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Pernod to put age restrictions on labels ahead of target

Absolut owner Pernod Ricard will add age-restriction labels to all bottles in 2021, three years ahead of its target.

Absolut vodka
Pernod Ricard will add age restrictions to bottles across its portfolio

Pernod Ricard, producer of brands such as Jameson and Martell, said it has decided to bring the labelling rollout forward by three years.

The target of adding age restriction labelling by 2024 was made alongside 11 alcohol firms, including Diageo and Brown-Forman, who are all members of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). The move was first announced in January 2020.

Members of the IARD, which also include Bacardi and William Grant & Sons, pledged to add symbols or written age restrictions to their labels to send an ‘even clearer message that these products are not for minors’.

The effort was one of five actions announced by IARD as part of a drive to ‘accelerate efforts’ to eliminate underage drinking globally.

Paris-headquartered Pernod Ricard said the labelling rollout was one of more than 150 initiatives currently being developed by the firm across the world.

Pernod Ricard’s initiatives are structured along three lines: training employees and partners, combatting underage and binge drinking, and using digital to promote responsible drinking.

Since April 2020, the firm said it took advantage of the lockdown period to ‘accelerate’ staff training on responsible drinking guidelines. The move required workers to sign a code of ethics once training was completed, with more than 80% of employees finishing the programme worldwide.

Pernod Ricard is also aiming to reach at least one million young adults through its Responsible Parties programme by 2030. The firm rolled out a digital version of the scheme on social media last year, which reached more than 6m people.

Furthermore, Pernod Ricard said French people have changed their consumption habits by switching to digital drinks due to the closure of bars and restaurants.

As a result, Pernod launched two global campaigns that featured ‘simple and effective’ messaging, including ‘Respect the choice of other people not to drink alcohol’ and ‘Keep to social distancing rules, even while enjoying a drink’.

According to IWSR data cited by the firm, the volume of wine, beer and spirits consumed in France in 2020 fell by 9.8%, representing a decline of 28m bottles of spirits.

Members of the IARD recently joined forces with 12 online retailers and delivery platforms to form a new global alliance to establish a ‘robust’ global standard for the online sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages.

Diageo pledged to update its spirits labels with enhanced health guidance this year – the first alcohol company in the UK to introduce the voluntary warning.

Last year, The Spirits Business looked at how new labelling rules could affect the industry.

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