This move by FairPrice and Sheng Siong follows PM’s call to make switch from white rice.
Supermarket chains FairPrice and Sheng Siong have launched discounts on healthier alternatives to white rice, such as brown rice and red rice.
This follows Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech on Sunday, where he encouraged Singaporeans to make the switch from white rice.
FairPrice, the largest supermarket chain in Singapore with over 130 outlets, announced on Sunday discounts of at least 10 per cent on eight healthier rice products, including unpolished red and brown rice products from its house brand, until next Wednesday.
Sheng Siong will be offering a 10 per cent discount on alternative rice products from its house brand Royal Golden Grain, among others, across its 43 stores until the end of the month, the chain announced on Monday.
White rice, in particular the short-grain variety, is deemed to be less healthy than other types of rice.
Starchy white rice can lead to a spike in blood sugar after consumption. In the long term, this significantly heightens one’s risk of diabetes, which one in nine Singaporeans suffers from.
PM Lee said on Sunday: “White rice may not taste sweet, but the effect is almost like eating sugar and, when you eat white rice, your blood sugar will shoot up.”
FairPrice hopes to encourage Singaporeans to switch to healthier rice products by moderating their prices.
A Sheng Siong spokesman said the discount is to “support our Government’s call to fight diabetes” by encouraging customers to include brown rice as part of their staple diet.
Thai brown unpolished rice (2.5kg) from FairPrice’s house brand costs $4.50, after an 18 per cent discount.
For Sheng Siong, its Royal Golden Grain Red Brown Rice (5kg) is now $10.70. The com- parable grade Royal Golden Grain Premium Fragrant Rice, a white-rice variety, costs $11.80 for the same weight.
This is not the first time supermarkets are offering discounts to encourage healthier eating.
A spokesman for Dairy Farm, which runs Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, said both its supermarkets regularly offer promotions for healthy foods, which include brown rice.
In June last year, FairPrice offered a 5 per cent discount on its house brand’s whole-grain rice for three months.
Sheng Siong also launched a promotion from Aug 11 to the end of this month for various products labelled as healthier choices by the Health Promotion Board.
FairPrice and Sheng Siong said they will keep tabs on consumer demands and introduce healthy products to meet their needs.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline ‘Supermarts serve up discounts on healthier rice’.