New FDA Regulations Could Cost Breweries

Law Offices of John Connell, P.C.: New U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations will soon require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to display the nutritional information on their menus (or make such information available upon request by the customer) by December 1, 2016, including nutritional information for alcoholic beverages sold by these “national chains.” Such required information will include written nutrition information about total calories, total fat, calories from fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, fiber, sugars and protein.

Currently, alcoholic beverages other than “Hard Cider” are not required either by the TTB or the FDA to list nutritional information on its labels, and domestic breweries need only include on its labels pursuant to 27 CFR 7.22 the TTB “mandatory label information” which in general terms only includes the brand name, manufacturer’s identification, net content, alcoholic content and whether any sulfites or other additives are added.

As a result of the new FDA regulation, however, brewers that have their products sold at restaurant chains with 20 or more locations nationally will be required to have the “nutritional information” for their brands provided to those retail restaurants in order for their customers to review. It is still unclear whether breweries will be required to provide such information on their beer labels – as Hard Cider labels currently require – or whether the “nutritional information” may simply be provided to the restaurants to make available to their customers. In either case, however, breweries selling to national chains will now need to test their products in order to discern accurately what is in fact the nutritional content of their products.

Reportedly, the cost of such testing is upwards of $1,000 a beer, and breweries with multiple brands could face quite the sticker shock leading them into a decision as to whether it is worth selling some brands to national chains.

2015© Law Offices of John P. Connell, P.C.

Contributed by Mandy Driscoll

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