How to Label Alcohol Beverages in Australia?

labelling of alcoholic beverages

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In a world where consumer awareness is at an all-time high, the importance of accurate and comprehensive labelling cannot be overstated—especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages. From the type of spirit to its origin, alcohol content, and even health warnings, the label serves as the primary source of information for consumers.

In Australia, the labelling of alcoholic products is governed by a complex set of regulations that aim to balance consumer safety with industry needs. This article delves into the intricate landscape of alcoholic beverage labelling, exploring mandatory guidelines and requirements set by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and Australian Consumer Law.

Please be aware that the accuracy of the information concerning Australian labelling regulations is based on the state of affairs as of September 1, 2023. However, this article does not encompass the specific regional requirements or exceptions that may be relevant to your circumstances. This article should not be regarded as a replacement for your personal research or consultation with legal experts. For a comprehensive copy of the Food Standards Code, you can visit the official Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website at

What is Alcohol Beverage Labelling?

Alcohol beverage labelling is the practice of displaying essential information on the packaging of alcoholic products. This information can range from the type of alcohol and its origin to its alcohol content, ingredients, and health warnings. 

Alcohol beverage labelling is not just about providing facts; it’s a regulated process designed to meet specific legal requirements. However, it serves multiple purposes such as. 

  • Consumer Safety: It provides vital information like alcohol content and health warnings, helping consumers make informed choices.
  • Legal Compliance: Manufacturers must meet specific guidelines to ensure their products are legally compliant, failing which could result in penalties or recalls.
  • Transparency: It offers consumers a transparent look into what they are consuming, including origin, ingredients, and even environmental impact in some cases.
  • Marketing: While not its primary purpose, a well-designed label can also serve as a marketing tool, helping a brand stand out on crowded shelves.

What are Alcoholic Drink Categories?

Ten types of alcohol drinks categories

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has laid out specific categories. Understanding these categories is crucial for manufacturers, as it dictates the ingredients that can be used, the naming conventions, and even the marketplaces where the product can be sold. 

The alcohol drink categories include.  

  • Beer 
  • Cider 
  • Fruit Wine or Vegetable Wine 
  • Fruit wine product or vegetable wine product 
  • Mead Perry (or pear cider) 
  • Spirit 
  • Brandy 
  • Liqueur 
  • Wine 
  • Wine product 


Before diving into each category’s specifics, let us understand some basic ingredient terms. 

  • Herbs – Derived from either fresh or naturally dried leaves, flowers, stems or roots from various herbaceous plants. Herbs are used in small quantities for adding flavours. They are not considered food additive flavourings.  
  • Flavourings – Intense preparations added to enhance flavour or aroma. Flavourings are used in minimal amounts and are not intended to be consumed alone.  
  • Spices – Originating from aromatic seeds, roots, berries or other fruits from various plants. Spices are used in small quantities for adding flavours. They are not considered food additive flavourings.     
  • Natural extracts and aromas – Substances derived from fruit/ juice that meet the definition of flavouring substance. Natural extracts and aromas are considered to be food additives and not ingredients. 


Let’s now delve into the specifics of each alcohol drink category.


Beer is a drink made from hops or hop preparations, malt or malt extracts from grains or cereals, and fermented by yeast. Water can only be added as part of yeast fermentation of malt/unmalted cereals. 

Additional permissible ingredients when making beer include.  

  • Cereal products or other sources of carbohydrate
  • Sugar (white sugar, caster sugar, icing sugar, loaf sugar, coffee sugar, raw sugar)
  • Salt
  • Herbs  
  • Spices  

Flavourings are also allowed in beer. 


Cider is a fruit wine primarily made from apple juice or must with a maximum of 25% of the juice or must. 

Flavourings are not allowed in cider, but spices can be used.

Fruit Wine or Vegetable Wine

Fruit wine or vegetable wine are drinks made from the full or partial fermentation of fruits, vegetables, grains, or cereals.  

The following ingredients can be used when making fruit or vegetable wine.

  • Fruit juice and fruit juice products
  • Vegetable juice and vegetable juice products,
  • Sugars
  • Honey
  • Spices
  • Alcohol  
  • Water 

Flavourings are not allowed in fruit wine or vegetable wine.

Fruit Wine Products or Vegetable Wine Products

Fruit wine products or vegetable wine products are drinks made by processing, changing or mixing other food with at least 70% fruit wine or vegetable wine or a mixture of fruit or vegetable wine.   


Mead is a drink produced from the complete or partial fermentation of honey.

Any of the following ingredients can be added when making mead.

  • Fruit juice and fruit juice products
  • Vegetable juice and vegetable juice products,
  • Sugars
  • Honey
  • Spices
  • Alcohol  
  • Water 

Flavourings are not allowed in mead.

Perry (or Pear Cider)

Perry (or pear cider) is a fruit wine primarily made from pear juice or must, with up to 25% juice or must. 

Flavourings cannot be added to perry; however, spices are permissible.


Spirits are drinks made from the fermentation of a food source like sugar cane, potato, or cereal, and then distilled. Whisky, brandy, rum, gin, vodka and tequila are all considered as spirits. The spirit you make must have the characteristic flavour, aroma, and qualities of the spirit type you are making.  

Please note that tequila must have at least 35% alcohol by volume (ABV), while all other spirits must have at least 37% ABV. 

