One of the UK's big four retailers has introduced health messages on its own-brand beverage alcohol products.

Retail giant Sainsbury's is displaying information on a drinker's recommended daily intake, number of units per glass and number of units per bottle.

The information on show also includes a message about drinking while pregnant and the Drinkaware website.

Sainsbury's said the move follows research from the UK's Department of Health that showed consumers find it difficult to judge how many units they are drinking.

Warren Anderson, category manager for beers, wines and spirits at Sainsbury's, said: "We are the first retailer to include this level of detail on labels to inform our customers and are confident it will help our customers to drink sensibly."

The first bottles displaying the information are already on sale and, later this month, the labelling will be expanded across Sainsbury's vodka, white and dark rums and basics spirits range. It will continue to roll out across all own-brand beers, wines and spirits, the company added.

Sainsbury's is at the centre of takeover speculation with reports in the UK claiming that a number of private equity consortia are interested in buying the company.