TTB Issues Ruling Allowing Voluntary Serving Facts Statements on Alcohol Beverage Labels

On May 28, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a ruling (Ruling 2013-2) allowing for voluntary labeling of serving facts and nutritional information on alcohol beverage labels. 

The ruling allows “serving facts” statements that include the serving size, the number of servings per container, the number of calories, and the number of grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat per serving.  Additionally, serving facts statements may include information about the alcohol content of the product, as a percentage of alcohol by volume, and may include a statement of the fluid ounces of pure ethyl alcohol per serving.  Industry members will not need to apply for new Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) to add a serving facts statement if it conforms to the examples contained in the ruling.

For wine, the standard serving size for table wine (7-16% alcohol by volume) is 5 ounces.  For dessert wine (16-24% alcohol by volume) is 2.5 ounces.  This does not mean that the official definition of table wine is now 7-16%.  It is still 7-14% alcohol by volume, but the TTB realizes that many wines not considered true dessert wines are now over 14.1% alcohol by volume.

Calorie, carbohydrate, fat and protein information must also be included with the serving facts information on the panel.  All nutritional information must undergo proper laboratory analysis.

The voluntary labeling of nutritional information and serving facts information does not preclude any of the other required information on a wine label.  If the alcohol content is listed on the serving facts panel, it still must be included on the label for COLA approval.  A new COLA approval is NOT required if the serving facts panel is added to a label that has already been approved by TTB.

To read Ruling 2013-2 and to see examples of allowable serving facts panels please go here:  http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2013-2.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Kaiser at mkaiser@wineamerica.org or 202-223-5172.