The following ingredients can be used when producing spirits. 

  • Water
  • Sugars
  • Honey
  • Spices  


Brandy is a type of spirit produced using distilled wine, or fermented grapes or grape product.  

Additional permissible ingredients when making brandy include.

  • Water
  • Sugars
  • Honey
  • Spice
  • Grape juice
  • Grape juice concentrates
  • Wine
  • Prune juice 


Liqueurs are spirits with more than 15% Alc/Vol and are flavoured by or mixed with other foods.  


Wine is a drink made from complete or partial fermentation of fresh grapes or a mixture of fermented fresh grapes and products that come solely from grapes. 

Any of the following ingredients can be used when making wine.

  • Grape juice and grape juice products,
  • Sugars
  • Brandy or other spirit
  • Water (only if it’s needed to add any permitted food additives or processing aids)

Wine product

Wine products include drinks made by processing, changing or mixing other food with at least 70% of wine.  

Labelling Requirements for Alcohol Beverages in Australia

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is the primary authority in charge of regulating food and beverages in Australia and New Zealand. This governmental body is responsible for establishing the Food Standard Code, a comprehensive set of standards and rules that govern food labelling requirements in both Australia and New Zealand. 

The Food Standard Code is divided into various chapters, each dealing with different aspects of food labelling.  

The Food Standard Code contains various Standards and rules related to food labelling requirements. For alcoholic beverages, two key chapters are of utmost importance.

  1. Chapter 1: This chapter outlines the general food labelling requirements that all food and beverage products, including alcoholic beverages, must adhere to.
  2. Chapter 2, Part 2.7: This part focuses explicitly on the labelling requirements unique to alcoholic beverages.


To simplify the complex landscape of alcoholic beverage labelling, we’ve organised this article into three main sections.

General Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages

This section will explore the foundational labelling elements mandated by Chapter 1 of the Food Standard Code. These are the basic labelling elements that all alcoholic beverages must include, irrespective of their specific category.

Specific Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages

In this section, we will focus on the specialised labelling requirements outlined in Chapter 2, Part 2.7 of the Food Standard Code. These are the requirements that are specific to alcoholic beverages only. 

Other Optional Alcohol Label Information

Beyond the mandatory elements specified in the Food Standard Code, there are additional, optional elements that manufacturers may choose to include on their labels. This section will discuss those supplementary elements that, while not obligatory, can provide further information and transparency to consumers.

Generic Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages

Nine generic mandatory labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages

Here is the list of general mandatory labelling requirements stipulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). 

  • Name/Description
  • Lot Identification
  • Name and Address of Supplier
  • A Statement of Ingredients
  • Advisory Statements (Allergens)
  • Date Marking
  • Statement of Storage Conditions
  • Nutrition, Health and Related Claims
  • Country of Origin


Status – Mandatory

Rule – Standard 1.2.2-2 

Every alcoholic product label must have a prescribed name. In case the product has no name, a description with sufficient information that truthfully reflects the product’s nature should be mentioned. 

For example, if a whiskey bottle is flavoured with caramel, the label on the bottle should read “Whiskey with a Hint of Caramel.”  

Lot Identification

Status – Mandatory

Rule – Standard 1.2.2-2 

Each alcoholic beverage must have a unique ‘lot’ or ‘batch’ identifier on its packaging. 

Lot identification serves as a vital tool for tracing products, particularly useful in situations where items from a particular production run need to be recalled or removed from the market. 

There is no standardised format for creating and placing these identifiers on the label. However, in general, they commonly take the form of an alpha-numeric sequence and are placed near the barcode. 

For example, a gin bottle could bear a lot identifier such as “Batch A2”. 

Name and Address of Supplier

Status – Mandatory

Rule – Standard 1.2.2-2 

The label of an alcoholic beverage must include the business name and physical address of the entity responsible for its production or distribution. This entity could be the manufacturer, packer, or importer. 

The address on the label should be complete and include the street number, street name, suburb, town and state/territory. This address must be a location where physical documents can be served. 

Postal addresses (e.g. PO Box or RSD numbers) are not acceptable.

A Statement of Ingredients

Status – As applicable 

Rule – Standard 1.2.4

Listing ingredients on the label of an alcoholic beverage is generally not mandatory. However, an exception exists for allergens. 

If the beverage contains any allergens that the Food Standard Code mandates to be disclosed, then those specific allergens must be clearly stated on the label.

For instance, if a vodka is flavoured with hazelnuts, the label should include a statement such as “Contains Hazelnuts.” 

Allergen labelling is a significant aspect of food and beverage safety, often requiring its own set of comprehensive guidelines. To navigate the labyrinth of allergen labelling compliance, you can refer to this in-depth article on understanding allergen labelling compliance.

Advisory Statements (Allergens)

Status – Mandatory

Rule – Standard 1.2.3

Alcoholic beverages that contain specific ingredients known to cause allergic reactions must have advisory statements on their labels. This is in compliance with the amendments to the Food Standard Code, effective from February 25, 2021.

Businesses have a transition period until February 25, 2024, to fully implement these new allergen labelling requirements. Following this initial three-year period, a two-year stock-in-trade period will also be in effect.

Exemption: Spirits distilled from barley, rye, oats, or wheat do not need to declare these allergens on the label. This is because the distillation process renders some allergens safe to consume. For additional information on product exemptions, please visit the Food Standard Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) website.

