Two-thirds of all spirits bottles sold in Europe should have calorie information on the labels by 2022 after trade body spiritsEUROPE signed a memorandum of understanding.

The sector committed to providing energy information and full ingredient listings in a signature ceremony overseen by EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

One in four bottles are expected provide energy information by 2020 and that is set to rise to 50% and 66% by the end of 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Christian Porta, president of spiritsEUROPE and managing director for global business development at Pernod Ricard, said: “Calorie information will appear on the bottles and we’ll keep developing comprehensive ingredients and nutritional information through easy-to-use online tools for our customers so they are further empowered to make informed and responsible choices.

“The text agreed today provides European distillers with the necessary clarity and guidance to implement the agreed rules within a highly ambitious timeline.”

Other members of the group include Diageo, Bacardi-Martini, Brown-Forman, Beam Suntory, Moët Hennessy, Remy Cointreau and Campari.

Signing of the memorandum of understanding follows 14 month of intense negotiations between the spirits industry and EU officials. There will be ongoing meetings to review and analyse the progress achieved.

Commissioner Andriukaitis said: ““We live in a time where consumers increasingly want to be better informed about what they eat and drink so they can make healthier choices. I am therefore pleased that today the spirits sector makes a leap forward providing Europeans with that very possibility.

“I understand that many companies and associations had to get around the table to come up with the plan that I am being presented today. I congratulate the sector for these efforts and call on all producers to implement the MoU’s provisions along the agreed parameters and timeline.”