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Warninks labels fail to conform to the law

Published:  23 July, 2008

First Drinks Brands, the independent drinks distributor owned by William Grant & Sons, has admitted that illegally labelled bottles of Warninks advocaat have been circulating since November. The company only revealed the problem after the major Christmas trading season.

We have identified that a batch of 70cl bottle size has an omission on the label,' said the company's managing director Chris Mason.

During the screen printing process, some bottles are missing both the alcoholic strength (17.2% abv) and volume (70cl). The advocaat is bottled at Middelharnis in The Netherlands by Warninks, which has made the product since 1616, and is one of the brand leaders.

First Direct Brands says that the annual volume is around 50,000 nine-litre cases. The duty-free one litre size does not miss the crucial information.

The importer has offered to replace all affected stock in-trade with immediate effect. Where bottles have already been sold, consumers are being alerted through a series of national advertisements.

First Drinks Brands - whose turnover exceeds 180 million - will provide consumers with illegal labels with replacement bottles, provided they quote a serial number.

The action is to try to head off a prosecution under the food labelling legislation.