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Boba tea faces challenge in Singapore due to new labeling law

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Singapore will implement new labeling requirements for boba tea, necessitating the declaration of their sugar content.

About the law: The law, prompted by concerns about the high sugar content in the drinks, requires clear information on sugar levels to be provided to consumers, reflecting the government's focus on promoting transparency in food and beverage choices.

Nutri-Grade label: By Dec. 30, all freshly prepared drinks sold in the nation must carry a Nutri-Grade label, which is a color-coded grading system from A to D based on sugar and saturated fat content. The Nutri-Grade measures aim to reduce sugar intake and shape consumer behavior as part of the Ministry of Health's long-term strategy.

Beverages with a "D" grade — the highest sugar content — reportedly cannot be advertised by suppliers. In response to the law, some boba tea sellers are now testing reformulations to avoid the lowest grade and its advertising restrictions.

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Liable and exempted: The labeling will also be mandatory for non-retail settings such as workplaces, schools and healthcare institutions. Businesses with revenues under $1 million in the latest financial year and supplying fewer than 10 food outlets will initially be exempted.

Non-compliance may result in fines up to $1,000. Subsequent offenses could lead to fines up to $2,000.

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