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NTUC Enterprise embark on a 10-year plan to transform themselves to address the social needs of the future

22 June 2016

NTUC Social Enterprises embrace innovations to respond to disruptions

NTUC Social Enterprises leading the charge in encouraging Singaporeans to live and eat healthily

Singapore, 23 June 2016 – NTUC Social Enterprises announced today their 10-year plan to transform themselves to address the evolving social needs of Singaporeans.

Said Mr Tan Suee Chieh, Group Chief Executive Officer of NTUC Enterprise, “Singapore is currently at an inflexion point. We have progressed rapidly and transformed from a Third World into a First World economy, and the needs and aspirations of the public have evolved in tandem. In order to remain relevant to meet the changing needs of Singaporeans, there was a need to identify the critical concerns in areas where the group can create maximum social impact.”

Tackling social concerns – From one to four concerns

The major social needs of Singaporeans in the next 10 years are: cost of living; ageing; health and healthcare costs; and social mobility (fear of being left behind). These needs are identified by observing the demographic, economic social and personal trends, as well as the findings from a survey conducted by Nielsen. The survey had 1,600 respondents who were representative of the Singapore population in terms of age, race, gender, and household income.

In the survey, 61% of respondents were concerned about the cost of living; 37% worried about health and healthcare costs; 25% worried about social mobility for their children and fear that they might be left behind; and 23% stated ageing concerns as their worry.

For this reason, NTUC Social Enterprises will be expanding our services from addressing one core concern of “managing the cost of living” to managing the four major concerns. As a group, NTUC Social Enterprises are able to pool their assets and resources together to provide a suite of integrated services to address the needs of Singaporeans at every stage of their life cycle in a more holistic manner. See Annex A for examples of how the group of NTUC Social Enterprises have been able to meet the needs of Singaporeans.

Cost of living remains a major concern. To continue addressing this concern, NTUC Social Enterprises are committed to giving good value to customers every day through our various social enterprises which bring daily essentials to the people in Singapore. On allaying concerns of ageing, NTUC Social Enterprises aim to provide support and assurance to the elderly to enable and empower them to age in place. To address Singaporeans’ concerns on social mobility, NTUC Social Enterprises will provide avenues and resources to enable the very young as well as adults to make better progress in life. With regard to concerns about healthcare and healthcare costs, NTUC Social Enterprises will work together to enable and empower people in Singapore to make healthier choices so that they can have a better quality of life as they age.

Launch of Healthy Eating and Living Initiative

One of the first initiatives that NTUC Social Enterprises will launch is the “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative”. It will be launched today at 6:30pm by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health. The objective is to make healthy food options more accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, and to incentivize one and all to opt for healthier lifestyles. This initiative, developed in partnership with the Health Promotion Board, harnesses the resources of the NTUC Social Enterprises and also supports the Ministry of Health’s war on diabetes. Details of the initiative are at Annex B.

Transforming NTUC Social Enterprises to respond to disruptions and embrace innovations

As part of the 10-year plan, NTUC Social Enterprises will be transforming themselves to take advantage of opportunities presented by technological change and disruptions to further their social causes. Reflecting on the astronomical pace of change which have seen new technologies rapidly disrupting industries, eg, Uber, GrabTaxi, Netflix, Spotify or AirBnB, Mr Tan said, “NTUC Social Enterprises are not immune to disruption.”

The technological advances and disruptions that NTUC Social Enterprises have identified as opportunities for them to seize are in the areas of eCommerce; logistics, distribution and facilities; automation, robotics and medical technology; risk and data analytics; talent and people. NTUC Social Enterprises will look into pioneering new concepts, and experimenting with new ideas within the NTUC Social Enterprises. Some of these are in the following areas:

  • eCommerce (eg, NTUC FairPrice, NTUC Income and NTUC Link’s online shopping platform)
  • Logistics, distribution and facilities (eg, NTUC FairPrice recently operationalized their dark store and will be making further investments into distribution centres, etc)
  • Automation, robotics and medical technology (eg, Foodfare will be operating a central kitchen that will employ some new technologies, NTUC Health will employ medical monitoring devices to aid in healthcare, NTUC Income will digitize the underwriting for insurance business etc.)
  • Risk and data analytics (eg, NTUC Income will invest in its e-commerce offering, and tap the power of data analytics; and NTUC Link will become the data analytics hub of the Group.)
  • Talent and People (NTUC Social Enterprises are investing in their people to build capabilities to manage disruptions and capitalise on innovations. Eg, design thinking skills)

By equipping themselves with these new competencies, NTUC Social Enterprises will be able to better respond to future demands and needs of Singaporeans.

