30 August 2022
The Ministry of Health (“MOH”) will introduce mandatory nutrition labels and advertising prohibitions for Nutri-Grade beverages with effect from 30 December 2022. These two new measures aim to help consumers identify beverages that are higher in sugar and saturated fat and to reduce the influence of advertising on consumer preferences, thus encouraging more informed, healthier choices and spurring industry reformulation.
Details are set out below.
Nutri-Grade beverages generally include:
- prepacked beverages that are ready-to-consume and are packed or made up in advance ready for sale in packages such as bottles, cans, cartons, packets or other similar containers;
- prepacked beverages that are powders or concentrates that are meant to be reconstituted or diluted with fluids before consumption as a beverage (e.g. 3-in-1 instant coffee beverage, cordials); and
- beverages dispensed from automated beverage dispensers, which are machines that dispense non-prepacked beverages according to a pre-fixed formula, with no option for a prospective purchaser of the beverage to customise the amount of any ingredient in the beverage. This includes fountain drinks and beverages dispensed from automated coffee machines.
Alcoholic beverages, special purpose foods, beverages prepared by hand at the place/premise where they are sold, or those that can be customised by the purchaser are excluded from the definition of “Nutri-Grade beverages”.
To introduce the nutrition label and advertising prohibitions, MOH is implementing a grading system for beverages, based on sugar and saturated fat content. The measures are summarised as follows:
- Nutri-Grade beverages are to be graded “A”, “B”, “C” or “D” according to the Nutri-Grade grading system.
- Nutri-Grade beverages will have to carry a nutrition information panel, specifying the energy value, the amounts of protein, carbohydrate, total sugar, fat and saturated fat in the Nutri-Grade beverages.
- Nutri-Grade beverages graded “C” or “D” must be labelled with a Nutri-Grade mark on the front-of-pack of the package. If the Nutri-Grade beverage is sold online, through a vending machine or an automated beverage dispenser, the image of the Nutri-Grade mark must be displayed so a prospective purchaser may see the image.
- Advertisements of Nutri-Grade beverages graded "D" are prohibited across all media platforms (e.g. broadcast, print, online) except at point-of-sale platforms.
MOH and the Health Promotion Board (“HPB”) conducted a public consultation exercise from 1 April 2021 to 31 May 2021 and sought feedback from stakeholders on the proposed Food (Amendment) Regulations under the Sale of Food Act 1973 to introduce new requirements on Nutri-Grade beverages sold in Singapore. MOH and HPB have since issued their response to comments received.
More information on Nutri-Grade beverages is available on HPB’s Measures for Nutri-Grade beverages webpage. HPB has also published its Guidance for implementation of the labelling and advertising requirements for Nutri-Grade beverages.
To implement the measures, the Food (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2021 were gazetted on 30 December 2021 and will come into operation on 30 December 2022.