The current provisions of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (Regulation No. 1169/2011) exempt alcoholic beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol from the mandatory labeling requirement to provide an ingredients list and a nutrition declaration.
Food operators can include such information on alcoholic beverages containing more than 1,2 % by volume of alcohol on a voluntary basis. Despite the specific exemptions for alcoholic beverages incorporated in the FIC Regulation, the European Commission had the obligation to produce a report on whether alcoholic beverages should be covered in the future by the mandatory labeling requirement to provide the ingredients list and nutrition declaration. The report must also include reasons justifying possible exemptions.
On 13 March 2017, the Commission published the report and invited the industry to develop, within a year, “a self-regulatory proposal aiming to provide information on ingredients and nutrition of all alcoholic beverages”.
On 12 March 2018, the sectors have responsibly developed a meaningful and adapted voluntary solution to address consumer expectations about ingredients listing and nutritional information.
The sectors have worked constructively together to put forward a joint proposal to provide consumers with meaningful, clear and easy to understand information on these aspects. The sectors’ objective is to improve consumer knowledge about these products and to empower them to make informed decisions about the products that they choose to consume within a balanced lifestyle.
The key elements of the guiding principles drawn up by the European alcoholic beverages sectors are as follows: