How Many Calories Are In Your Nightcap? Alcoholic Beverages May Soon Contain Nutrition Labels

You’ve always heard about the carbs in alcoholic drinks, but now, you might just learn more than you want to know.  At the end of May, the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved beer, wine and spirits companies’ use of nutrition labels on their products, which can list, among other things, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat per serving.  Since the labeling is voluntary, it will be at the beverage companies’ discretion as to whether to use them. The labeling regulation is only temporary while the Treasury Department considers final rules on alcohol labels. It has been suggested that the recent labeling regulation is the result of lobbying by hard liquor companies that historically sell products with lower calories and carbohydrates than their beer competitors. As this is a competitive industry, we will probably start to see entire ad campaigns develop around specific amounts of calories and carbohydrates in various beverages.  If there is an edge to be had, companies will be sure to highlight it for consumers.  So, an after dinner beer or scotch?  We may soon learn which one helps us out more with our diets.

Scott R. Bialecki

Scott Bialecki, a former FTC attorney and IP litigator, is the co-Chair of Sheridan Ross P.C.'s Litigation Group.