Labeling

Collection of alcohol labelling experiences and practices in Europe

Objective

The objective of this specific study was to review labelling experiences and best practices in Europe concerning the labelling of alcoholic beverages.

Methods

The Catholic University of Applied Science Cologne, in close cooperation with Eurocare, gathered information on existing alcohol labelling policies and initiatives through:

  • A questionnaire sent to different consumer organizations in Europe, as well as interviews of experts in the field.
  • A review of available literature on the subject. Sources of information included institutional documents (National Governments and EU) as well as relevant international umbrella organisations of the alcohol industry.  

Main results

  • During the last five years, an increasing number of actions on labelling of alcoholic beverages were observed across Europe. Most of the actions were conducted by the alcohol industry on a voluntary basis. Only a few National Governments – in France, Germany and in Russia – implemented legal regulations on labelling of alcoholic beverages containers. An exception is the UK, where the labelling activities are voluntary and based on an agreement between the government and the alcohol industry. It seems that European countries are hesitating to implement legal regulations on health warning labels.
  • The messages currently observed mainly concern the respect of legal age limits when purchasing alcoholic beverages, health warnings for target groups like pregnant women as well as general health warnings. The alcohol industry mainly uses responsible drinking messages on alcohol drinks. A number of manufacturers use pictograms to reach pregnant women as well as „drinking and driving‟ logos, as a part of their “Don‟t Drink and Drive” campaigns.

The full report can be found here.