As alcoholic beverages are not mandated to list ingredients, there’s no set format for declaring allergens. However, they should be highlighted in a summary statement on the label.

Understanding allergen labelling is crucial for both producers and consumers. Failure to comply can result in severe consequences, including product recalls and legal actions.

Date Marking

Status – Optional 

Rule – Standard 1.2.5

The inclusion of a ‘best-before’ date on the label, cap or bottle of an alcoholic beverage is generally not required, especially for spirits. However, if the product has a shelf life of less than two years, then it becomes mandatory to include this date.

Products that have exceeded their ‘best-before’ date can still be legally sold as long as they remain safe for human consumption.

If a manufacturer opts to voluntarily include a ‘best-before’ date on the label, it is entirely at his or her own discretion. 

Statement of Storage Conditions

Status – Optional

Rule – Standard 1.2.6

Including storage conditions on the label is generally not required for alcoholic beverages. However, if a ‘best-before’ date is included and the product’s quality will only be maintained until that date under specific storage conditions, then those conditions must be clearly stated on the label.

For example, a wine that needs to be stored in a cool, dark place should have a label stating, “Store in a cool, dark place.”

Nutrition, Health and Related Claims

Status – Voluntary with Exceptions

Rule – Standard 1.2.7

Nutrition content claims refer to statements concerning the presence or absence of specific components in a food product, such as energy (calories or kJ), biologically active substances, dietary fibre, minerals, potassium, protein, carbohydrates, fats, salt, sodium, vitamins, or glycemic index and load. 

Examples of nutrition content claims include “gluten-free,” “lower in calories,” and “sugar-free.” 

The Food Standard Code prohibits making nutrition or health claims on alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.15% ABV. However, specific exceptions exist for claims related to energy content (calorie), carbohydrate, or gluten content. 

If a manufacturer decides to make a Nutrition Content Claim like “High in Energy” or ‘Naturally low in Carbs,’ it becomes mandatory to provide a Nutritional Information Panel (NIP) on the label to substantiate the claim. 

If a manufacturer makes a claim concerning gluten content, the requirements depend on the nature of the claim.

  • “Low Gluten” Claim: If the manufacturer labels a product as “Low Gluten,” indicating it contains no more than 20 mg of gluten per 100g, including a Nutritional Information Panel on the label becomes mandatory.
  • “Gluten-Free” Claim: If the manufacturer labels a product as “Gluten-Free,” signifying that the product has no detectable gluten, oats, or oat products and is free from cereals containing gluten that have been malted or products derived from such cereals, then Nutritional Information Panel on the label is not required.   

Country of Origin

Status – Mandatory

Rule – ACCC Requirement  

Alcoholic beverages are categorised as non-priority foods, making including a Country of Origin statement on the label a mandatory requirement. 

However, businesses can voluntarily choose to use the Three-Component Standard mark to provide more detailed information. If they choose this route, they must adhere to the Standard’s guidelines as if the product were a priority food item.

Understanding the nuances of Country of Origin labelling is complex but is crucial for compliance and consumer transparency. For a more in-depth look into this subject, refer to our comprehensive guide on Country of Origin labelling requirements. 

Specific Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverage

Specific mandatory labelling requirements for alcoholic beverage

Here is the list of specific mandatory labelling requirements stipulated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). 

  • Volume Statement
  • Statement of Alcohol Content
  • Statement of Standard Drinks
  • Restriction on Use of Geographical Indications
  • Pregnancy Warning Label

Volume Statement

Rule – National Trade Measurement Regulations

A volume statement is a mandatory labelling requirement specifying the total amount of liquid in the bottle. Volume statement helps consumers to understand the quantity they are purchasing and is also used for taxation and regulatory purposes.

The following rules should be kept in mind when putting a volume statement on the label.

  • Minimum Character Height: The volume statement should be at least the prescribed minimum character height (refer to the table below). A standard 750 mL bottle requires the volume statement to have a minimum character height of 3.3 mm. 
  • Placement: It should be prominently placed on the front of the bottle or label, near the product’s name or brand. Additionally, the volume statement should be at least 2 mm away from all package edges and maintain a distance of at least 2 mm from any graphics or written content.
  • Metric Units: The volume statement should be expressed in metric units. Accepted units include L (litre), dL (decilitre), cL (centilitre), or mL (millilitre).
  • Clear Presentation: The statement should be stamped or printed clearly, with distinct colour contrast against the background graphics.


The character height of the volume statement must adhere to National Trade Measurement guidelines, which vary depending on the bottle’s dimensions. Below is a table outlining the minimum character size requirements for measurement markings as per the guide on the sale of pre-packaged items

Maximum Dimension of the Package
Minimum Character Height of Printed Numbers/Letters​
120 mm or less
2 mm
Over 120 mm but not over 230 mm
2.5 mm
Over 230 mm but not over 360 mm
3.3 mm (standard 750mL bottle)
Over 360 mm
4.8 mm

Note – Minimum print height applies to the shortest character in the statement. In cases where the measurement marking is stamped or embossed instead of printed, the character size must be at least three times the minimum printed character size outlined in the table.

Statement of Alcohol Content

Rule – Standard 2.7.1-3 

The statement of alcohol content serves as a crucial indicator of the alcohol concentration within the beverage, enabling consumers to gauge its strength and make informed choices.  

