Sugary drink ad ban won't hit consumer spending on beverages: Fitch

The upcoming ban on advertisements for high-sugar packaged drinks will have little impact on consumer spending on beverages, said Fitch Solutions Macro Research.

It said companies are beginning to adjust their products for the new regulations.

Major sugar-sweetened beverage companies in the Singapore market pledged in 2017 to reduce the sugar content in their drinks by 12 per cent by next year.

Coca-Cola, which launched its Stevia range here last year, has cut the sugar content in its products by 35 per cent.

"The moves by the industry to get ahead of regulation and reformulate their products, coupled with the fact that the regulation is focused on informing consumers (or restricting advertising) as opposed to taxation, means that we are not expecting any major shifts within our forecasts," said Fitch Solutions.

Consumers would more likely seek products with lower sugar content as opposed to cutting consumption, which is traditionally the outcome of taxes on sugary drinks, it added.

It projects consumer spending on carbonated beverages to grow by an average 1.5 per cent on a per capita basis from now until 2023.

Consumer spending per capita on carbonated drinks will average $37 per year in 2023, it added.

  • $37

    Projected average consumer spending per capita on carbonated drinks per year in 2023.

It was announced in Singapore last month that new rules on labelling and advertising, including a total ban on ads for packaged drinks with very high sugar content, are on the cards.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2019, with the headline 'Sugary drink ad ban won't hit consumer spending on beverages: Fitch'. Print Edition | Subscribe