Said Mr Tan Suee Chieh, Group Chief Executive Officer of NTUC Enterprise, “NTUC Social Enterprises have been a social force to do good, and we want to continue doing so for many more years to come – to respond to the needs of the times. It is therefore imperative for us to transform ourselves, embrace innovations and seize opportunities to work collectively to meet the needs of Singaporeans even as these needs arise.”



For media queries and clarifications, please contact:

Evelyn Ho
Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited
DID: +65 6213 8804/ M: +65 9682 6922

Annex A


NTUC Social Enterprises are able to tap the power of the group in order to deliver a suite of integrated services that will meet the needs of Singaporeans at every stage of their life cycle.

This way, they will be able to deliver good value every day, provide support and assurance to the elderly to age in place, enable Singaporeans to stay in good healthy by eating and living healthily, and to provide educational and training opportunities to enable Singaporeans to progress through life.

Some recent examples of how the Group of NTUC Social Enterprises have come together to offer holistic services to Singaporeans are as follows:

  • The “Big Value Bag: Made for Singapore” initiative from July to December 2015 was launched to help Singaporeans from all segments of the population to cope better with the cost of living. This initiative, comprising discounts and savings on daily essentials, cooked food, health products and insurance plans, was well received by Singaporeans and helped consumers save $26 million.
  • The 15-month long Pioneers Ok! package from October 2014 to December 2015 offered Pioneers special discounts, preferential treatment as well as specially designed programmes. It helped Pioneers save $4.1 million altogether. In addition, there was also the Pioneers Ok! roving truck that brought programmes and deals for Pioneers into the heartlands. Over a six-month period, it covered 26 heartland locations and reached more than 8,000 Pioneers and members of their families, who took part in the activities.
  • To address ageing concerns, NTUC Social Enterprises have increased their suite of services for the elderly to help them age with grace and dignity. These included NTUC Health’s senior wellness centre – SilverCove in Marsiling, the first nursing home at Jurong West, senior day care centres, senior activity centres, home care services, dental clinics, family medicine clinic, the Enabled Stores by NTUC FairPrice as well as SilverCare and Silver Protect insurance plans by NUTC Income. These services enable NTUC Social Enterprises to meet the different needs of the elderly in our community.

To enable our young children to have a good start in life, and to ensure that no child is denied a pre-school education just because of his/her family’s circumstances, NTUC First Campus has the following:

  • Child Support Services to provide an integrated and holistic child support programme for at-risk children and children from less advantaged backgrounds.
  • Development Support Programme to offer early intervention programmes to help children with mild developmental needs or learning delays in My First Skool centres to improve their learning experience and school readiness. The children on the programmes have reported good progress.
  • To offer good value to Singaporeans every day, NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Foodfare continue to make essential goods and cooked food more affordable and accessible especially for the low-income segment. By the end of this year, there will be 40 Rice Garden stalls across Singapore selling nutritious meals from only $1.50 to people who are on Comcare.

NTUC Social Enterprises have been providing relevant, accessible, affordable and quality services to Singaporeans to meet their needs in the past 46 years. In 1970s, when workers who most needed insurance coverage could not afford to buy insurance, NTUC Income was set up to design insurance plans that were affordable for workers, and which gave them adequate coverage. When there was rampant profiteering among rogue merchants which priced staples such as rice out of the reach of ordinary Singaporeans, NTUC supermarkets were set up to sell rice cheaply. This moderated the prices of essential products and ensured that the immediate needs of Singaporeans were met. Over time, other social enterprises were set up to meet the different needs of Singaporeans at that time, to ensure that the needs of Singaporeans at different stages of their life cycle are met, eg, childcare services, cooked food, eldercare, healthcare services, continuous education and training.

-Annex A ends-

Annex B

NTUC Social Enterprises’ “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative” aims to make healthy food options more accessible and affordable for Singaporeans, and to enable one and all to opt for healthier lifestyles.

The initiative, developed in partnership with the Health Promotion Board (HPB), harnesses the resources of the NTUC Social Enterprises and also supports the Ministry of Health’s war on diabetes.

The main areas of focus are the staples of everyday meals: whole grains, healthier oils and the use of less sugar. The actions taken by the NTUC Social Enterprises are as follows:

NTUC Foodfare
NTUC Foodfare is committed to having all its food stalls in its food courts and coffee shops use healthier cooking oil in two to three years’ time by incorporating the use of healthier cooking oil as a contractual obligation for its tenants. Today, only 33% of its food court stalls and 6% of its coffeeshop stalls use healthier cooking oil. This action by NTUC Foodfare spells certain business cost for the social enterprise, but the social enterprise is determined to go ahead with it because it wants to ensure that healthier food is accessible and affordable for Singaporeans.