As per the Standard, the inclusion of an alcohol statement is mandatory for foods containing more than 0.5% alcohol by volume. However, specific requirements apply based on the alcohol content.

  • For a food, including alcoholic beverages, with more than 1.15% alcohol by volume, the statement should be expressed in mL/100 g, mL/100 mL or the percentage of alcohol by volume (e.g., ‘13.5% alc/vol or ABV’). 
  • For alcoholic beverages containing not less than 0.5% and not more than 1.15% alcohol by volume, the alcohol content must be conveyed in words, stating “CONTAINS NOT MORE THAN X% ALCOHOL BY VOLUME.”.


It’s important to note that any alcoholic beverage containing more than 1.15% alcohol by volume must not be marketed or labelled as a ‘low alcohol’ beverage or similar terms.

Additionally, the alcohol content statement must provide an accurate representation within a margin of + or – 0.3% ABV. Decimal values should be represented with a decimal point, not a European decimal comma.

The statement of alcohol content must be prominently displayed on either the front label, back label, or both on the bottles. It should also be visually aligned with the volume statement for clarity.

Statement of Standard Drinks

Rule – Standard 2.7.1-4 

A “standard drink” is a standardised unit of measurement that quantifies the amount of pure alcohol in a beverage. In Australia, a standard drink is defined as the amount of beverage containing 10 grams of ethanol, measured at 20°C. This measure serves as a guideline to help consumers understand how much alcohol they are consuming, thereby promoting responsible drinking. 

As per the Standard, all alcoholic beverages with an alcohol by volume (ABV) greater than 0.5%, measured at 20°C, must include a statement indicating the number of standard drinks in the container. However, the specific requirements for this statement depend on the number of standard drinks in the package.

  • Beverages with 10 or Fewer Standard Drinks: The statement must accurately indicate the number of standard drinks, correct to the first decimal place.
  • Beverages with More than 10 Standard Drinks: The statement must accurately indicate the number of standard drinks, rounded to the nearest whole number.


The process of calculating, displaying, and creating a standard drinks logo is discussed below. 

How to Calculate Standard Drinks?

To determine the number of standard drinks in a beverage, you can use the following formula.

Number of Standard Drinks = Container Volume (litres) x % Alcohol/Vol (mL/100mL) x 0.789 (Specific Gravity of Ethanol).

For example, let’s calculate the standard drinks for a 750 mL bottle of wine with an alcohol content by volume of 13%.

0.75 (mL to L) × 13 (%ABV) × 0.789 = 7.69*

*As the answer is less than 10, it will round down the first decimal place, giving us 7.6 standard drinks.

Similarly, for a 1500 mL bottle of whiskey with an alcohol content by volume of 40%, the calculation is as follows.

1.5 (mL to L) × 40 (%ABV) × 0.789 = 47.34*

*As the answer is more than 10, it will be rounded to the nearest whole number, resulting in 47 standard drinks.

How to Display Standard Drink on the Label?

There are two ways to display standard drinks on the label.

  1. Standard Drink Statement 
  2. Standard Drink Logo 


The Standard Drink Statement method involves expressing the standard drink in words, as “CONTAINS APPROXIMATELY X.X STANDARD DRINKS.” The “X.X” should represent the accurate number of standard drinks. 

The Standard Drink Logo method utilises the Standard Drinks glass symbol with the correct number of standard drinks within the glass. It’s important to note that specific rules and regulations govern the creation of the Standard Drink Logo and are discussed in the next section. 

Regardless of the chosen method, standard drink information should be presented in a clearly visible position on the label, including the front, rear, or both. 

It’s also important to note that for beverages sold in multipacks (e.g., cases), the standard drink information should be displayed on the outer packaging. For example, if a multipack of beer contains 4 x 330 mL cans with approximately 1.3 standard drinks per can, the outer packaging must state.

  • 4 x 1.3 approximate standard drinks or 5.2 approximate standard drinks.
  • 4 x 330 mL or 1.32 litres.

How to Create a Standard Drink Logo?

Eight rules to create a standard drink logo

The standard drink logo features three types of glasses: wine, beer, and whiskey. Choose the glass logo that best suits your product.

Minimum Size

The standard drink icon should have a minimum height of 14 mm and should be presented in a single colour. The colour should either be dark or reversed out of a dark background to ensure legibility on your product packaging.

Minimum Clear Spacing

To maintain the integrity of the standard drink logo, it should be surrounded by a ‘protection zone’ or clear space. This space should be free from any other graphic or typographic elements to prevent the logo from appearing crowded or incorrectly associated with other elements.

The minimum clear space for the ‘standard drinks’ icon is defined by Helvetica Neue Black Condensed capital X-height at 10.5 point size.


The chosen font for the standard drink logo is Helvetica Neue Condensed. This font was selected for its wide availability and ability to provide a tall ‘X’ height within limited space, enhancing legibility. 

The wording “standard drinks” is part of the icon artwork and should not be altered or tampered with. 

The numeric value indicating the number of standard drinks per alcohol volume should be centred within the glass shape and set in 10.5 point size Helvetica Neue 97 Black Condensed.

Correct Usage

Correct usage of the standard drink logo is a must. Here are some best practices to follow.

