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    Trade body publishes guide for low-and-no alcohol

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    The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has published the first of its kind comprehensive guidelines for the low- and no-alcohol category.

    After consulting with producers and retailers, the body has put a trio of documents together with an aim to clarify any confusion regarding the marketing, labelling and production of low- and no-alcohol products in the UK.

    “As the low-and-no sector continues to innovate and grow, the WSTA is pleased to offer – for the first time in the UK – a comprehensive set of guides to help members navigate the often-confusing world of describing, labelling and marketing no- and low-alcohol drinks,” Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said.

    “These detailed documents offer clarity and comprehensive guidance to help producers avoid pitfalls. If you are making low- and no-wines and spirits, these guides are a must read.”

    The first two documents- WSTA Marketing Guide for Alcohol Alternatives, and WSTA Guidance on Labelling of Low and No ‘Spirit’ Alternatives- were published on Thursday (3) while the third guide – WSTA Guidance on Labelling of Low and No ‘Wine’ Alternatives – will be published soon.

    The marketing guide focuses on drinks that sit at 0.5 per cent ABV or below, created for adults. The second guide on labelling low-and-no ‘spirits, is an updated version of the WSTA guidance initially published in 2021. They include best-practice notes, some important dos and don’ts, and examples of compliant labels for producers to refer to.

    “Clarity and consistency of government descriptors is far more likely than punitive and muddled excise duty reforms to achieving the government’s stated aim of growing the no-and-low drinks sector,” Beale added.

    “While it’s stating the obvious, it is absolutely vital that consumers understand what it is they are buying if they are going to support this small but growing segment of the market.

    “If the government wants to see a continued change in consumer behaviour it needs to work closely with the producers and retailers, where the expertise lies. We are encouraging DHSC to press on with the consultation and make the changes producers, retailers and consumers want, so they can get on with supporting the growth of low-and-no products,” reports quoted Beale as saying.

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