The Food Standards Code includes specific information requirements for labelling of alcoholic beverages. These may vary depending on the concentration of alcohol in the beverage. This is measured in alcohol by volume (ABV).
Statement of alcohol content
All beverages containing 0.5% or more 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.
All beverages with more than 0.5% ABV must include on the label a statement of the number of standard drinks (Standard 2.7.1).
Statement of alcohol content and standards drinks must be legible, in accordance with the general legibility requirements in the Code (Standard 1.2.1).
Pregnancy Warning Labels
Alcoholic beverages with more than 1.15% ABV must include a pregnancy warning label in the form of a pictogram or a pictogram and wording (Standards 1.1.2, 1.2.1 and 2.7.1).
Specific form, legibility and design elements are also required for the pregnancy warning labels (Standard 2.71).
Businesses were given 3 years (from 31 July 2020 to 31 July 2023) to implement these requirements.
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 a NIP. The inclusion of a 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.
- are not permitted to make health claims.
- must not be represented as a low alcohol beverage.
Current proposals to change the Code
FSANZ is currently considering two proposals regarding labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages:
- P1049 - Carbohydrate and sugar claims on alcoholic beverages.
- P1059 - Energy labelling on alcoholic beverages
Energy labelling of alcoholic beverages
FSANZ is currently undertaking work to explore regulatory and non-regulatory options for energy labelling of alcoholic beverages
Label change cost survey for alcoholic beverages
We continue to update our knowledge of costs associated with label changes. In 2021 FSANZ undertook a survey of how much it costs the acohol sector to make changes to their labels. The results are detailed in the Label Change Cost Survey Report for Alcoholic Beverages and accompanying Summary Report.