  • Size and Presentation: Make sure the logo is of the correct dimensions, as specified in the guidelines
  • Proportional Integrity: Avoid stretching or compressing the logo, which can distort its proportions and reduce legibility.
  • Inclusion of Text: The logo should always be accompanied by the phrase “standard drinks” to provide context and clarity.
  • Text Positioning: Keep the “standard drinks” text in its original, designated position. Changing its location or font can lead to inconsistencies and confusion.

Restriction on the Use of Geographical Indications in Addresses

A Geographical Indication (GI) serves as a unique identifier for products originating from a specific territory, region or locality, where certain qualities, reputations or characteristics are intrinsically linked to that location. Well-known examples include “Scotch Whiskey,” “Irish Whiskey,” and “Champagne.”

Typically, once a GI gains protection, it becomes exclusive, and the name associated with it can only be used by producers who adhere to the established rules and regulations safeguarding the GI.

 According to the Food Standards Code (FSC), a spirit cannot bear a geographical indication—either explicitly or implicitly—unless it is actually produced in the designated country, region, or locality.

GIs are not just limited to spirits; they are also considered intellectual property and extend to various other food items, including wine.

Please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for more details.

Pregnancy Warning Label

Rule – Standard 2.7.1-8 

A pregnancy warning label is a cautionary label to inform consumers about the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The primary purpose of this label is to protect the health and well-being of both the mother and the unborn child by discouraging alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

According to the Food Standards Code, the inclusion of a pregnancy warning label is mandatory for packaged alcoholic beverages that contain more than 1.15% alcohol by volume. 

The pregnancy warning label is a new requirement that was gazetted in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code on July 31, 2020. Businesses are granted a three-year transition period to comply with these new regulations, with the deadline for full compliance set for July 31, 2023.

During this transition period, officially ending on July 31, 2023, producers must gradually implement the pregnancy warning mark on their packaging. It’s important to note that alcoholic beverages labelled after July 31, 2023, must include the pregnancy warning mark. However, products labelled before this date can still be sold without the mark even after the deadline has passed. 

The pregnancy warning label is subdivided into two.  

Two types of pregnancy warning label
  1. Pregnancy Warning Pictogram – This is a pictogram depicting the silhouette of a pregnant woman holding a wine glass enclosed within a circle with a strikethrough, signifying the prohibition of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  2. Pregnancy Warning Mark – This is a comprehensive label featuring the Pregnancy Warning Pictogram described above, accompanied by the signal words’ Pregnancy Warning’ and a crucial statement ‘Alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby,’ all contained within the same border.     

The pregnancy warning label is a mandatory requirement for individual units, such as bottles or cans, of prescribed alcoholic beverages. Additionally, outer packaging used for retail sales, including presentation boxes, multi-unit wraps, or cartons (e.g., 6-pack or 12-pack cartons), must also feature a pregnancy warning mark. 

However, if the outer packaging does not obscure the individual unit, such as when using a cellophane wrap or similar, it does not require a pregnancy warning mark. It’s important to note that this pregnancy warning label requirement specifically applies to outer packaging intended for retail sales and does not include boxes solely used for transportation.

The choice of pregnancy warning label type depends on the total liquid volume of the alcoholic beverage:

  • 200 mL or Less: Requires the Pregnancy Warning Pictogram only.
  • Between 201 mL and 800 mL: Requires the Full Pregnancy Warning Mark.
  • More than 801 mL: Also requires the Full Pregnancy Warning Mark.

How to Create a Pregnancy Warning Label?

When creating a pregnancy warning label, adhering to specific guidelines is essential to ensure compliance. 

Pregnancy Label Element
Table of Pregnancy label element

A pregnancy warning label has three elements.

  • Pictogram 
  • Signal Word
  • Statement 


It’s crucial to note that each pregnancy warning label must meet minimum size requirements for the size of type and pictogram diameter. These size requirements vary depending on whether the label is intended for individual units or outer packaging used for retail sales. The specific size requirements for both scenarios are detailed in the table below: 

Individual Unit Volume / Package Type
Warning Label to Be Displayed
Size of Pictogram
Size of Type of Signal Words
Size of Type of the Statement
Prescribed alcoholic beverage/individual unit with a volume not over 200 ml
Pictogram only
At least 8 mm diameter
Not applicable
Not applicable
Prescribed alcoholic beverage/individual unit with a volume between 201 mL and 800 mL
Full pregnancy warning mark
At least 6 mm diameter
At least 2.1 mm
At least 1.6 mm
Prescribed alcoholic beverage/individual unit with a volume more than 801 mL
Full pregnancy warning mark
At least 9mm diameter
At least 2.8 mm
At least 2.1 mm
Outer package containing only one inner individual unit with a volume not more than 200 mL
Pictogram only
At least 8 mm diameter
Not applicable
Not applicable
Outer package containing either: One individual unit over 200 mL Multiple inner units more than 200 mL each; Multiple inner units not more than 200 mL each
Full pregnancy warning mark
At least 11 mm diameter
At least 3.5 mm
At least 2.7 mm
Optional alternative label for outer package of prescribed alcoholic beverage that includes more than one individual unit in the package that is: Made of corrugated cardboard and has an outside liner made of kraft, recycled or white paper; and Printed on using a post-print (flexographic) printing process​.
Full pregnancy warning mark
At least 14 mm diameter
At least 4.4 mm
At least 3.4 mm
Pregnancy Label Font Type

For the pregnancy warning label, the following font type requirements apply.

