The new regulations are set to be published in the middle of 2023 and to take effect from end-2023.

In brief

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will be introducing “Nutri-Grade”-related measures that will apply to freshly prepared beverages. From the end of 2023, all outlets selling freshly prepared beverages with higher sugar and saturated fat content will have to label such beverages with the “Nutri-Grade” mark. Outlets will also be prohibited from advertising freshly prepared beverages with the highest level of sugar and saturated fat content.

Recommended actions

As the new regulations will be published in the middle of 2023 and will take effect at the end of 2023, outlets selling 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 11 August 2022, the MOH announced that “Nutri-Grade”-related measures would apply to freshly prepared beverages. Freshly prepared beverages include freshly squeezed juices, bubble teas, freshly brewed coffee, tea and milo.

In particular, the new measures will require outlets selling freshly prepared beverages to label beverages higher in sugar and saturated fat content with the “Nutri-Grade” mark on hardcopy and softcopy menus. Advertising prohibitions will apply to freshly prepared beverages with the highest level of sugar and saturated fat content.

This follows the positive public response to the implementation of “Nutri-Grade” labelling requirements and advertising prohibitions in relation to prepacked beverages. In this regard, the MOH has reported that the median sugar level of prepacked beverages has fallen from 7.1% in 2017 to 4.7% in 2021. Further, the sales for prepacked beverages with higher sugar content (i.e. Grade C and D prepacked beverages) have fallen from 63% in 2017 to 40% in 2021.

By extending similar measures to freshly prepared beverages, the MOH intends to: (i) better facilitate consumers in identifying beverages that are higher in sugar and saturated fat content to make more informed and healthier choices; (ii) reduce the influence of advertising on consumer preferences for unhealthy beverages; and (iii) spur industry reformulation.

The specific requirements in respect of freshly prepared beverages have not been published. However, reference may be taken from the “Nutri-Grade” system in respect of prepacked beverages, which we set out below:

“Nutri-Grade” grading system for prepacked beverages

As reference, non-compliance with the measures in relation to prepacked beverages will be an offence punishable with a fine of up to S$1,000, and may be doubled for repeat offenders. Post-market surveillance will be conducted by the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with the regulations.

More information on the “Nutri-Grade” grading system for prepacked beverages may be found in our previous alert here.