Singapore's Mandatory Nutri-Grade Labeling Requirements to Spur Beverage Innovation

In addition to redesigning labels to comply with the new labeling regulations, several drinks manufacturers have also reformulated their beverages to benefit from health claims, says GlobalData.

Jan 31, 2023 - 08:06

Singapore’s Ministry of Health introduced mandatory ‘Nutri-Grade’ labeling regulations and advertising prohibitions for prepackaged beverages and automatic beverage dispensers, effective from December 30, 2022. The move is aimed at encouraging consumers to make informed choices by helping them in identifying less healthy beverages containing high sugar and saturated fat content. In addition to redesigning labels to comply with the new labeling regulations, several drinks manufacturers have also reformulated their beverages to benefit from health claims, says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Suneera Joseph, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The new ‘Nutri-Grade’ grading system is part of national efforts to tackle diabetes and obesity in the country. The new regulation is applicable to all sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juices, milk, yoghurt drinks, and powdered dilutables. Beverages are rated according to their sugar and saturated fat content, classified into four-color coded grades, from A to D, with D being the unhealthiest. The color coding and rating will make it easier for consumers to understand nutrition claims and identify healthier options that are fat-free, low-calorie, and have less sugar.”

Health concerns are prompting consumers to seek greater transparency on labels, playing a significant role in their decision making. This is in line with GlobaData’s Q3 2022 consumer survey* results, wherein 53% of Singaporean consumers are often or always influenced by health labeling information on protein/sugar/fiber/carbohydrate content displayed on packaging while choosing any product.

Joseph concludes: “As sugar tax is associated with increased prices, the new labeling system is seen as a less disruptive and a gentler approach to reduce sugar consumption and will encourage manufacturers to innovate and reformulate their offerings to fit into the lower tax bracket and also align with the growing health & wellness trend.”

*GlobalData Q3 2022 Consumer Survey—Singapore, with 535 respondents, published in August 2022