Wine Labeling Guide: Labeling Requirements and Methods

Wine Labeling Guide

There are many considerations when labeling wine. Wineries and other beverage suppliers need to factor in not only government wine labeling requirements, but how the label will look from a branding perspective. 

When done correctly, wine labeling can entice consumers and help differentiate the product in a saturated market. But strict labeling requirements and inefficient labeling methods can make wine labeling costly and time consuming, especially for smaller suppliers. In these situations, labeling technology can help streamline the process.

Wine Labeling Requirements

Wine labels have separate labeling requirements from food products

According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, mandatory information on the brand label includes:

  • Appellation of Origin (mandatory in certain circumstances)
  • Brand Name
  • Class or Type Designation
  • Percentage of Foregn Wine, if applicable

Additionally, required information on any label includes:

  • Alcohol Content
  • Color Ingredient Disclosures, if applicable
  • Country of Origin (imports only)
  • Health Warning Statement
  • Name and Address
  • Net Contents
  • Sulfite Declaration

You can find basic mandatory labeling information for wine in The Beverage Alcohol Manual (BAM).

Why Wines Need Labeling

Wine labeling requirements allow consumers to make an informed decision about the wine they are buying and consuming. According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau:

The Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act sets forth standards for regulating the labeling and advertising of wine (containing at least 7 percent alcohol by volume), distilled spirits, and malt beverages. TTB’s regulations are written to prevent the deception of the consumer and provide them with “adequate information” as to the identity and quality of the product, to prohibit false or misleading statements, and to provide information as to the alcohol content of the product.

A well-designed wine label also gives brands the opportunity to stand out in a crowded liquor aisle. The Wine Enthusiast Magazine notes that there are beautiful and distinctive wine labels that are “filled with useful information about such things as blends, vineyards, fermentation practices and barrel management.” These details can make all the difference when consumers are choosing between brands and bottles. 

Wineries and beverage suppliers that want to make the most of their wine labels should consider how to use the limited space and choose which details about the wine will make it most appealing to a potential buyer. 

Improving Wine Labeling Efficiency

After wineries have designed wine labels with all of the relevant information, they still need to print them and apply them to the bottles. This can be a costly and time-consuming process when done manually. 

Print and apply labeling machines can print eye-catching labels with all of the proper information and apply them automatically to the wine bottle. Labelers for food and beverage applications are designed to print clear, crisp labels used to deliver industry information like brand name and alcohol content for a variety of products and packaging. This quick, repetitive process reduces human error and is much more efficient than doing it by hand. 

Although this type of machinery requires an initial investment, a print and apply labeler provides a strong ROI by working faster and more accurately than traditional methods, resulting in fewer costly errors that slow down production. Certain brands of labelers, like the ones through Paragon Labeling, can also be configured to label a variety of products, from the wine bottles themselves to the cartons used to deliver bulk orders.

Learn about food and beverage labeling here or contact our labeling experts.

Wine Labeling: Frequently Asked Questions

Who regulates wine labeling in the U.S.?

Wine labeling in the United States is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

What labels do wine bottle labeling machines use?

The size, shape, and orientation of the wine label you use will depend in part on your wine bottle and specific wine bottle labeling machine. Some labeling solutions, like the ones sold by Paragon Labeling, can be configured for multiple labeling applications, including wipe-on and air-assisted roll-on.

Food Labeling Guide: Requirements & Methods for Efficient Labeling

Food Labeling Requirements and Efficient Labeling Methods

Proper food labeling helps consumers make more informed decisions about their nutrition, and is a critical factor in traceability and security for manufacturers. The food and beverage suppliers who label their products must work within government regulations for food labeling as well as any additional food labeling requirements set by major retailers to improve traceability. Meeting these increasingly stringent requirements can be costly and time-consuming for manufacturers, especially for those operating on thin margins. 

Fortunately, there are automated food labeling methods that can help suppliers more efficiently fulfill labeling requirements and help keep consumers safe. 

What is Food Labeling?

Food labeling refers to the labeling of an individual food product, such as a box of cereal or a bag of chips, or the labeling of pallets and totes containing bulk shipments of food products.

Food Labeling Requirements: Food and Drug Administration

The food and beverage industry has strict labeling requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The FDA’s food labeling guide notes that there are two ways labels can be placed on packages and containers:

  1. ​​Place all required label statements on the front label panel (the principal display panel or PDP), or,
  2. Place certain specified label statements on the PDP and other labeling on the information panel (the label panel immediately to the right of the PDP, as seen by the consumer facing the product).

