A standard can of infant formula sold at a regular supermarket costs about $56 on average, up from $25 in 2007.
In Parliament yesterday, Senior Minister of State (SMS) of Trade and Industry Dr Koh Poh Koon said the government is looking to make more formula milk options available.
This was in response to a question by Member of Parliament (MP) Tin Pei Ling on why formula milk is more expensive in Singapore as compared to other comparable countries.
But MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Sun Xueling, took things even further. In fact, she did a three day online survey which revealed quite a lot.
Here are 3 things that her survey has revealed:
1. Singapore’s Infant Formula costs more than other countries
On average, Singapore’s prices are 1.86 times more expensive than the countries named.
That said, retailer NTUC FairPrice has come out to state that it regularly holds promotions for infant formula, loyalty programmes, and membership rebate to help parents stretch their dollar.
It also reaches out to needy families with children, through the NTUC FairPrice Foundation-CDC Milk Fund. $1.5 million is disbursed to families to purchase any brand of infant formula from all FairPrice supermarkets island-wide.
2. IQ is not what you think it is
From her Facebook post, Ms Sun said she was surprised to find out upon closer look at the packaging of the infant formula tin that “IQ” – which most of us know as Intelligence Quotient – actually means “Intestinal Quality”.
“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.”
With that in mind, she called on the Sale of Infant Foods Ethics Committee to share if the claims is appropriate within the ambit of ethical marketing.
3. Parents want the best for their child
It is only natural that parents want what is best for their children. Even if it means that they have to spend more to get the best.
Citing an example of a parent who commented on her Facebook, Ms Sun said parents are afraid to short-change their child if they do not spend more for better quality infant formula.
“Such mindsets open them (parents) up to being taken advantage of if they are not careful.”
In response to this, SMS Koh said that education is needed to allay the anxiety of parents that they are shortchanging their children if they purchase cheaper infant formula.
“(Parents) are not shortchanging their children by giving them the cheaper option, because (this), nutritionally, is just as good.”