Recently, rising formula milk prices in Singapore has been cause for much concern. How are mums reacting to this issue?
Rising formula milk prices in Singapore has been fodder for much debate of late. Apparently, the average price of a 900g tin of formula in Singapore has increased by as much as 120 % in the last 10 years!
We asked many mums what they thought of the issue. Check out their responses below. Meanwhile, let’s first have a look at what plans the Government has, for regulating formula milk prices in Singapore.
Rising formula milk prices in Singapore
It will come as a relief to many Singapore parents that the Government is now planning to take concrete steps to ensure affordable formula milk options. According to The Straits Times, The Competition Commission of Singapore has completed a market study of milk formula and results should be available next week. Meanwhile, the Government will:
- Review import requirements: The Government has indicated that it plans to allow more brands of formula milk to be on shelves here. Import requirements will hence be simplified and streamlined to eliminate unnecessary entry barriers, but not at the expense of food safety.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon has been quoted by Channel NewsAsia as saying, “What we can do is to make sure we increase the choices that are available, the options that are available and where necessary, put in the necessary financial support.”
“We agree that more public education and understanding on the benefits of infant milk formula will help parents make more informed choices, and a review of import requirements will help us to provide better value options for our customers.”
- Restrict labelling and advertising of formula milk powder: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will tighten advertising and labelling rules for formula milk companies. Minister Koh Poh Koon has been quoted by Today as saying, “Some infant-formula companies give the impression that their particular brand of milk powder can actually do more. The scientific evidence for this is weak.”
“All infant formula sold in Singapore regardless of their price meets Singapore’s food regulations and nutritional needs for infants to grow healthily. Parents should therefore be careful about relying on the claims made by infant formula companies or be misled into using price as a proxy for quality of the product.”
“As long as your child can get used to the milk or they are not suffering from any allergic reaction to that particular brand of milk, there’s no real reason to pay more for something that is just as good and much cheaper.”
There is hence a need for greater consumer awareness on the issue. Parents always want the best for their children and many a time the information printed out on these formula milk powder tins is misleading.
Member of Parliament for Punggol West Constituency and mummy of 2, Sun Xueling, writes a compelling analysis on the state of the formula milk affairs in Singapore, “Certain brands of infant formula are aggressively marketing improvements in IQ with the consumption of their infant milk powder.”
“I was first surprised to find out on closer look at the packaging that the so called “IQ” branding that is featured on some cans of infant formula, contrary to common perception, actually stands for “Intestinal quality” as opposed to “Intelligence quotient” as we typically understand IQ to stand for.”
“Any well-meaning parent, eager for their child to do well academically, could hardly be faulted for purchasing infant formula that at first glimpse purports to help increase the “IQ” of the child, without realising that the IQ in the said advertising actually stands for intestinal quality.”
Indeed. High time that the marketing ethics of these formula milk companies be reviewed.
Another cause for concern is that parents are resorting to getting their formula milk tins from other countries like Malaysia where it is supposedly much cheaper! The picture below shows the comparison between formula milk prices in Singapore, Malaysia and China:
As MP Sun Xueling wonders, “Does the difference in quantity of ingredients account for the higher prices of infant formula charged in Singapore?
Mums react to rising formula milk prices in Singapore
Time now to check out what mums feel about this issue: