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Labelling of alcoholic beverages

Last updated: 25 August 2020

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.

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).

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).

Pregnancy warning label type 3 

Specific form, legibility and design elements are also required for the pregnancy warning labels (Standard 2.71).

Businesses have three years from 31 July 2020 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 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 proposal to change the Code

FSANZ is currently considering one proposal regarding labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages:

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).

Before proposing any changes to the Food Standards Code, FSANZ will be undertaking some initial work looking at:

  • the evidence on whether consumers understand how much energy (kilojoules) alcoholic beverages contribute to their diet, and whether information about the energy content of alcohol on product labels could help consumers make informed choices
  • the availability of information about the energy content of alcoholic beverages for sale in Australia and New Zealand, as well as overseas
  • any technical issues with the provision of energy content information of alcoholic beverages.

We will provide updates as this work progresses over the next 12 months and expect to undertake targeted consultation later in 2020.

The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC), on request by Ministers, is currently developing a Policy Guideline on food labelling to enable consumers to make informed healthy choices. This Guideline will help to inform our work on energy labelling of alcoholic beverages.


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