Despite high caffeine energy drinks being deemed ‘safe’ for children’s consumption by the British Soft Drinks Association, at the beginning of January Waitrose took the decision to ban the sale of energy drinks containing over 150g of caffeine per litre to under-16s.
Asda and Aldi have now both followed suit, with Andrew Murray, Asda’s chief customer officer saying: ‘We take our responsibilities as a retailer seriously and work hard to ensure we get the balance right between offering choice and doing the right thing. We have listened to our customers and want to take a leading position in this area to support parents and teachers in limiting young peoples’ access to high caffeine drinks.’
This follows calls by The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) for a UK-wide ban on sales of energy drinks to under-16s, due to the high caffeine and sugar levels being ‘dangerous and damaging’. Claire Stevens, president of the BSPD, said: ‘We would like all retailers to come on board and ideally to have legislation introduced to prevent all shopkeepers selling these drinks to under-16s.
The ban will come into force at both Asda and Aldi in early March.