Signal Words ‘PREGNANCY WARNING’ must be.

  2. Bold
  3. In a sans-serif typeface


The Statement ‘Alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby’ must be:

  1. In sentence case 
  2. In a sans-serif typeface
Clear Spacing Around the Pregnancy Warning Mark
Structure of clear spacing around the Pregnancy Warning Mark

When displaying the pregnancy warning mark on the package, it’s essential to include a clear space surrounding the outside border of the mark. This clear space should be a minimum of 3 mm in width on all four sides. 

It’s important to note that there are no specific colour requirements for this clear space outside the border of the pregnancy warning mark. 

Pregnancy Label Colours
Label colours of pregnancy warning label

Every pregnancy warning label must meticulously adhere to the prescribed colour requirements. These requirements are as follows:

For the Pregnancy Warning Mark.

  • Signal Words: Red
  • Statement: Black
  • Border: Black
  • Background within the Border: White
  • Silhouette of Pregnant Woman: Black
  • Pictogram Circle and Strikethrough: Red
  • Background within Pictogram: White


For the Pregnancy Warning Pictogram.

  • Silhouette of Pregnant Woman: Black
  • Pictogram Circle and Strikethrough: Red
  • Background within Pictogram: White


Optional Alternative Pregnancy Warning Mark for Corrugated Cardboard Outer Packaging Colours.

  • Signal Words: Black
  • Statement: Black
  • Border: Black
  • Background Inside the Border: Same Colour as the Outside Liner Made of Kraft, Recycled, or White Paper (e.g., Brown, Grey, or White)
  • Silhouette of Pregnant Woman: Black
  • Pictogram Circle and Strikethrough: Black
  • Background Inside Pictogram: Same Colour as the Outside Liner Made of Kraft, Recycled, or White Paper (e.g., Brown, Grey, or White)


It’s essential to ensure that the strikethrough of the pictogram is displayed with a clear space on both sides, allowing for clear legibility of both the strikethrough and the silhouette of the pregnant woman.

Spot Colour

  • PMS 485 (Pantone Coated)
  • Black



  • Red – C=6 M=98 Y=100 K=1
  • Black – C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100


These colour specifications are integral to the effectiveness and compliance of the pregnancy warning labels.

You can download the label files from the FSANZ official website

Other Optional Alcohol Label Information

Four other optional alcohol label information

In addition to general and mandatory labelling requirements, several optional elements can be included on alcoholic beverage labels. These elements are not mandated by FSANZ but serve functional purposes. These option elements for labelling alcoholic beverages are.

  1. Barcode
  2. Recycle Logo
  3. Drinkwise Logo
  4. Responsible Drinking Messages 


A barcode is a machine-readable representation of data, usually consisting of parallel lines of varying widths and spacings. Barcodes are of two types: 1D barcodes (examples UPC, Interleaved 2 of 5, Intelligent Mail barcode) and 2D barcodes (examples QR code, Data Matrix codes, Aztec codes). 

For in-depth insights into barcode technology, we invite you to explore our Barcode 101 Guide. This comprehensive resource covers the nitty-gritty of barcode technology, providing a thorough understanding of its principles and applications.

Additionally, if you’re interested in learning about different types of barcode symbologies, our Barcode Learning Center is the perfect destination. It offers detailed information on various barcode symbologies, helping you choose the right one for your specific needs. 

For alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to use EAN-13 barcodes that meet the minimum GS1 standards. These standards include:

  • 80% magnification 
  • Adequate light margins
  • No truncation

Our comprehensive guides on Best Practices For Designing Perfect Labels And Barcodes and Common Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Barcodes offer valuable insights and expert advice for anyone involved in barcode design. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced professional, these resources provide essential information and practical tips to ensure your barcodes are accurate, efficient, and error-free. 

How to Create Barcodes?

Creating barcodes is a relatively straightforward process, thanks to a plethora of free and paid barcode generators available online. While these free options may seem cost-effective, they have limitations such as restricted customisation, no batch processing capabilities, lack of robust security features, and limited customer support.  

For businesses looking for more flexibility and customisation, paid barcode generators are a more viable option. One such premium software that we highly recommend is Seagull Scientific’s BarTender Software.  

Seagull Scientific’s BarTender software is the world’s most trusted label design and printing solution. With BarTender, you can quickly, precisely, and efficiently design, manage, automate, and print barcodes, labels, and tags. BarTender integrates with your existing company systems and infrastructure, simplifying label design and printing. You can even link various data sources to create barcodes and labels simultaneously, such as data from a database, CSV file, date/time, or serialisation. 

BarTender features an impressive library of preformatted barcode components compliant with 105 different symbologies and more than a dozen standards, giving users an easy way to produce high-quality barcodes. With BarTender software, you can easily create EAN-8 and EAN-13 with and without EAN-2 and EAN-5 add-ons. 

At Triton Store, we bring you BarTender software at unbeatable prices that you won’t find anywhere else. We have all editions of the software available, namely Starter Edition, Professional Edition, Automation Edition and Enterprise Edition, as well as the latest addition, BarTender Cloud, to meet your needs. 

Investing in a paid barcode generator like BarTender Software ensures you get the flexibility, security, and support needed for effective and efficient barcode creation. To learn more about how BarTender Software can revolutionise your label printing experience, feel free to contact us via the live chat widget below. 

