The EU Food Information Regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011) requires specific labelling for high caffeine drinks and foods where caffeine has been added for a physiological effect. This labelling helps consumers to identify foods with high caffeine content in those products where they may not expect to find it unlike tea and coffee.
Drinks that contain caffeine from whatever source at a level over 150mg per litre (mg/l) must state: ‘High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women’.
This must be in the same field of vision as the name of the product, along with the amount of caffeine expressed in mg per 100ml.
Foods (other than drinks) to which caffeine is added for a physiological purpose must state: ‘Contains caffeine. Not recommended for children or pregnant women'.
This must be in the same field of vision as the name of the food along with the amount of caffeine in mg per 100g or per 100ml.
For food supplements containing caffeine, the amount must be expressed per portion as recommended for daily consumption.
Where the rules do not apply
Food name includes ‘coffee’ or ‘tea’
The above rules do not apply to drinks based on coffee, tea or coffee or tea extract where the name of the food includes the term ‘coffee’ or ‘tea’ (eg iced tea).
Caffeine added for flavouring
The rules also do not apply to foods (including drinks) where caffeine is added for a flavouring rather than physiological purpose. Such foods and drinks must comply with EU flavouring legislation (Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008). This limits the use of caffeine for flavouring purposes to particular foods and drinks and sets associated maximum levels. The EU labelling legislation (Regulation (EC) No 1169/2011) requires that where caffeine is used as a flavouring, the term ‘caffeine’ must appear after the word ‘flavouring(s)’ in the list of ingredients.