Morrisons to ban sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to kids

Morrisons is to stop selling high-caffeine energy drinks to children, joining Asda, Aldi and Waitrose.

The supermarket chain will introduce the age limit on March 5, when customers buying the drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster, will have to prove they are over 16 years of age.

Andrew Clappen, corporate services director at Morrisons, said, “We have listened to customers and are responding to their concerns about children drinking high-caffeine energy drinks.”

Asda’s age restriction applies to 84 products, and also comes into effect on 5 March. Aldi, customers buying soft drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre from any of Aldi’s UK or Ireland stores, will be asked to prove their age from 1 March. Waitrose's customers buying drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre would be asked to prove their age from 5 March.

Last month, the campaign group Action on Sugar called for a complete ban on the sale of energy drinks to children following findings that their sugar and caffeine content remains high despite reformulation ahead of the soft drinks levy.

UK youngsters are among the highest consumers of energy drinks in Europe, according to researchers from Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, who in December urged the government to restrict their sale to under-16s.

The British Soft Drinks Association introduced a voluntary code of practice in 2010 stating that high-caffeine soft drinks should not be promoted or marketed to those under-16.