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Communicating Drink Information

​For the sake of their health and safety, people should know how many drinks they are consuming. But it can be hard for people to accurately track how many drinks they have had, as this number depends on the strength of the beverage and the amount in their glass.

How does drink information help moderate alcohol consumption?

Understanding how “a drink” is defined can help people reduce their risk of alcohol-related harms.

The alcohol beverage industry can help people monitor their drinking by including standard drink information in labels on alcohol containers, and by educating consumers on how to use this information to help them follow Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.

What Is a Drink? Communicating Drink Information to the Consumer recommends elements and information that a drink label should contain, and provides examples of how other countries are communicating drink information.

Format of Alcohol Beverage Label


Source: UK Science and Technology Committee, 2012
Reproduced with permission, © Portman Group

Piloting drink labels in Canada

  • Companies in the alcohol beverage industry are invited to add drink labels to their alcohol products to inform Canadians about how many standard drinks the products contain.

  • The industry should link the use of drink labels with creative, educational activities to help people understand how to use the information on the labels to moderate their alcohol consumption.

  • Institutions offering alcohol server training programs should include definitions of “a drink” and label information in their programs.

  • Retail alcohol outlets and establishments licensed to sell alcohol should make this information available to their customers.


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