Background: Nowadays there is a strong debate on the need to introduce mandatory nutritional information on alcoholic beverages labels, and particularly on wine, as a tool to promote more health-conscious drinking patterns in society. In 2018, the European alcoholic beverages industry presented a self-regulatory proposal, now under assessment by the European Commission. The most critical issue is how to convey nutritional information to consumers, as producers should decide to apply information on label or off-label.
Method: The current study measured, through a non-hypothetical, incentive compatible artefactual field experiment, Italian wine consumers (N = 103) preferences for four different formats of wine nutritional labelling, namely: back label with the indication of kcal for glass of wine, with the nutritional panel referred to 100 mL, without nutritional information (but with a link to an external website) and with the indication of key nutrients for glass of wine.
Results: Findings reveal that respondents preferred the nutritional panel on the back label, assigning the lowest preference to the less informative wine label (only with a website recall). Furthermore, results show a low level of respondents' knowledge of wine nutritional properties.
Conclusion: Findings, while limited in terms of sample representativeness, seem to support the European Consumer Organisation and the European Alcohol Policy Alliance objection to an off-line label and the advocacy for a traditional and complete on label nutritional information on wine.
Keywords: back label; experimental auctions; nutritional information; willingness-to-pay (WTP).