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FOOD & BEVERAGE | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Beverage manufacturers to cut drinks' sugar content by 12%

The country plans to reduce sugar consumption by 300,000 kg per year.

Amidst rising diabetes levels in Singapore, beverage industry leaders have committed to reducing drinks' sugar content to 12% by 2020.

According to BMI Research, the Ministry of Health (MOH) seeks to reduce diabetes' burden.

Companies that have shown their support so far are Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Pokka, F&N Foods, Malaysia Dairy Industries, and Yeo Hiap Seng.

According to BMI Research, meeting the requirements made it easier for the companies since they have already started cutting down sugar content for growing health-conscious consumers.

The 2020 deadline also gives them more time to pursue related strategies.

The declining sugar consumption comes from rising diabetes and obesity rates. This has been driven by increased wealth for consumption, which has led to increased sugar intake.

Soft drinks consumption growth will soften by an average of 4.5% per annum between 2017 and 2021, BMI said.

Here's more from BMI Research:

PepsiCo for example, has committed to offering healthier alternatives to consumers in its PepsiCo 2025 Agenda, and also reducing the size of their products while maintaining prices in a practice known as 'shrinkflation'.

Coca-Cola has also made a move in this direction by focusing on the sugar-free content of its namesake brand, releasing Coca-Cola Zero in 2006 and later Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in 2016.

The company also seeks to reduce the sugar content in 500 of its drinks by 2020.

Nestlé also has a goal to reach by 2020, to reduce the sugars added in their products by 5% to support individuals and families in meeting global recommendations.

In 2016, Nestlé managed to reduce its sugar content by 8%. Singapore drinks company, Yeo Hiap Seng, has less than 1% of its drinks with a sugar content of more than 12%.

The company also uses natural substitutes for sugar, even though the costs are higher.

Pokka International is also looking to use more plant-based sugar substitutes in its beverages and formulate Pokka Soursop and Guava to lower sugar content.

Photo: CC BY 2.0

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