Results of FY 2010 Alcohol Beverage Sampling and Advertising Programs

Label Compliance

  • We estimate that 96 percent (±3 percent) of all wine labels in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations.

Findings:

  • Reasons for non-compliance in our sample included:
    • No approved COLA.
    • Additional labels appeared on the container (other than those included on the approved COLA).
    • Additional information appeared on the bottle or cap that did not appear on the approved COLA.

Content Compliance

  • We estimate that 96 percent (±3 percent) of wine products in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for wine.

Findings:

  • Reasons for non-compliance in our sample included:
    • Containers were over-filled.
    • Actual alcohol content was less than that stated on the label.
    • Actual alcohol content was more than that stated on the label.
    • Acid content in the wine exceeded allowable limits.
    • Solids content in the wine exceeded allowable limits.

Overall Findings:

  • We found no significant difference in labeling and content compliance rates for domestic and imported products.
  • The overall marketplace compliance rate for wine labels together with the compliance rate for content is 94 percent ± 3 percent.  

 

Results of the FY 2010 Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program for Wine

  • We estimate the compliance rate for all wine advertisements with Federal alcohol beverage advertising laws and regulations is 81 percent ± 4 percent.

Findings:

  • Advertising on the radio and in print appears to have the most compliance issues while TV and Internet advertising appear to be the most compliant.  Because of a limited sample size, we could not make a statistically based conclusion for Outdoor advertising compliance.
  • The top four reasons for non-compliance in our wine advertising sample were:
    • Mandatory information related to the responsible advertiser was missing (85 percent of all non-compliant ads).
    • Misleading health-related statements (7 percent of all non-compliant ads).
    • Misleading information or statements (4 percent of all non-compliant ads).
    • A label depicted in the advertisement was not consistent with the approved label (4 percent of all non-compliant ads).
  • Of all the non-compliant ads 4 percent were non-compliant for more than one reason.
  • The most common reasons for non-compliance by media type:

Media Type

Reason

Percentage of Non-compliant Ads

Internet

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

75%

     

Print

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

90%

   

Radio

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

89%

TV

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

100%

This analysis did not verify the vintage date, late harvest, ice wine, varietal, appellation of origin, or estate bottled, or vineyard claims.

Learn more about TTB’s Alcohol Beverage Sampling and Advertising Program.

Page last reviewed/updated: 04/17/2019

Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program

About the Program

Our Bureau's mission to protect the public includes ensuring that labels on alcohol beverages contain adequate descriptive information and are not likely to mislead consumers. Established in 2008, TTB's Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program (ABSP) is a random survey of products in the marketplace to evaluate our success in meeting this mission and to determine where compliance issues exist.

Each year we conduct the ABSP by purchasing products from the marketplace and bringing them to our offices for label assessments to determine if products are in compliance with our labeling regulations. Following the label assessments, we send the products to our laboratories to undergo a series of analyses to determine compliance with certain information displayed on the product labels.

ABSP Results by Year

For more information on the specific non-compliances we found each year, you can access the results below.

2016 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2015 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2014 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2013 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2012 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2011 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits, Malt Beverages, Wine
2010 Sampling Program Results - Wine
2009 Sampling Program Results - Malt Beverages
2008 Sampling Program Results - Distilled Spirits

Follow-Up

Using the results of the ABSP, we take several types of actions to address compliance problems. In most cases, we notify the industry member about the violation and work with them to bring the product into compliance. If there are more serious violations, we coordinate other enforcement actions that may include investigations.

We may also use the results to help inform and develop specific courses of action for future policy development, such as updating the regulations, issuing guidance documents, or developing educational outreach programs.

Starting with the 2017 sampling program, we will no longer report the results of our analysis on an annual basis. The program is being revised to include both a random and risk based sample so we can respond better to known issues. The results will be used to help inform decisions on enforcement actions and priorities.

Description: http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/judge/iphone/128/phone-icon.png CONTACT US
If you have any questions about TTB's alcohol beverage sampling program, contact the Market Compliance Office at 202-453-2251, by fax at 202-453-2873, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please direct correspondence to:

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Trade Investigations Division - MCO
Suite 200W
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12
Washington, DC 20005

 

Page last reviewed: April 17, 2019
Page last updated: April 17, 2019
Maintained by: Trade Investigations Division

Results of the FY 2009 Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program for Malt Beverages

Label Compliance

  • We estimate that 90 percent (±4 percent) of all malt beverage labels in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations.

