From 30 December 2022, “Nutri-Grade” beverages sold in Singapore in prepacked form and from automatic beverage dispensers will be subject to new labelling requirements and advertising prohibitions in the Food Regulations as amended by the Food (Amendment No. 2) Regulations published on 30 December 2021 (“Amendment Regulations”). Nutri-Grade beverages1 include, but are not limited to, soft drinks, juices and juice drinks, milk and milk beverages, cultured milk/yoghurt drinks, and 3-in-1 or 2-in-1 instant powdered beverages.
2. High sugar intake is linked to increased risk of obesity and diabetes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries to take action to reduce individuals’ intake of sugar to as low as possible, stating that “nutritionally, people do not need any sugar in their diet”. However, Singaporeans are consuming on average 12 teaspoons (or 60g) of sugar daily. More than half of Singaporeans’ daily sugar intake comes from beverages, of which prepacked beverages contribute 64 percent. This is a concern, and more needs to be done to reduce Singaporeans’ sugar intake.
3. The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the decision to introduce labelling requirements and advertising prohibitions on 10 October 2019, after carefully considering the feedback received from public, industry and expert stakeholders, and reviewing existing overseas and local evidence.
4. The Amendment Regulations aim to (a) help consumers identify beverages that are higher in sugar and saturated fat and make more informed, healthier choices; (b) reduce the influence of advertising on consumer preferences, and (c) spur industry reformulation.
5. The Amendment Regulations are summarised as follows. Further details can be found in the Annex:
a) Nutri-Grade beverages are to be graded “A”, “B”, “C” or “D” according to the Nutri-Grade grading system;
b) Nutri-Grade beverages must carry a nutrition information panel (NIP) in the form specified in the Twelfth Schedule of the Food Regulations, specifying the energy value, the amounts of protein, carbohydrate, fat, total sugar and saturated fat in the Nutri-Grade beverages;
c) Nutri-Grade beverages graded “C” or “D” must be labelled with a Nutri-Grade mark on the front-of-pack of the package. If Nutri-Grade beverages are sold by online retail, from a vending machine (in prepacked form) or a purchaser-facing automated beverage dispenser, the image of the Nutri-Grade mark must be displayed in accordance with regulation 184E as introduced by the Amendment Regulations; and
d) Advertisements related to Nutri-Grade beverages graded “D” are prohibited, except in certain circumstances detailed in regulation 184F(2) as introduced by the Amendment Regulations.
6. The Amendment Regulations were published today, 30 December 2021, and will come into operation on 30 December 2022, i.e. 12 months after the gazette of the Amendment Regulations. This will provide the industry additional time to comply with the Amendment Regulations and reformulate their products to increase the range and variety of healthier choices for Singaporeans.
7. From 30 December 2022, non-compliance with the new provisions set out in the Amendment Regulations will be an offence punishable with a fine not exceeding $1,000 and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a fine not exceeding $2,000.
8. The new labelling requirements and advertising prohibitions complement MOH’s and the Health Promotion Board (HPB)’s public education efforts to shift the market towards healthier product offerings, as part of a sustainable long-term approach to reshape consumer behaviour and choices.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
30 DECEMBER 2021