A Consultation on Low Alcohol Descriptors

Closed 10 May 2018

Opened 15 Mar 2018


The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 set out in law rules for how low alcohol drinks (those of 1.2% alcohol by volume, ABV, or less) may be described. These rules on the use of low alcohol descriptors aim to protect the public and inform consumers.  The regulations are due to expire on 13 December 2018.

The Government is consulting on how best to continue to communicate information to the public about low alcohol drinks, so that adults can make informed choices when they purchase drinks, including alcohol. The sale of lower strength drinks, as an option for consumers helps encourage responsible drinking.

The Government also wants to use this consultation to hear views on whether we should introduce new descriptors for alcoholic drinks above 1.2% ABV to help consumers make an informed choice and to promote lower strength drinks.

The Government believes any future low alcohol descriptors could be introduced through guidance rather than legislation.

This consultation therefore provides an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals to use guidance rather than legislation, views on the current low alcohol descriptors, and on whether to extend the range of descriptors to drinks above 1.2% ABV.




  • Charities
  • Doctors
  • Members of the public
  • Retailers


  • Alcohol misuse