The PDP is the “portion of the package label that is most likely to be seen by the consumer at the time of purchase.” The statement of identity (name of the food) and the net quantity statement (amount of product) are required here.

To the right of the PDP is the information panel, which includes:

  • the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
  • the ingredient list
  • nutrition labeling 
  • any required allergy labeling

The FDA has guidelines on the size and prominence of this label, stating that “For information panel labeling, use a print or type size that is prominent, conspicuous and easy to read.”

You can read the FDA’s food labeling guide for a full list of food labeling requirements.

Food Labeling Requirements: Retailer Requirements

In addition to government requirements, many major retailers have implemented their own food labeling requirements to improve processing and traceability. Walmart, for example, requires barcodes on the top and all four sides of the case for most food items, as well as other features such as the brand name and sub-brand for easy identification. These and other labeling requirements were put in place because incorrect labeling was making it harder for associates “to quickly find the correct products to deliver to the retail shelves”, according to Labeling & Coding News.

These retailer-specific labeling requirements add another layer of complexity for food and beverage suppliers who have a limited budget for labeling their products.

Importance of Labeling in Food and Beverage Industry

Food labeling requirements are important to the health and safety of consumers. 

On the consumer side, having clearly labeled nutrition and allergen information helps them make more informed choices about the products they buy and consume.

For manufacturers, proper food labeling is tied to traceability and security; according to Food Engineering,  “More than 60 percent of FDA recalls are due to labeling issues. Most of these errors relate to allergens. Processors inadvertently put the wrong label on products, a change in the ingredients (undeclared allergens) doesn’t show up on the label, or the label doesn’t include a complete list of allergens.”

To avoid these costly recalls, many food manufacturers are creating better supply chain visibility with technology that makes it easier and more cost-efficient to meet labeling requirements. Automatic labeling machines, for example, can be used to more quickly and consistently apply labels to products than manual processes, ensuring that barcodes are accessible and clearly visible. 

In fact, in the “Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling” survey conducted by Loftware:

  • More than 63% of respondents “report they are currently combining digital technology with traditional practices to improve supply chain operations.”
  • More than 92% of respondents are working with labeling professionals to “help minimize or eliminate production stoppages, optimize supply chain operations, improve customer satisfaction and ultimately increase business.”

When confronted with more stringent labeling requirements and the improved supply chain they support, food and beverage manufacturers should consider the ways they can modernize their existing processes. Consulting with labeling experts can help find solutions that will create a modular and flexible product line for the specific compliance needs of their industry.

Food Labeling Methods

Manual processes can be time-consuming and prone to human error, leading to costly errors if labels are placed incorrectly. Introducing technology like an automatic labeling machine is one of the ways that a food and beverage manufacturer can streamline the labeling process and increase efficiency. 

These solutions can be configured to accurately place labels on a wide array of products, totes, and pallets so that labels remain easy to read and process throughout the supply chain. At Paragon Labeling, our print and apply systems are designed to print crisp, clean labels used to deliver SKU data, nutritional information, safe handling instructions, Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL), lot codes, expiration dates, Track & Trace as well as PTI compliance labels for a variety of products and packaging. 

Learn about our food industry labeling machines here.

Food Labeling FAQs

Which government agency is responsible for regulating most U.S. food labeling?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “responsible for assuring that foods sold in the United States are safe, wholesome and properly labeled.” (source)

Where can a consumer find the FDA food labeling guide?

The FDA food labeling guide can be found at here

What is required to be on a food label?

According to the FDA Food Labeling Guide, food labels must include the statement of identity (name of food), net quantity statement (amount of product), the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, the ingredient list, nutrition labeling, and any required allergy labeling.

When did food labeling start?

The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was a “watershed in U.S. food policy”; according to the FDA, “The law provided for three kinds of food standards: 1) standards (definitions) of identity, 2) standards of quality, and 3) standards regulating the fill of container.” 

What foods are exempt from standard food labeling requirements?

According to the FDA Food Labeling Guide, some foods are exempt from the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) labeling requirements: “raw agricultural commodities (generally fresh fruits and vegetables)” and “highly refined oils derived from one of the eight major food allergens and any ingredient derived from such highly refined oil.”