Findings :

  • Reasons for non-compliance in our sample included:
    • No approved COLA.
    • Additional labels appeared on the container (other than those included on the approved COLA).
    • Additional information appeared on the bottle or cap that did not appear on the approved COLA.  

Content Compliance

  • We estimate that 92 percent (±4 percent) of malt beverage products in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for malt beverages.

Findings:

  • Reasons for non-compliance in our sample included:
    • Containers were under-filled.
    • Containers were over-filled.
    • Actual alcohol content was less than that stated on the label.
    • Actual alcohol content was more than that stated on the label.
    • Actual calories did not match what was stated on the label.

Overall Findings

  • We found no significant difference in labeling and content compliance rates for domestic and imported products.
  • The overall marketplace compliance rate for malt beverage labels together with the compliance rate for content is 85 percent ± 5 percent.

 

Results of the FY 2009 Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program

  • We estimate the compliance rate for all malt beverage advertisements with Federal alcohol beverage advertising laws and regulations is 73 percent ± 4 percent.

Findings:

  • Advertising on the internet and radio appear to have the most compliance issues while TV ads appear to be the most compliant.
  • The top four reasons for non-compliance in our malt beverage advertising sample were:
    • Mandatory information related to the responsible advertiser was missing (37 percent of all non-compliant ads)
    • Prohibited claims regarding the alcohol content (strength claims) appeared (30 percent of all non-compliant ads)
    • Mandatory class designation information was missing (22 percent of all non-compliant ads)
    • Calorie or carbohydrate claims appeared without the required Statement of Average Analysis (12 percent of all non-compliant ads)
  • Of all the non-compliant ads 18 percent were non-compliant for more than one reason.
  • The most common reasons for non-compliance by media type:

Media Type

Reason

Percentage of Non-compliant Ads

Internet

Prohibited strength claims

45%

Outdoor

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

86%

Print

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

80%

Missing - Class Designation

80%

Radio

Missing Info - Responsible Advertiser

100%

TV

Missing - Class Designation

60%

Page last reviewed/updated: 04/17/2019

Results of the FY 2008 Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program for Distilled Spirits

Label Compliance

  • We estimate that 88 percent (±4 percent) of all distilled spirits labels in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations.

Findings:

  • Reasons for non-compliance included:
    • Back and neck labels that were different from approved COLAs.
    • Statements of composition that did not match approved COLAs.
    • Net contents were not blown into bottle as indicated on the approved COLA application.
    • Legibility issues.

Product Label versus Content Compliance

  • We estimate that 62 percent (±6 percent) of distilled spirits products in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for distilled spirits.
  • 95 percent of the samples' content violations were the result of the sample being either over-proof or under-proof beyond established tolerance levels when compared to the proof statement on the product’s label.
  • The rate of marketplace compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for distilled spirits products regarding product content matching the labeled description is 98 percent, excluding minor proofing issues.

Findings:

  • The alcohol content statement was the most common reason for distilled spirits products’ contents differing from what was stated on the label.
  • Only two distilled spirits products were found to be under-proof and should have been labeled "diluted."

Overall Findings

  • We found that imported distilled spirits beverage products were just as likely as domestic products to be found compliant in both labeling and lab-tested content.
  • We estimate the overall compliance rate for distilled spirits product labels together with the compliance rate for consistency between the content and the label is 54 percent (± 6 percent).
  • Out of all the noncompliant samples, the vast majority (86 percent) was noncompliant due to contents not matching label description; most frequently the alcohol content statements did not match.

The overall compliance rate for distilled spirits product labels together with the compliance rate for consistency between the content and the label, excluding samples with inaccurate proof statements is 87 percent (± 2 percent).

 

Results of the FY 2008 Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program for Distilled Spirits Products

  • The compliance rate for all distilled spirits advertisements with Federal alcohol beverage advertising laws and regulations is 82 percent (±4 percent).

Findings:

  • The top reasons for noncompliance of ads are:
    • No alcohol content statement for the advertised beverage (45 percent of noncompliant ads); and
    • No name or address for the responsible advertiser (58 percent of noncompliant ads).
  • In each media type, the top reasons for noncompliance of ads were:
    • No commodity statement ("Distilled from…") in radio ads;
    • No class or type statement in internet ads;
    • No alcohol content statement in radio and internet ads; and
    • No name or address for the responsible advertiser in radio, internet, and print ads.

All marketplace compliance rates are calculated with 95 percent confidence.

Page last reviewed/updated: 04/17/2019