It is common for alcohol beverage consumers to find the number of calories in advertising or on labels. Consumers can also find this information on manufacturers’ websites or social media posts. What is less common is a context for the numbers. According to the Alcohol And Tobacco Tax And Trade Bureau (TTB), manufacturers need to provide a statement of average analysis or a serving facts statement, which provides essential information about calorie, fat, carbohydrate, and protein per average serving. This additional information better enables consumers to evaluate the calorie data.
TTB 2013-2 was drafted to address the calorie and carbohydrates data in advertising and on the labels of malt beverages, distilled spirits and wine. In addition, the TTB argues that any labeling or information provided that does not include context could be misleading, thus leading to issues about truth in advertising as outlined in TTB Ruling 2004-1. The TTB did add that manufacturers can use such general terms as light or lite in the brand name.
Truthful marketing is good business
Manufacturers, importers and others best look after business interests if they are as honest as possible with marketing. This helps avoid running afoul of the TTB, but it also avoids making changes to labeling and other marketing data. The design or sales team may not always be on board with providing information on calories and protein. Still, this kind of detail can help those in the alcohol beverage business to separate themselves from the pack. Before making a change, those who have questions or concerns may want to speak with an alcohol beverage law attorney first to ensure that the client gets it right the first time.