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Portman Group upgrades labelling guide

Industry watchdog the Portman Group has updated its guidelines for alcohol labels to include the low-risk drinking recommendations set by the UK’s chief medical officers (CMOs).

Portman Group
Labelling guidelines for alcohol have been updated by the Portman Group

The updated guide recommends producers to add the unit of alcohol content per container, a pregnancy logo/message, and a direction to UK alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

Furthermore, the guide now includes the recommendation to add the CMOs’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016. Portman Group members pledged to add this guidance in 2019.

The previous edition of the alcohol labelling guidance was published in 2017 in collaboration with the British Beer and Pub Association, National Association of Cider Makers, Scotch Whisky Association, and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

This new guidance is now supported by the Society of Independent Brewers as a result of more explicit consideration over how smaller producers share public health information.

Matt Lambert, CEO of the Portman Group, said: “The Portman Group continues to set industry standards effectively, responsively, and at no cost to the public purse.

“We are proud of the huge progress made by the industry which already widely commits to responsible alcohol labelling. This updated guidance will further enhance adherence, and we hope will help small producers continue to market their products responsibly.”

The move comes as Drinkaware lowers its licensing price for smaller producers to increase widespread take-up of the risks of harmful drinking.

From mid-June, any company with an annual turnover from alcohol sales of £2.5m (US$3m) or less, including duty, excluding VAT, can apply to use Drinkaware’s protected IP. The cost of the agreement will be £50 (US$61.60), plus VAT, per year.

Adam Jones, business development and partnerships director at Drinkaware, added: “We hope that by making the Drinkaware logo license fee more accessible and cost effective for smaller producers and re-sellers we can reach as many people as possible who are at risk of harmful drinking.

“We also think this is an important step in recognising the change in the profile of the drinks industry which has seen a huge number of smaller producers and sellers emerge over recent years.”

The Portman Group also offers a free advisory service to help producers incorporate best practise when they revise their packaging and marketing.

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