Our right to know: How alcohol labelling is failing consumers (2018)

21 September 2018: The AHA has launched a new report following an audit of alcohol labels in August and September 2018. In total, we reviewed 320 labels in 12 different locations across the UK.

The report shows that fewer than 10% of the 320 alcohol products surveyed carry the current low-risk weekly drinking guideline of 14 units a week.

More than two and a half years after the current alcohol guidelines came into effect, most of the 320 products reviewed referred to out-of-date guidelines and carried no health warnings of specific illnesses or diseases. Among the products to carry old information were new drinks, launched after the publication of the current guidelines.

None of the 24 products containing the current guidelines belonged to the global multi-national drinks companies.

The study shows how little progress has been made over the last year since a similar AHA review found only one product contained the correct weekly guideline.

Download Our Right to Know (2018)


Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the AHA, said: “Once again we see that the alcohol industry cannot be trusted to provide the public with health information. The current system of self-regulation has clearly failed. The industry-funded Portman Group, which advises alcohol producers on labelling, no longer recommends its members include the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines on labels.

“We all have the right to know what we are drinking and the fact that alcohol increases our risk of seven types of cancer, liver disease, heart disease and stroke. Few of us know and understand these risks or are aware of the CMOs’ advice. Alcohol companies should be required to display this information along with prominent health warnings, information on ingredients, nutrition and calories on alcohol labels. It’s clear that without government requiring alcohol producers to provide this information, consumers will continue to be kept in the dark.”