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Food and Beverages | Monday, February 07, 2022

new hemp regulations in Singapore’s sugary beverage control policy, and plant-based labelling in multiple countries are set to make a significant impact on the Asia Pacific food and beverage industry in 2022

FREMONT, CA: Singapore is set to implement its new front-of-pack nutrition labelling for beverages sold in the country from the end of 2022, despite the fact that regional sugar taxes and related policies have gotten significantly less attention in the past year, owing to COVID-19-related delays. Beverages are graded from A to D for free sugar and saturated fat under the Nutri-Grade system. Grade A represents the least amount of sugar and saturated fat, while Grade D represents the most. The label will be required for Grades C and D beverages, but optional for Grades A and B. According to the Food Industry Asia Public Affairs Manager, manufacturers had two years to reformulate their beverages once the deadline was announced in 2020. According to a 2018 study conducted by FIA, 80 percent of the surveyed companies in Singapore were actively reformulating to provide improved nutrition while keeping taste.

Thus, while the Singapore Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Board has made the Nutri-Grade mark specifications public, most manufacturers may not be able to confirm the revision of their packaging artwork until the Amendment Regulations are gazetted and industry guidance documents are published, as it would be prudent for manufacturers to confirm revisions to packaging artwork, given the cost of having to re-print packaging. The regulations are planned to be released by the end of 2021 and to take effect by the end of 2022.

The present supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic provide a challenge for businesses. The product import schedule from nation X to Singapore must be taken into account. The increased complexity of uncertainty reduces the amount of time that labels can be updated. Consumers might well be concerned about how the Nutri-Grade label, in conjunction with the existing nutrition information label and the healthier choice symbol, will assist them to make informed product decisions if they do not get sufficient nutrition education and awareness initiatives.

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