Currently, all 25 Foodfare Rice Garden stalls island-wide are already using healthier cooking oils for their food. NTUC Foodfare is also making 500 calorie meal options available at its food stalls as part of HPB’s Healthier Dining Programme. This is to encourage customers to make the choice of opting for lower calorie meals with greater ease. It will also continue its practice of selling beverages with no sugar at a cheaper price than other ordinary beverages to further incentivize its customers to opt for the healthier choice.

NTUC FairPrice
To ensure that the healthier food options are accessible and affordable to Singaporeans, NTUC FairPrice will continue to provide a 5% discount on all FairPrice Housebrand wholegrain rice for another two and a half months. Starting today, a series of various types of FairPrice Housebrand healthy cooking oils, which are certified with the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS), will be offered at discounts of up to 15% till the end of the year. By offering discounts on healthier food choices, NTUC FairPrice is hoping to encourage Singaporeans to opt for the healthier food option.

In order to raise customers’ awareness as well as encourage customers to choose healthier foods, major NTUC FairPrice stores around the island will also include a dedicated section that prominently displays HCS certified products for the next two months.

NTUC FairPrice and Foodfare outlets – Health Ambassadors
In addition, Health Ambassadors from HPB will also be at the NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Foodfare outlets to educate and highlight the healthier food choices to consumers as well as spread the healthy living message to more Singaporeans.

NTUC First Campus
Most of NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool pre-school centres are already certified under Health Promotion Board’s “Healthy Meals in Childcare Centre Programme” (HMCCP). The objective is to improve food service with nutritious food and increase nutrition education. To further encourage the children to eat fruit and vegetables daily, a sticker booklet will be given to the children in My First Skool. Those who consume their share of fruit and vegetables daily will be able to collect a booklet full of beautiful stickers. The idea is to catch children young as starting them on healthier food options early will go a long way in helping them to eat healthily as they grow older.

NTUC Income
IncomeShield policyholders, who pass all four tests in Income’s health screening offered under Orange Health, will receive $50 shopping vouchers. As an incentive to stay healthy, they can undergo the same test in a year’s time and receive the same reward if their results are good. Those who are not insured under IncomeShield or Enhanced IncomeShield will receive $50 discount off their first-year premiums if they choose to sign up with Enhanced IncomeShield. This is a very direct way of incentivising people in Singapore to make the conscious effort to eat and live healthily, and stay in good health.

These collective actions by the NTUC Social Enterprises have one goal in mind – to get Singaporeans to be in good health because it is good for them.

The “Healthy Eating and Living Initiative” is one of the first initiatives to be launched by NTUC Social Enterprises to address new social concerns among Singaporeans. The four areas of concerns identified for the next 10 years, which the social enterprises will be tackling are: cost of living, ageing, health and fear of being left behind.

-Annex B ends-

About NTUC Social Enterprises
NTUC Social Enterprises is a collective of social enterprises set up to serve the interests of union members and the broader interest of the Singapore community. We aim to meet a wide range of needs: from stabilising prices of essential goods and services to enhancing the basic financial security to caring for three-generational families. We aspire to provide a suite of integrated services throughout the life cycle of our population. Our critical target segments are the lower income group and the elderly, but we also keep sight of the needs of the PMEs, sandwiched class and youth. Together, we serve about 2 million customers annually.

About NTUC Enterprise
NTUC Enterprise is the holding entity and single largest shareholder of the NTUC social enterprises. NTUC Enterprise aims to create a greater social force to do good by harnessing the capabilities of the social enterprises to meet pressing social needs in areas like health and eldercare, childcare, daily essentials, cooked food and financial services. Serving over two million customers, NTUC Enterprise wants to enable and empower all in Singapore to live better and more meaningful lives.

About NTUC FairPrice
NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd was founded by the labour movement in 1973, with a social mission to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. From one supermarket, it has grown to become Singapore’s largest retailer serving over half a million shoppers daily, with a network of over 130 outlets, comprising FairPrice supermarkets, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra and Warehouse Club. Its convenience arm comprises a network of over 160 FairPrice Xpress and Cheers convenience stores, which serves over 100,000 customers daily. FairPrice Online caters to over 115,000 subscribers offering a hassle-free online shopping experience. NTUC FairPrice also owns a Fresh Food Distribution Centre and a centralised warehousing and distribution company.

Today, with its multiple retail formats serving the varied needs and interests of people from all walks of life, NTUC FairPrice has kept pace with the changing needs of its customers while remaining committed to its social mission and its aspiration to be Singapore’s leading world- class retailer with a heart.

