TTB Ruling on Voluntary Serving Fact Labeling

By on June 7, 2013

On May 28, 2013, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a new Industry Circular, Number 2013-2, that authorizes voluntary “serving facts” labeling on alcohol beverages regulated by TTB under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (i.e., it does not apply to wine below 7 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) or beers made without malted barley or hops).

The most relevant points:

  1. Everything discussed in Industry Circular 2013-2 concerns voluntary labeling statements.  It mandates no new labeling disclosures.
  2. The serving facts statement mostly contains the same information contained in the “statement of average analysis” required for “light” and similar products.
  3. TTB gives producers and importers the option of adding a statement showing the amount of pure alcohol per serving or per container of a product (e.g., 0.6 fl. oz. of alcohol per serving), accompanied by alcohol content (ABV) information.
  4. The serving facts can be displayed in a panel (FDA style) or “linear” fashion.
  5. Producers and importers have the option of showing serving facts as a substitute for the statement of average analysis required on “light” and similar products.
  6. TTB recognizes a wider range of serving sizes for wine, malt beverages and distilled spirits, depending on the strength of the product.  For example, instead of a 12 oz. serving size for all malt beverages, serving facts statements for higher-strength beers should use smaller serving sizes for progressively higher-alcohol products.
  7. If a producer or importer follows the format authorized by TTB, it can add serving facts to existing labels without the need for a new COLA.