TTB warns brands over use of ‘clean’ descriptor with alcohol beverages

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


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The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has weighed in on the use of the word ‘clean’ with alcohol beverages.

The word now often used with hard seltzers and other alcoholic drinks: often seeking to present an image of a product that has advantages over others (such as in terms of ingredient lists or artificial ingredients) without making any exact claims.

The TTB does not define the word ‘clean’, nor does it have standards for the use of the term on labels or adverts.

It warns producers that the word ‘clean’ could be problematic in certain contexts.

In some cases, the term “clean” is simply being used as a descriptor of the taste of the beverage, and is considered puffery. For example, “X winery makes a clean, crisp wine.

“In other cases, the term is used together with other language to create the misleading impression that consumption of the alcohol beverage will have health benefits, or that the health risks otherwise associated with alcohol consumption will be mitigated. For example, ”X malt beverage is clean and healthy” or “Y vodka’s clean production methods mean no headaches for you.”

“We would consider those claims to be misleading health-related statements.”

It also advises consumers that they should not interpret the term ‘clean’ as meeting organic or other production standards.

The TTB's advice can be found here.

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