Responsible Drinking

The WSTA is committed to provide consumers information about the health impacts of alcohol and are dedicated to working with our members to ensure that alcohol is labelled responsibly. The following information is designed to support members and consumers with understand more about the content of products and the impact of alcohol on your health.

 Industry Guidance for Communicating Alcohol and Health-related Information

The WSTA has worked together with the Portman Group and other trade associations to produce advice on how to communicate health related information to consumers, including on alcohol labels. This includes details on how to label consistently for voluntary health and social responsibility information. To full guidance is available here.

The Food Standards Agency has published a note to reflect a transitional period on the CMO low risk drinking guidelines on the labelling of pre-packaged alcoholic beverages, which lasts until to 1 Sept 2019.  This is available here.


WSTA Labelling Guide

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s labelling guide is available to download for all members of the WSTA. The guide sets out the legal and voluntary considerations that alcohol producers and retailers should have regard for and provides examples of how labels should look for both wines and spirits. The guide is available here.


Lower risk drinking guidelines

The UK Chief Medical Officers' (CMO) published revised lower risk drinking guidelines in 2016. These outlined recommendations for consumption to keep your risk of alcohol harm low. You can find more details about the CMOs' lower risk drinking guidelines on the Drinkaware website here or from the Department of Health here.


International drinking guidelines

It is important that producers note that the UK Chief Medical Officer Guidelines are only applicable to the UK market. Other countries have different definitions of units and different guidelines on lower risk consumption and this information may therefore vary from market to market. The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking has brought together a comprehensive list of the guidelines available in other key markets around the world. This is available here.


Calorie information

The WSTA is committed to providing a greater level of information to consumers about the drinks that they consume. To help increase awareness of the calorie content of a range of products the WSTA has brought together the following calorie content guide.

The guide provides typical values for the amount of calories in a variety of alcohol products. While the actual values may differ slightly from the products below, this is designed to be a general guide to the number of calories you are likely to find in a standard version of each drink.

The figures are based on McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods Integrated dataset, data from responsible and The Brewers of Europe and is based on the UK definition of a unit being 10 ml/8g of pure alcohol. Drinkaware have extensive information on responsible drinking and calorie information, which can be found here.