Tea, Coffee, or Shake With Coconut? Now You can Choose The Healthier Option From Dec 30

SINGAPORE: Freshly made drinks will have their sugar and saturated fat content disclosed to consumers starting on December 30, when Nutri-Grade labeling regulations and advertising bans take effect.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) stated on December 29 that the new regulations, which were announced in February and June, would apply to drinks served in non-retail settings like hotels, workplaces, childcare centers, and educational and medical facilities, as well as those sold in retail settings like food and beverage outlets.

The ministry continued. “We recommend Singaporeans take drinks rated A or B and with the Smart Choice Sign, or drink water, in place of beverages branded C and D to further minimize their intake of sugar.”

Color-coded grades from A to D make up the Nutri-Grade system, where D represents the highest level of saturated fat and sugar.

At the point of sale, such as on printed or digital menus, freshly made beverages that are graded C and D, such as coffee, tea, and bubble tea, must be marked with their Nutri-Grade scores.

Merchants may use the streamlined Nutri-Grade label on menus with multiple beverage options, according to MOH.

It’s also necessary to provide the amount of sugar in optional toppings like whipped cream, ice cream, and pearls for freshly made drinks.

Drinks With A Grade Of D Are Not Permitted In Advertisements

Since December 30, 2022, the regulations have been in place for pre-packaged beverages and non-customizable dispensed drinks.

The MOH stated that Nutri-Grade initiatives are a component of its long-term plan to lower the population’s sugar intake by influencing consumer behavior in a previous piece published by The Straits Times.

“Consuming large amounts of sugar has been implicated in an increased risk of obesity and diabetes, which are the leading causes of kidney failure,” the Ministry of Health stated on December 29. Six persons in Singapore are diagnosed with renal failure on average each day, and they may need dialysis.

Although the number of cases of diabetes has leveled down recently, it is still rather high, affecting almost one in every twelve Singaporeans.

According to MOH, smaller food enterprises that offer such drinks to less than 10 food outlets and whose revenues did not surpass $1 million in the most recent financial year will not be required to implement the Nutri-Grade procedures at this time.

The ministry continued, “The rules governing drinks that are already packed and those that are served from non-customizable automated drinks machines will still apply to these firms.”

A fine of up to $1,000 awaits those who disobey the new regulations. Repeat violators might face fines of up to $2,000.

When asked if the new regulations were a good idea, Ms. Venus Ang, Mr. Bean’s assistant director of branding, responded that the labeling would enable consumers to make educated decisions when placing drink orders.

She did, however, caution that it would take some time for them to completely comprehend the grade discrepancies.

Customers can always request a beverage with a 25% sugar content, but the Nutri-Grade designation is based on the highest possible sugar level that is available, which could be 100%.

“It differs from pre-packaged drinks where the sugar content is fixed,” Ms. Ang stated. She continued by saying that people needed time and instruction to become familiar with the classification system for drinks.

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