The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published new guidance for marketing terms used to advertise or promote gin and gin products.
The guidance, which outlines what is required to ensure that gin produced in Ireland is labelled in line with legislative requirements, is available on www.fsai.ie, and was developed to provide greater clarity for the industry to ensure that products are not mislabelled or marketed in a way that misleads consumers.
FSAI Chief Executive Statement
FSAI chief executive Dr. Pamela Byrne stated, "The gin guidance encompasses everything from the use of place names in sales terms to the listing of allergen information to the packaging material used, and it is hoped that it will help producers in complying with the regulations.
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"While gin is defined in the legislation as a 'juniper-flavoured' spirit drink produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with juniper berries, a 'juniper-flavoured spirit drink' is a separate spirit drink, which is produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin or grain spirit or grain distillate or a combination thereof with juniper berries. The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of a juniper-flavoured spirit drink is 30%, while the minimum alcoholic strength of a gin is 37.5%. Therefore, it is important to remember that these 'juniper-flavoured spirit drinks' cannot be labelled as 'gin'. Similarly, the use of the word 'distilled' must be used carefully as prescribed in the guidance, as must geographical descriptors.
"The size of the gin industry in Ireland has expanded exponentially in recent years, with more than 30% growth in sales in some years, and around 50 brands are produced in Ireland. While it is natural that marketing specialists will use every means at their disposal to gain a competitive edge over their rivals, this must not be achieved at the expense of consumers' trust. Food law is in place to ensure that consumers are not misled by any claims on food or drinks. We hope that our guidance will assist the industry to comply with the complex legislation in this area so that consumers can be confident that the gin produced in Ireland is accurately and truthfully described on the label or in associated marketing materials."
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