Recycle Logo

If your alcoholic beverage container is made from recyclable materials, it’s advisable to include a recycle logo on the label. This symbol serves as a guide for consumers, encouraging them to dispose of the container in an environmentally responsible manner. 

In Australia, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) collaborates with Planet Ark and the Australian government on the Australasian Recyclable Label program. This initiative offers a wealth of information and tools related to recycling logos, helping you choose the most appropriate symbol for your product.

It’s also crucial to consult your State or Territory’s container refund scheme guidelines, as they may have specific requirements for the recycling mark that should appear on your label. For more information, please refer to the Australian Beverages Council Ltd (ABCL) website

Drinkwise Logo

The Drinkwise logo is an optional element that can be included on alcoholic beverage labels to promote responsible drinking. This logo is part of an initiative by Drinkwise Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to foster a healthier and safer drinking culture in the country.

Including the Drinkwise logo on your product label serves as a reminder to consumers to enjoy alcohol responsibly. It also aligns your brand with a socially responsible message, potentially enhancing your brand’s reputation among consumers who value such initiatives.

Before incorporating the Drinkwise logo, it’s essential to consult the guidelines provided by Drinkwise Australia to ensure correct usage and placement on the label. This ensures that the logo is displayed in a manner that is consistent with the organisation’s objectives and guidelines.

Responsible Drinking Messages

Incorporating responsible drinking messages on your alcoholic beverage labels is another optional but highly recommended practice. These messages serve as gentle reminders to consumers to enjoy alcohol in moderation and be mindful of its effects. 

Examples include phrases like “Drink Responsibly,” “Know Your Limits,” or “Don’t Drink and Drive.”

Including such messages promotes responsible consumption and enhances your brand’s image as socially responsible. It shows that your company is committed to the well-being of its consumers and the community at large.

When adding responsible drinking messages, make sure they are clearly visible and easy to read. The placement should be such that it complements the overall design of the label without overshadowing other essential information.

By adopting these optional labelling elements like barcodes, recycle logos, Drinkwise logos, and responsible drinking messages, you can make your product stand out while also contributing to social responsibility and consumer education.

Check List for Labelling Single Units, Multi-Packs, and Cartons of Alcohol Beverages

In this section, we’ll provide a comprehensive checklist for labelling different types of alcoholic beverage packaging: single units, multi-packs, and cartons. Following this checklist will ensure that your product meets all the necessary legal and quality standards.

How to Label Single Units of Alcohol Beverages?

how to label single units of alcohol beverages

Front Packaging Requirements

  1. Brand name 
  2. Product description 
  3. Volume statement 
  4. Alcohol content

Back Packaging Requirements

  1. Volume statement 
  2. Alcohol content 
  3. Standard Drink statement/graphic 
  4. Pregnancy advisory 
  5. The ingredient list and allergen declaration (if applicable) 
  6. Country of origin 
  7. Supplier and packer details (name, address and phone number) 
  8. Best before date and statement of storage condition (if applicable)
  9. Nutrition, health and related claims (if applicable)
  10. Geographical Indications (if applicable)
  11. Lot identification code 
  12. Barcode
  13. Drinkwise logo
  14. Recycle logo 
  15. Responsible drinking messages 

How to Label Multi-Packs of Alcohol?

Structure of labelling multi-packs of alcohol

Front Packaging Requirements

  1. Brand name  
  2. Product description 
  3. Volume statement (Quantity in Multi-Pack X Volume of Product)
  4. Alcohol content
  5. Responsible drinking message 
  6. Recycle logo 
  7. Drinkwise logo

Side Packaging Requirements

  1. Pregnancy advisory 
  2. Best before date and statement of storage condition (if applicable)
  3. Lot identification code

Back Packaging Requirement

  1. Volume statement 
  2. Alcohol content 
  3. Standard Drink statement/graphic 
  4. The ingredient list and allergen declaration (if applicable) 
  5. Country of origin 
  6. Supplier and packer details (name, address and phone number) 
  7. Best before date and statement of storage condition (if applicable)
  8. Nutrition, health and related claims (if applicable)
  9. Geographical Indications (if applicable)
  10. Barcode

How to Label Cartons That Carry Alcohol Drinks?

How to label cartons that carry alcohol drinks
  1. Brand name – Should appear on all side panels and on top of the carton  
  2. Product description – Should appear on all side panels and on top of the carton  
  3. Volume statement (Quantity in Carton X Volume of Product)
  4. Alcohol content – Preferred to be displayed at the top right-hand panel of all 4 sides
  5. Volume statement 
  6. Alcohol content 
  7. Standard Drink statement/graphic 
  8. Pregnancy advisory 
  9. The ingredient list and allergen declaration (if applicable) 
  10. Country of origin 
  11. Supplier and packer details (name, address and phone number) 
  12. Best before date and statement of storage condition (if applicable)
  13. Nutrition, health and related claims (if applicable)
  14. Geographical Indications (if applicable)
  15. Lot identification code 
  16. Barcode
  17. Drinkwise logo
  18. Recycle logo 
  19. Responsible drinking messages 
  20. Gross weight of carton (Note – if the gross weight of the carton exceeds 10 kg, a “Caution Lift” symbol (minimum height 40 mm)must be prominently displayed on all six sides of the carton, preferably in the top right corner of each panel, accompanied by the gross weight information underneath.

