FDA Menu Labeling Could Cause Headaches for Brewers
A pending Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that would require chain restaurants to list calorie and other nutrient and health data of beer on their menus could cause headaches and loss of sales for brewers, warned Brewers Association director Paul Gatza.
As of mid-June, the Brewers Association was still awaiting formal guidance from the FDA on the exact terms of the rule, but the BA did share what it learned in an informal exchange between the FDA and the National Restaurant Association.
According to Gatza’s statement, the FDA indicated that menus and menu boards at chain restaurants with 20 or more units will have to include calorie listings for each brand of beer. The FDA will also require chain restaurants to have nutrient figures for each beer, including fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar and protein.
Seasonal beers available as test items less than 60 consecutive days or 90 total days a year will be exempt from the requirement, but restaurant chains may require all beer to provide that information to get menu placement, according to Gatza.
“While the onus rests with the restaurant chains, it is easy to foresee that companies may drop brands that do not have this information readily available. If you don’t know your nutrient values and do business in chain restaurants now or plan to in the future, now is the time to start gathering your information,” said Gatza. “Menu development takes months for many chains, and they are moving on this issue already.”