and fed in the USA. Example: Americans eat and drink about one-third of our calories away from home, so the U.S. government feels that making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families of indulgence.
This nutritional info will soon include craft beer.
As required by statute, FDA’s final rule for nutrition labeling in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments hopes to provide consumers with clear and consistent nutrition information in a direct and accessible manner for the foods they eat and buy. Under the final regulation, all covered establishments will have to list calories for any alcohol beverage, including beer found on a menu or menu board. No calories will be listed for drinks that are not standard menu items. Also, additional nutrition information must be available upon request. According to the Beer Institute website:
On September 11th, 2015, the FDA issued Guidance on the Menu Labeling Rules that will take effect on December 1, 2016. The guidance provided further detail on how to best implement the federal menu labeling rules for restaurant and similar retail food establishments. The guidance included information on how to list calories on the menu or other written format for alcohol beverages, including beer. Under the guidance, a single calorie reference may be used for a category or group of beverage alcohol products if the products all have the same calorie count. For example, if several beers are offered containing the exact amount of calories at the same serving size, the menu can group these beers together with one caloric value listed next to the named brands.
Also a calorie range, such as 95-150 calories, may be used if the menu uses generic terms like “beer,” “light beer,” “red wine,” or “white wine” and there are three or more items available within a category. However, if beers are listed by brand name, style, or category a caloric value must be provided next to each beer offered that corresponds with the serving size being provided to the consumer. Additional nutrition information must be available upon request from the consumer including calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars and protein.
What could go wrong here?
For one, this could create a reporting problem for small breweries that don’t lab test each beer. Plus, there is variation from batch to batch. How will that be handled? And will there need to be information for each size of beer sold? Then, there is the longer range impact of beer on menus. Will people now gravitate away from high calorie beer? Will sessions start to take the place of other options? And of course concern lies, especially with smaller craft brewers, in the cost of compliance. Some, including The Cato Institute, say it will cost breweries upwards of $77,000 to comply.
We’ve heard enforcement for this regulation will come in May 2017, and brewers will be held to the following:
- Applies to: A restaurant or similar retail food establishment, that is a part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name;
- Restaurant must provide calorie and other nutrition information for standard menu items and satisfy other applicable requirements;
- If beers on tap are standard menu items, calories for such beers must be provided on that menu or menu board, all brewers will be required to provide a detailed calorie count on every type of beer they produce. Failure to comply with the new regulations means craft brewers will not be able to sell their beer in any restaurant chain with over 20 locations.
Claim Your Brand Program
BeerBoard has been preparing for this, and the company thinks it has a solution — one already in operation with some of the largest chain retailers in the country. Through its innovative Claim Your Brand Program, brewers of any size can now ensure nutritional information, brand attributes and logos are accurately and consistently displayed on every point of consumer interaction that the company generates for its clients — in-store digital displays, print menus, social media, websites and a proprietary app.
“The Claim Your Brand platform is easily accessible to all brewers, both big and small, to provide essential and educational information about their beer brands,” said Patrick Kirk, director of beverage innovation for Buffalo Wild Wings. “CYB can be the one source for brewers to unify and standardize beer information, including ABV, style, location and calories. This is a springboard for Buffalo Wild Wings to inform our guests and educate team members. Restaurants will benefit from CYB’s consistency and dynamic information which can applied in many customizable ways to fit their menus and displays.”
Your brewery profile and each of your beers can be easily logged into the Claim Your Brand platform, including logos and nutritional information. This information is then distributed immediately to every point of consumer interactions with BeerBoard clients. Through Claim Your Brand, you have a direct line to beer drinkers just as they are about to ask, “what’s on tap?” Benefits of Claim Your Brand:
- Control your brand and associated information;
- Instantly update brand and beer information for display on digital, print, social and web;
- Meet the 2016 FDA nutritional rules quickly and easily; and
- Direct connection to consumers through in-outlet and point-of-purchase merchandising.