How to Create an Alcohol Beverage Carton Label?

Structure of alcohol beverage carton label

When it comes to labelling cartons for shipping alcoholic beverages, it’s crucial to ensure that all mandatory information is prominently displayed. 

One effective way to achieve this is by using a “Print and Apply” label that serves as an additional layer of information. This label should be strategically placed on a minimum of two adjacent vertical sides of the carton to facilitate smooth processing through distribution networks. 

Here’s a list of what information should be included on the carton label.

  1. Brand name
  2. Product description and true nature statement (like rum, scotch whisky, gin, etc.)
  3. Volume statement 
  4. Alcohol content 
  5. Standard drinks statement and graphic 
  6. County of origin 
  7. Pregnancy advisory 
  8. Drink wise logo
  9. Responsible drinking messages 
  10. Supplier and packer details (name, address and phone number) 
  11. Lot code
  12. Gross weight of the carton with (if applicable) caution lift symbol 
  13. Recycle logo 
  14. Barcode 

Triton highly recommends using Seagull Scientific’s BarTender Software for creating, managing and printing alcoholic beverage labels. 

When designing labels, it’s essential to prioritise clarity and legibility. All text should be easily readable, even from a distance. Opt for straightforward Sans Serif fonts like Times New Roman and avoid overly stylised typography that could compromise readability. Colour contrast is another critical factor; ensure the text stands out against the background to enhance visibility. Consistency is key; maintain a uniform design language that aligns with your brand’s identity.  

When it comes to printing your labels, the choice of printer can make a significant difference in the quality and efficiency of the process. That’s why we strongly advocate for the use of thermal printers. These printers are not only fast but also deliver high-quality prints that are durable and long-lasting. 

Thermal printers excel in printing crisp barcodes, clear text, and even intricate graphics, making them a versatile choice for any labelling needs you may have. What sets thermal printers apart is their reliability and capability to handle high-volume printing tasks, ensuring that you can meet your distribution deadlines without any operational hiccups.

At Triton, we offer a curated selection of premium thermal printers from renowned brands like Epson, Element, Senor, Honeywell, Zebra and TSC and coloured label printers from OKI

Our extensive inventory encompasses a diverse range of thermal printer models, including direct thermal printers, thermal transfer printers, barcode label printers, desktop printers, industrial printers, mobile printers and receipt printers, ensuring that you discover the perfect fit for your specific requirements.   

In addition to our exceptional printers, we provide a comprehensive range of print consumables that adhere to the highest quality standards. Our print consumables are designed for superior adhesion and long-lasting print quality. 

Our print consumable inventory stocks thermal transfer ribbons, thermal labels, thermal carton labels, thermal carcase tags, food-compliant thermal inserts, receipt rolls and shipping & freight labels

Our commitment at Triton Store goes beyond merely offering products; it’s about delivering excellence at competitive prices. Our dedicated customer service team is just a click away through the live chat widget below and is always ready to guide and assist, ensuring a seamless shopping experience. So, if you’re searching for a top-tier thermal printer and its supplies, your quest ends here at the Triton Store.

Current Proposals and Future Changes

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is an ever-evolving body committed to enhancing consumer safety and well-being through rigorous food and beverage labelling standards. As part of its ongoing efforts to improve transparency and provide consumers with the information they need, FSANZ is currently contemplating several changes to the Food Standards Code (FSC).

Specifically, FSANZ is considering two major proposals aimed at refining the existing standards. 

The first proposal, known as P1049, focuses on the claims related to carbohydrates and sugar content in alcoholic drinks. This aims to provide consumers with clearer information about the nutritional aspects of the beverages they consume.

The second proposal, P1059, is centred around energy labelling on alcoholic beverages. The objective is to offer consumers insights into the caloric content of alcoholic drinks, thereby aiding in more health-conscious decision-making.

Both proposals are being developed in tandem to ensure a cohesive approach to any forthcoming changes in alcohol labelling requirements. This collaborative effort aims to align the potential modifications, creating a more streamlined and effective labelling system for alcoholic beverages.

By continually updating and refining the Food Standards Code, FSANZ aims to adapt to consumers’ changing needs and expectations, ensuring that the labelling of alcoholic beverages is as informative and straightforward as possible.

The Bottom Line

In summary, the labelling of alcoholic beverages is a complex yet crucial aspect of the industry, governed by a myriad of regulations and standards. From mandatory elements like brand name, volume, and alcohol content to optional yet impactful additions like barcodes and responsible drinking messages, each component serves a specific purpose. The aim is to provide consumers with the necessary information to make informed choices while ensuring the smooth operation of supply chains and retail systems.

Emerging technologies like thermal printers and advanced software solutions such as Seagull Scientific’s BarTender Software are revolutionising the way labels are designed, managed, and printed. These tools offer a blend of efficiency, customisation, and accuracy, making them indispensable for modern businesses.

It’s also worth noting that the landscape of alcohol labelling is not static; it’s subject to ongoing revisions and updates. Regulatory bodies like the Food Standards Australia New Zealand are continually working on proposals to enhance the clarity and usefulness of labels. These future changes underscore the importance of staying abreast of the latest developments in the field.

By understanding and effectively implementing these various elements, food businesses can comply with regulations and contribute to a more transparent and responsible marketplace. 

We hope this article was useful. 

Thanks for reading! 

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