Chelmsford Star bans the sale of energy drinks to children

'We have listened to parents and teachers who want to limit young peoples' access to high caffeine drinks'

The Co-op Group is to impose a voluntary ban on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, amid health concerns.

The age restriction, which will apply to 39 products containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre, will come into force in March 2018.

Once the ban is implemented, customers wishing to buy these products will need to be willing to show appropriate ID.

Michael Fletcher, commercial director at the Group, said: “There is growing concern about the consumption of energy drinks among young people and we recognise that we must act.

“It’s a balance between offering choice whilst doing the right thing and we have listened to parents and teachers who want to limit young peoples’ access to high caffeine drinks.”

The age restriction on sales will be applied in 2,700 Co-op Group stores and over 1,000 independent co-op society stores.

The move follows growing concern over possible health risks from the high caffeine and sugar content of energy drinks.

A 2014 report from the World Health Organization concluded: “As energy drink sales are rarely regulated by age … and there is a proven negative effect of caffeine on children, there is the potential for a significant public health problem in future.”