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TTB Plans to Issue New Rules for Alcohol Beverage Labels

  •  In a December 16, 2003 petition, a coalition of consumer advocates asked the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to require allergen information on alcohol beverages and an “Alcohol Facts” panel similar to the “Nutrition Facts” panels on food.  In 2005, TTB published a notice of proposed rulemaking and subsequently issued an interim rule in 2006 on mandatory allergen statements.  Additionally, in 2007, TTB issued a proposed rule for new requirements for alcohol content labeling and a mandatory “Serving Facts” statement.  TTB did not issue a final rule on either mandatory allergen labeling or nutrient content labeling but did amend its rules in 2013 to allow voluntary labeling of major food allergens.  In 2017, TTB withdrew the rulemaking proposals for allergen and nutrient content labeling.
  • In a November 17, 2022 letter to consumer advocates that was issued just over a month after three consumer groups filed a lawsuit to compel TTB to act, the agency announced it has granted the December 2003 petition to “engage in a new rulemaking on the issues of nutrient content labeling, expanded alcohol content labeling, major food allergen labeling, and ingredient listing.”  As requested in the 2003 petition and supplemented by a February 24, 2021 letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, the “Alcohol Facts” panel would include information in a standardized format as follows:
    • The alcohol content, expressed as a percentage of volume;
    • The serving size for a standard drink that contains 0.50 ounce of ethyl alcohol;
    • The amount of alcohol in ounces and number of calories per serving;
    • The number of standard drinks (using 0.50 ounce of ethyl alcohol as a standard drink) per container;
    • An ingredients declaration, listing each ingredient (including food and color additives, and flavors) by its common or usual name (to appear immediately below the Alcohol Facts panel), and;
    • Current U.S. Dietary Guidelines definitions of moderate drinking for men and women.
  • TTB expects to issue notices of its proposed rules within the next year.  TTB will solicit comments on all nutrient content labeling, expanded alcohol content labeling, major food allergen labeling, and ingredient labeling issues, even though some of these issues already received comments from its 2006 and 2007 notices because those comments are now “stale.”

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