A division of the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday said it would set advertising and labeling standards for low-carbohydrate alcoholic beverages, which have become increasingly popular due to the Atkins diet craze.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau set interim standards for the use of terms like “low carbohydrate,” saying an alcoholic beverage must have less than 7 grams of carbohydrates to be labeled or advertised as such.
Ban health claims
It said a product may be labeled as containing “reduced” or “lower” carbohydrates if it includes more than 7 grams of carbohydrates but less than the regular version of the product.
The new standards would prohibit statements claiming that low-carbohydrate alcoholic drinks may play a healthy role in a diet, as these claims ignore the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, according to the bureau.
The bureau said it plans to set permanent standards on the issue in the near future.
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.’s low-carbohydrate Michelob Ultra has been a big hit, and Adolph Coors Co., seeing its Coors Light brand suffer because of Michelob Ultra, recently introduced the low-carb Aspen Edge.