Hello nutrition center! What a huge honor to be on your website. And in an image about Non Alcoholic drinks! Unfortunately, the article is full of inaccuracies and suggestive texts. Since you're clear about your ignorance, I'd like to shed some light on it - hopefully you'll read along!
Let's start by celebrating that more and more Non Alcoholic options are coming onto the market, that small Dutch producers are successful with such - responsible - products. After all, that is also something that Het Voedingscentrum is concerned with, isn't it?
Then Dutch law. You rightly write that beers up to 0.1% alcohol-free can be called alcohol-free in the Netherlands and beers up to 1.2% alcohol-free.
Texts such as: “Beers with the label 'non-alcoholic', 'alkoholfrei' or 'non alcoholic' sometimes contain too much alcohol” go a bit too far for us. Fortunately, you are clear about your ineptitude when it comes to labeling these kinds of beers. After all, you frankly admit that you do not know whether 3 of the beers on display comply with the law. The article does not make it clear which 3 those would be.
Your text is suggestive enough to include this ambiguity in our beer and label – we use the term Non-Alcoholic. Read on, learn and hopefully rectify.
The terminology in Dutch law is very clear as you also indicate. Our Playground Non Alcoholic IPA is therefore also low in alcohol. We state this clearly on the label, as shown below.
Nevertheless, we opt for the English “Non Alcoholic” on the front of the label. We do this because this beer is also sold internationally and because we are allowed to communicate in all languages that the Dutch consumer can reasonably be expected to understand.
Of course, as a producer, we cannot just choose a term that suits us better than Dutch legislation. However, the European Regulation No. 1169/2011 (Article 15, paragraph 1) states that the mandatory food information must appear in a language easily understood by the consumers of the Member States where the food in question is marketed. The mandatory information is simply in Dutch on the bottle.
We have chosen Non Alcoholic because we find this much clearer and better descriptive than low alcohol. Translate Low Alcohol into English: that becomes Alcohol Free or Non Alcoholic. The choices after that are limited to, for example, Alkoholfrei or Alcohol Free, as beers with less than half a percent alcohol are called in Germany or England.
In addition, as a producer we have chosen to place the 'not suitable for pregnant women' icon on the label. This while, as rightly discussed in your article, this is not mandatory and the expert you quote does not advise against drinking beers such as our Playground Non Alcoholic IPA during pregnancy.
Is it strange that beers from Germany are on the shelves with the term Alkoholfrei? And beers from Belgium are simply called Alcohol-free on the labels? The Netherlands seems to deviate from how our neighboring countries view it.
You write of 3 labels that you do not know whether the labels fall within the law - then go through that European regulation. Then you will probably come to the same conclusion as we did, so this is why we ask you to rectify your suggestive text and image towards our beer. Playground Non Alcoholic is a Low Alcohol IPA as the label clearly states.
Again: Please let's celebrate that more and more Non Alcoholic options are coming onto the market, that small Dutch producers are successful with such - responsible - products!
Ronald van de Streek