In response to the recent study by Stirling University on alcohol labelling, Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, the alcohol social responsibility body and marketing regulator, said:

“This study shows that the majority of consumers have seen health information on products and they do not support additional front of pack warnings. It also fails to account of the amount of information that already appears on the vast majority of alcohol products such as the number of units, the Chief Medical Officer’s low risk guidance and pregnancy warning labels. Most producers also signpost to the alcohol education charity Drinkaware which allows consumers to explore the facts about drinking with the fullest amount of information and context.

“The study also makes clear that moves towards further health warnings are less about tackling harmful drinking and more about “reducing product appeal and social acceptability”. Given that the vast majority of Scottish and UK consumers drink moderately it is therefore disproportionate to propose such alarmist warnings.”


  1. The Informing Alcohol Consumers – 2021 UK market review surveyed 400 alcohol products covering the top UK brands available to consumers and shows that:
  • 99% of the products reviewed already carry a pregnancy warning logo or message.
  • 94% carry alcoholic unit content information.
  • 93% carry a reference either to responsible drinking or Drinkaware.
  • 79% carry the latest UK Chief Medical Officer guidance that it is safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week.
  • Close to half (47%) already carry calorie information on labels – showing significant progress ahead of the schedules in implementing voluntarily cross-sector European-wide commitment.  The findings re-emphasise the ongoing serious commitment of the alcohol industry to the highest standards of voluntary best practice, with Portman Group recommendations applied near universally, and ensuring that consumers are able to make an informed choice.

2. 4 in 5 (77%) UK adults either do not drink or drink below the 14 unit low risk threshold set by the Chief Medical Officer. This figure is based on combining latest data on adult drinking from Health Survey for England; Scottish Health Survey; National Survey for Wales; Health Survey Northern Ireland