Market Access – United States update

The United States (US) consultation on nutrition, allergen and ingredient labelling:

As noted in last month’s update the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) notified the World Trade Organization (G/TBT/N/USA/2095) of a consultation on potential changes to “Labelling and Advertising of Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages With Alcohol Content, Nutritional Information, Major Food Allergens, and Ingredients.”

The notification outlines a list of topics for discussion to facilitate input from the stakeholders through submissions and a series of “listening sessions” held during the month. These topics include:

  1. Do consumers believe that they are adequately informed by the information currently provided on alcohol beverage labels?
  2. Is alcohol content per serving, and nutritional information (such as calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat) per serving important for consumers in deciding whether to purchase or consume a particular alcohol beverage? Would a full list of ingredients, and/or major food allergens, be important information for consumers in making their purchasing or consumption decisions? In what ways would this information be useful, and in what ways could it be misleading? Is some of this information more important than others?
  3. What types of per-serving nutritional information, such as calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, should be included?
  4. Would requiring this information on labels be expected to increase the cost of the products and, if so, by how much? To what extent are businesses already following voluntary guidelines for this information? Are there alternative ways of providing the information, for example by allowing information to be provided through a website using a quick response code (QR code) or website address on the label?
  5. How would any new mandatory labelling requirements particularly affect small businesses and new businesses entering the marketplace?

A useful summary of one of the TTB consultation sessions was recently published by US editor of Wine-Searcher, W Blake Gray. You can read the article here.

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