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Measures for Nutri-Grade Beverages

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As part of Singapore’s War on Diabetes, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce mandatory nutrition labels and advertising prohibitions for Nutri-Grade beverages, which will take effect from 30 December 2022 onwards.

On this page: 
- Need for Measures
- Details of Measures
- Resources for Download

The Need for Measures

Diabetes is a serious health concern in Singapore. The number of Singapore residents with diabetes is projected to reach one million by 2050, if nothing is done.In response to the significant health and societal burden posed by diabetes, MOH launched the War on Diabetes in 2016 to mobilise a whole-of-society effort to tackle the disease.

High sugar intake is linked to increased risk of obesity and diabetes. A 2021 local meta-analysis which included studies on Asian populations found that higher consumption of sugary beverages was associated with a 51% higher risk of diabetes, compared to lower consumption.The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries to take action to reduce individuals’ intake of sugar to as low as possible, stating that “nutritionally, people do not need any sugar in their diet”.3,4

However, Singaporeans are consuming on average twelve teaspoons (or 60g) of sugar daily.More than half of Singaporeans’ daily sugar intake comes from beverages, of which prepacked beverages contribute 64 per cent. More needs to be done to further reduce Singaporeans’ sugar intake.

About the Measures for Nutri-Grade Beverages

The Singapore Government decided to introduce mandatory nutrition labels and advertising prohibitions for   Nutri-Grade beverages, after carefully considering the feedback received from public, industry and expert stakeholders, and reviewing existing overseas and local evidence. Together, the two new measures aim to help consumers identify beverages that are higher in sugar and saturated fat and to reduce the influence of advertising on consumer preferences, thus encouraging more informed, healthier choices and spurring industry reformulation. 

The regulations for the measures have been published and will come into effect from 30 December 2022 onwards.

To introduce the nutrition label and advertising prohibitions, MOH is implementing a grading system for beverages, based on sugar and saturated fat content.

A summary of the labelling and advertising requirements is below. Companies must still refer to the relevant legislation in the Food Regulations and the Specifications of the Nutri-Grade mark for the technical requirements for the measures.

“What is considered a Nutri-Grade beverage?”

Nutri-Grade beverages include:

  1. Prepacked beverages that are ready-to-consume and are packed or made up in advance ready for sale in packages such as bottles, cans, cartons, packets or other similar containers 
  2. Prepacked beverages that are powders or concentrates that are meant to be reconstituted or diluted with fluids before consumption as a beverage (e.g. 3-in-1 instant coffee beverage, cordials); and
  3. Beverages dispensed from automated beverage dispensers, which are machines that dispense non-prepacked beverages according to a pre-fixed formula, with no option for a prospective purchaser of the beverage to customize the amount of any ingredient in the beverage. This includes fountain drinks and beverages dispensed from automated coffee machines.

Alcoholic beverages, special purpose foods, beverages prepared by hand at the place/premise where they are sold, or those that can be customised by the purchaser are excluded from the definition of  “Nutri-Grade beverages”.

Grading System for Nutri-Grade Beverages

All Nutri-Grade beverages will be graded using a single set of thresholds for sugar and saturated fat content (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Nutri-Grade Grading System

Figure 1 (high res)

Note: The sugar content of the beverage is determined by its total sugar content, minus the amount of lactose and/or galactose that is declared on the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP). 

The Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS) guidelines have also been revised to align with the Nutri-Grade mark, such that all HCS drinks are either Grade A or B.

Mandatory Nutrition Label and Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)

The mandatory nutrition label, called “Nutri-Grade”, has four colour-coded grades. Grade A, corresponding to the lowest sugar and saturated fat thresholds, is in green. Grade D, corresponding to the highest sugar and saturated fat thresholds, is in red. Please refer to the Usage Guide in the "Resources" section below, for the specific Pantones.

In addition to the grades, the sugar level of the beverage is shown clearly on the label in the form of percentage of total volume.

Nutri-Grade beverages graded "C" or "D" must be labelled with a Nutri-Grade mark on the front-of-pack of its package. Labelling of the Nutri-Grade mark is optional for Nutri-Grade beverages graded 'A" or "B", and companies can choose to label such products with the voluntary HCS and/or the Nutri-Grade mark. 

The Nutri-Grade marks are illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Illustration of Nutri-Grade marks

Mark-01

Note: the sugar levels in the images are for illustrative purposes only. The actual sugar level to be indicated on the mark should correspond to the sugar content of each beverage.

To facilitate implementation of the measures, all Nutri-Grade beverages are also required to carry a NIP, specifying the energy value, the amounts of protein, carbohydrate, total sugar, fat and saturated fat in the Nutri-Grade beverages. Additional declaration of other nutrients (e.g. lactose) is also allowed. Only lactose or galactose declared on the NIP would be subtracted from the amount of total sugar for the purpose of Nutri-Grade grading. Where lactose and galactose are not declared on the NIP, their respective amounts are taken as zero.    

Companies are responsible to ensure that the Nutri-Grade mark (if required) and NIP are applied to their products in accordance to the regulations. The images for the Nutri-Grade mark can be downloaded in the “Resources” section below. Companies will not be required to register any product artwork or submit any test result prior to applying the Nutri-Grade mark. Post-market surveillance will be conducted by the relevant authorities to ensure that the regulations are complied with. 

Advertising Prohibitions

Advertisements of Nutri-Grade beverages graded "D", are prohibited across all media platforms (e.g. broadcast, print, out-of-home, on-ground, online) except at point-of-sale (POS) platforms. POS advertisements for Nutri-Grade beverages graded "D" are permitted (e.g. shelf talkers, promotional signage at supermarkets, tasting booths, pop-ups at e-commerce sites), but these materials must display the beverage’s Nutri-Grade mark clearly.

