Why Don't Alcoholic Beverage Containers have Nutritional Labels like other Food and Beverage Containers?

A reader recently sent the following e-mail.


I have a question for you.

Why is it that the alcohol industry is exempt from placing nutrition facts on their bottling labels?

All other beverages, including water and the food industry are required to place this information on their labels.

I look forward to hearing from you.

F.J.C. (Name omitted to protect privacy.)

Dear F.J.C.:

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), formerly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), specifically prohibits alcohol producers from placing nutritional information on beverage containers or advertising. This is a result of temperance-oriented laws and policies established upon the repeal of National Prohibition in 1933.

Here is nutritional information from the United States Department of Agriculture:

Beverage Calories Carbs (grams) Fat (grams)
Beer (regular) 146 13.13 .000
Beer (lite) 99 4.60 .000
All Distilled Spirits (rum, vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, bourbon, etc.) 97 0.00 .000
Wine (red) 125 3.5 .000
Wine (white) 120 3.5 .000
Apple juice (unsweetened) 117 28.96 .273
Apricot juice 140 36.11 .226
Carbonated cola 155 39.77 .000
Grape juice (unsweetened) 155 37.84 .202
Grapefruit juice (unsweetened) 94 22.13 .247
Lemonade 131 34.05 .149
Milk (2% fat) 122 11.41 4.807
Orange juice (unsweetened) 112 26.84 .149
Prune juice 182 44.67 .077
Tangerine juice (unsweetened) 125 29.88 .098
Tomato juice 41 10.30 .122
  • Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16-1. Available at www.nal.usda.gov/.

You can learn more about issues surrounding alcohol beverage labeling at:

Best regards,

David Hanson


filed under: Diet