Guided by the philosophy to do well in order to do good for the community, NTUC FairPrice launched FairPrice Foundation in 2008 to focus its giving efforts to provide a better life for the community. FairPrice Foundation focuses its giving on three strategic thrusts – the poor and needy, nation building and community bonding, and advancing workers’ welfare. FairPrice has since donated over S$98 million to the Foundation to further these three areas of focus.

For more information on NTUC FairPrice, visit

About NTUC First Campus
At NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited (NFC), we believe that every child deserves a good start in life. We have been making a difference since 1977 by bringing affordable quality early childhood care and education to Singapore families. Our childcare centres include My First Skool, The Little Skool-House International and The Caterpillar’s Cove. NFC also supports the development of the early childhood sector through The SEED Institute. NFC is a community of parents and early childhood professionals working together to bring out the best in each child and to create inspiring moments for all.

NTUC Foodfare was founded in 1995 to help moderate prices of cooked food amidst profiteering in Singapore during the introduction of GST. Since then, NTUC Foodfare has helped to mitigate food and beverage price increases during tough times and continues to fulfill this social role by maintaining a basket of basic food and beverage at low prices; and provides a variety of good quality, safe and value-for-money cooked food to help stretch the hard-earned dollars of workers. NTUC Foodfare currently manages over 70 retail outlets in various formats including foodcourts, coffeeshops, hawker centres, cafes and food stalls. For more details on NTUC Foodfare Co-operative Ltd or Foodfare outlets, please visit

About NTUC Health
NTUC Health is an NTUC social enterprise that provides quality and affordable health and eldercare services. Building on more than four decades of experience and expertise, it provides an integrated suite of services to meet the growing needs of families and their dependents. It operates pharmacy retail outlets, dental clinics, a family medicine clinic, senior day care centres, home care services, nursing homes, senior activity and wellness centres, as well as a sheltered / senior group home and case management services for vulnerable seniors. Its team of dedicated doctors, dentists, pharmacists and care professionals supports more than 300,000 people in our community every month.

NTUC Health brands
Care@home. Cluster Support. Henderson Home. NTUC Health Nursing Home. Origins. SilverACE (Senior Activity Centres). Silver Circle (Day/Senior Care Centres). SilverCOVE (Senior Wellness Centre). Unity Denticare. Unity Family Medicine Clinic. Unity Pharmacy.

About NTUC Income
NTUC Income (Income) was established in 1970 to provide affordable insurance for workers in Singapore. Today, two million people in Singapore look to Income for trusted advice and solutions when making their most important financial decisions. Our wide network of advisers and partners provide life, health and general insurance products and services to serve the protection, savings and investment needs of customers across all segments of society.

As a social enterprise, Income was made different. Our social purpose is to make insurance accessible, affordable and sustainable for all. Putting people before profits, we strive to create and maximise value for customers.

In 2015, Income had over $32.4 billion in assets under management. Our financial strength and diversified investment portfolio is reflected by our strong credit ratings which underpin the delivery of our commitment to customers.

Income’s corporate social responsibility initiative, OrangeAid, focuses on children and youth, especially the disadvantaged.

About NTUC LearningHub
NTUC LearningHub Private Limited (LHUB) was corporatised in 2004 with the vision of transforming the lifelong employability of working people. We work with both corporate and individual clients particularly in the areas of Infocomm Technology, Soft Skills & Literacy, Workplace Safety & Health, and Customer Service Training.

To date, LHUB have helped 13,700 organisations, and trained 1.9 million workers in Singapore across 380 courses, with a pool of 1,300 trainers. We seek to continually innovate and enhance our training content and methods via technology, in order to be relevant to industry and provide engaging, meaningful training for learners.

NTUC Link Pte Ltd spearheads Plus!, Singapore’s largest and one of the most successful consumer rewards programmes. Plus! delivers value and savings to over 1.75 million members through strategic partnerships with popular partners by offering LinkPoints, exclusive deals and rewarding items for redemption.

Plus! Members can shop with over 1,100 participating partner outlets from in-store to online partners that goes beyond grocery shopping. Since August 2015, Plus! introduced two new e-commerce platforms to offer more shopping alternatives for members. On Plus! website, members can find items from premium home décor to affordable accessories and choose to purchase them with LinkPoints at Plus! Marketplace. For those who are into global shopping sites including Apple Online, Emirates,, Groupon, ASOS & Sephora, members can shop via Plus! Gateway ( to satisfy all their shopping needs while earning LinkPoints on top of discounts with over 200 brands. For more information, visit