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Labelling of alcoholic beverages

(October 2019)

The Food Standards Code includes specific information requirements for labelling of alcoholic beverages. These vary depending on the concentration of alcohol in the beverage.

Statement of alcohol content

All beverages containing 0.5% or more alcohol by volume (ABV) must include information on the label about the alcohol content (Standard 2.7.1).

For alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.15% ABV, the label must include the alcohol content as a percentage of ABV or mL/100 ml.

  • For example, the label might read that the beverage contains 5% ABV or the alcohol content is 5ml/100ml of the beverage.

For alcoholic beverages containing 1.15% ABV or less, the alcohol content must be written in words to the effect 'contains not more than X% alcohol by volume'.

  • For example, the label might read that the beverage contains not more than 1.0% alcohol by volume.

Standard drinks

All beverages with more than 0.5% ABV must also include on the label a statement of the number of standard drinks (Standard 2.7.1)

General legibility requirements

All mandatory labelling information on alcoholic beverages must be legible, in accordance with the general legibility requirements in the Code. The Code requires that labels must be legible and prominent so they are distinct from the background, and in English.  

Nutrition information and claims

A Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) is not required on alcoholic beverages, unless a claim requiring nutrition information is made. Alcoholic beverages may voluntarily include an NIP. The inclusion of an NIP does not constitute a nutrition content claim.

All alcoholic beverages that contain more than 1.15% ABV:

  • can only make nutrition content claims about energy content, carbohydrate content (for example 'low carbohydrate') or gluten content. Health claims are not permitted.
  • must not be represented as a low alcohol beverage.

Current proposals to change the Code

Two proposals regarding labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages are being considered by FSANZ:

Energy labelling of alcoholic beverages

In August 2019, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation referred  work on energy labelling of alcoholic beverages  to FSANZ. More information about this can be found on the food regulation website (see also minister's communiqué).

We are currently considering the Forum's request and will include the project on our Work Plan in due course.

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