Brand advertisements that do not feature any particular product, and advertisements that promote the sale of Nutri-Grade beverages graded "A", "B" or "C" are allowed.

Nutri-Grade calculator 

The Calculator is available to help industry and consumers easily determine the grade of Nutri-Grade beverages. The Calculator should always be used in conjunction with the Food Regulations and Industry Guidance Documents, which provide important guidance and explanations. 

Which Nutri-Grade mark should I use? 

  • 1Input use of non-sugar substitutes
  • 2Input sugar level
  • 3Input saturated fat level
  • 4Results
  • Input use of non-sugar substitutes
  • Does the Nutri-Grade beverage contain any non-sugar substitutes1 ?

    1This refers to any aspartame, sugar alcohol, carbohydrate alcohol, polyhydric alcohol, or any other substance added in place of sugar to provide a sweet taste

    * This field is required

  • Input sugar level
  • Total sugar content2 stated on Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) (grams per 100 ml3)

    2This refers to any monosaccharide and disaccharide in the beverage. This includes novel sugars like allulose and isomaltulose.

    3For powders/concentrates meant to be reconstituted or diluted with fluids before consumption as a beverage, “100 ml” means 100 ml of the beverage as prepared, according to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare the beverage, labelled on the product packaging.

    g/100ml

    * This field is required

  • Does the product’s NIP declare lactose and galactose content?

    * This field is required

  • Total lactose and galactose content stated on NIP (grams per 100 ml3)

    3For powders/concentrates meant to be reconstituted or diluted with fluids before consumption as a beverage, “100 ml” means 100 ml of the beverage as prepared, according to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare the beverage, labelled on the product packaging.

    g/100ml

    * This field is required

  • Input saturated fat level
  • Saturated fat content stated on NIP (grams per 100 ml3)

    3For powders/concentrates meant to be reconstituted or diluted with fluids before consumption as a beverage, “100 ml” means 100 ml of the beverage as prepared, according to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare the beverage, labelled on the product packaging.

    g/100ml

    * This field is required

  • Results
  • The product is of grade (A/B/C/D) and should apply the below Nutri-Grade mark.

    resultresultresultresult
    12%

    More details on the Nutri-Grade grading system, labelling and advertising requirements can be found in the Food Regulations and the Industry Guidance Documents, under the "Resources" section of this page.

Resources

Please refer to the Food Regulations for the relevant legislation effecting these measures.

Text of the relevant Amendment Regulations is available at Singapore Statutes Online

Please refer to important industry guidance documents and artwork here:

  1. Specifications of the Nutri-Grade mark

    The ‘Specifications of the Nutri-Grade mark’ document is mentioned by reference in Regulation 184D(5) of the Food Regulations, and contains important requirements for the Nutri-Grade mark.

  2. Industry Guidance Documents

    These guidance documents are a general guide to the labelling and advertising requirements for Nutri-Grade beverages sold in Singapore. These are supplementary documents to the Food Regulations. Companies must still refer to relevant legislation in the Food Regulations and the Specifications of the Nutri-Grade mark for the technical requirements for the measures.

    a. Usage Guide for Graphic Applications of the Nutri-Grade Mark

    English | English/华文 Bahasa Melayu/தமிழ்

    b. Guidance for implementation of the labelling and advertising requirements for Nutri-Grade beverages

    English华文 | Bahasa Melayu | தமிழ்

  3. Nutri-Grade mark

    Download the images of the Nutri-Grade mark here. This zipped folder contains 8 variants of the Nutri-Grade mark – horizontal and vertical variants for Grade A, B, C and D respectively. Horizontal variants should be used as the default, except in situations where application of the horizontal variant in accordance to the usage guide is not possible. Please refer to the usage guide in item (2a) above, for more details regarding the specific applications. 

    The files are password protected. You may request permission to access these images by contacting the Health Promotion Board at the following email address: Nutri-Grade@hpb.gov.sg

  4. More information on measures to reduce sugar consumptions from beverages can be found on MOH’s website.

  5. Updated guidelines for the Healthier Choice Symbol can be found here.


Disclaimer

The images and information listed on this page are to serve as a general guide to the labelling and advertising requirements for Nutri-Grade beverages. Companies must still refer to the relevant legislation in the Food Regulations and the Specifications of the Nutri-Grade mark for the technical requirements for the measures.

References
1. Phan TP, Alkema L, Tai ES, Tan KHX, Yang Q, Lim WY, Teo YY, Cheng CY, Wang X, Wong TY, Chia KS, Cook AR (2014) Forecasting the burden of type 2 diabetes in Singapore using a demographic epidemiological model of Singapore. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care. 2:e000012
2. Neelakantan N, Park S.H., Chen GC, van Dam R.M (2021) Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, weight gain, and risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in Asia: a systematic review. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 00(0):1-18. [Notes: For the purpose of this study, “higher consumption” is defined as daily or almost daily consumption, with a median of 2 servings per day, and “lower consumption” is defined as rare or no consumption.]
3. Sugar here refers to free sugars, which is defined by the WHO as sugars added to foods and drinks, and sugar that is naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. These do not include the sugars present in whole fruit and vegetables or sugars present in milk (i.e. lactose and galactose).
4. WHO (2016, Oct 11) WHO urges global action to curtail consumption and health impacts of sugary drinks [Press release] Retrieved from www.who.int/news-room/details/11-10-2016-who-urges-global-action-to-curtail-consumption-and-health-impacts-of-sugary-drinks
5. National Nutrition Survey 2018. Singapore: Health Promotion Board