As the new regulations are expected to take effect at the end of 2023, brands that provide freshly prepared beverages may consider tweaking recipes for beverages to contain less sugar. This would allow for better brand positioning once the new 'Nutri-Grade'-related measures kick in.
In more detail
On 13 February 2023, the Ministry of Health (MOH) released an update on the extension of the 'Nutri-Grade' labelling requirements to freshly prepared beverages from end-2023. Freshly prepared beverages include freshly squeezed juices, bubble teas, as well as freshly brewed coffee and tea.
By extending the 'Nutri-Grade' labelling requirements to freshly prepared beverages, the MOH intends to aid consumers in making better informed and healthier choices through: (i) helping consumers identify beverages that have higher levels of sugar and saturated fat; (ii) reducing the influence of advertising on consumer preferences; and (iii) spurring industry reformulation.
MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) intend to publish details of the additional measures in mid-2023 and have them come into effect in end-2023. The key features of the additional measures are as follows:
- The 'Nutri-Grade' grading system and labelling requirements that currently apply to prepacked beverages will be extended to freshly prepared beverages, including those from vending machines, whether the beverages are customizable or not.
- The existing 'Nutri-Grade' grading system and labelling requirements that currently apply to retail settings, such as food and beverage outlets and catering establishments, will be extended to non-retail settings, such as workplaces, schools and healthcare institutions.
- While the labelling of freshly prepared beverages graded 'A' or 'B' is optional, if the freshly prepared beverage is graded 'C' or 'D', the 'Nutri-Grade' mark must be labelled next to the beverages at the point of purchase, such as on physical or online menus.
- A simplified 'Nutri-Grade' mark and a sugar declaration mark for toppings have been developed.
- Information on freshly prepared 'Nutri-Grade' beverages, such as the amount of sugar and saturated fat, must be available to any person who wishes to view the information, either through an electronic record or a physical copy.
- Advertisements promoting the sale of freshly prepared 'Nutri-Grade' beverages graded 'D' will be prohibited.
More information on the 'Nutri-Grade' grading system and labelling requirements may be found in our previous alert here.
Sellers and suppliers of freshly prepared beverages whose revenues did not exceed SGD 1 million in the latest financial year and who supply such beverages to fewer than 10 food premises will initially be exempted from implementing these measures. This exemption will be reviewed and adjusted over time.
Non-compliance with 'Nutri-Grade' labelling requirements in relation to prepacked beverages is an offense punishable with a fine of up to SGD 1,000 for the first offense, and a fine of up to SGD 2,000 in the second or subsequent conviction.
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