Beers, Wines and Spirits | Leatherhead Food Research

Alcoholic beverages

Leatherhead provides regulatory, safety, innovation and insight services to the fermented and distilled beverages industry. Our team supports clients across beers, wines, spirits, ready-to-drink as well as other fermented beverages such as kombucha and kefir.

Labelling advice

We can help ensure that both your product and label is compliant within your chosen markets. Whether it’s font size, listing ingredients or alcohol content our team can advise on label creation and checks.   Find out more →

Safety considerations

Safety considerations and assessments are especially important where mixed culture fermentations are being used and the finished beverage is live or conditioned. Our process safety services are available to audit and help improve the safety of your manufacturing.

Novel ingredients

We’re seeing an increasing number of clients including new and interesting botanicals, stimulants, adaptogens and energizers in response to changing consumer demands. These novel ingredients can be used to provide flavours or specific functional properties in the beverage. We can help with novel ingredient assessments for regulatory and claims purposes.   

Import and export of products 

Consumers now expect to be able to access their favourite beverages regardless of their geographical location. Leatherhead can provide advice on the import or export of alcoholic beverages, as well as hot topics such as sugar content, non-alcoholic offerings and alcohol related legislation.

Entering a new category 

Leatherhead can help to support brewers and distillers who are focusing on health and wellness by entering new categories such as alternatively fermented drinks, soft drinks or low/no alcohol alternatives.

 

 

FAQs

Kombucha is gaining popularity in Europe and can be sold in the EU market as long as the strains used are not considered novel. There are currently no compositional requirements established for this type of product at EU level (some Member States may have additional provisions), however, all the horizontal requirements must be considered, e.g. additive and flavouring permissibility, contaminants and hygiene, and labelling requirements, including which claims can be made. 

Most countries require the display of the ABV content as part of the labelling information for alcoholic beverages above a specific strength (typically 0.5 ABV). The location on the label where this should be provided also changes between jurisdictions. Very often this should be displayed on the front of pack, but some countries do not have a specific requirement as to where the information should be placed. It is also worth noting that different countries may have different prescribed wordings or units to use for this information.

Recycling legislation changes from country to country and sometimes from region to region or locally within the same country. It also varies based on the packaging material used, cans, glass bottles etc. Get in touch with our regulatory team for specific advice on a particular area.

As with many other food commodities, there may be compositional requirements that you need to meet, therefore, having the proposed formula checked is advisable. Additionally, it is likely that you will need to prepare new artworks to meet the labelling criteria of the markets that you are exporting to. Lastly, many countries around the world still require food and beverage products to be registered before or at the same time that they are placed on the market. For example, the US requires premarket approval for labels of alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverage manufactures may have specific registration requirements. 

Generally speaking, it is unusual for these types of beverages to be regulated by specific legislation. The most common scenario is that these products fall within the general umbrella of non-alcoholic beverages. One significant exemption is Australia and New Zealand, where brewed soft drinks have specific compositional requirements as set by Standard 2.6.2 Non-alcoholic beverages and brewed soft drinks.

How can we help?