SINGAPORE: Consumers will be able to know how much sugar and saturated fat is in their freshly prepared drinks from December 30, when Nutrigrade’s mandatory labeling and advertising ban begins.
The new measures, announced in February and June, apply to beverages sold in retail settings, such as restaurants, and beverages served in non-retail settings, such as hotels, workplaces, child care facilities, and educational and medical institutions. Applies to both. The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this on December 29th.
“To further reduce sugar intake, we are asking Singaporeans to limit their intake of beverages labeled C and D, and avoid beverages graded A or B and/or healthier choices,” the ministry said in a statement. “We encourage people to choose drinks with the symbol or drink water instead,” it added.
The Nutri-Grade system consists of color-coded grades from A to D, with D indicating the highest sugar and saturated fat content.
Freshly prepared beverages such as coffee, black tea, and bubble tea graded C and D must display the Nutritional Grade symbol at the time of purchase, including online and in-store menus.
The Ministry of Health said retailers can use the simplified Nutrigrade mark on menus that list multiple beverage options.
Labeling for A and B rated beverages is optional.
The sugar content of optional toppings such as pearls, ice cream, and whipped cream on freshly made drinks must also be listed.
Advertising for drinks with a grade of D is not permitted.
This requirement already applies to prepackaged beverages and non-customizable dispensed beverages starting December 30, 2022.
In an earlier report by The Straits Times, the Ministry of Health said the Nutrigrade measure was part of a long-term strategy to reduce the public’s sugar intake by shaping consumer behavior.
The Ministry of Health said on December 29: “Excessive sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, which are the main causes of kidney failure. On average, six people in Singapore are diagnosed with kidney failure every day and are likely to require the necessary treatment. Yes.” Dialysis. ”
He added that although the prevalence of diabetes has stabilized in recent years, it remains high at around one in 12 Singapore residents.
The Ministry of Health states that small food businesses whose revenue in the most recent financial year does not exceed $1 million and who supply such beverages to fewer than 10 food outlets are exempted from implementing the Nutrigrade measure for the time being. said.
The ministry added: “These companies will continue to need to comply with measures regarding pre-packaged drinks and drinks dispensed from non-customizable automatic drink dispensers.”
Failure to comply with the new measures will result in fines of up to $1,000. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000.
Asked if the new measures were a good idea, Mr Bean’s assistant director of branding Venus Ang said the labels would help people make informed choices when ordering drinks. .
However, he added that it will take time for consumers to fully understand the differences between the grades.
“Customers may order a drink with 25% sugar at any given time, but the Nutrigrade label is calculated based on the maximum sugar content offered, which in some cases can be 100%.
“It’s not like pre-packaged drinks, which have a fixed sugar level,” Anne says.
He added that it takes time and education for people to get used to how drinks are classified.
Consumers can learn more about Grade A and B beverages in the Nutri-Grade directory. – Straits Times/ANN