From 2 September, customers will need to be 16 years or older to buy energy drinks at Countdown’s 180 supermarkets nationwide. The decision comes in response to growing concerns raised by health leaders about the impact increased consumption of high-sugar, highly-caffeinated energy drinks is having on New Zealand children.
There are 74 energy drink products in a range of brands or pack sizes sold across Countdown’s supermarkets, which will now be sold to customers 16 years or older.
Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, says the company has talked with a wide range of health leaders, and the combination of caffeine, sugar, serving sizes and the fact that children often consume energy drinks on the way to school was specifically highlighted to them.
“We’ve talked with a wide range of people about this issue and overwhelmingly, the advice and feedback we received was that when it came to children’s health, restricting the sale of energy drinks would make an important and meaningful impact in an area of high need,” says Hannifin. “Energy drinks are not recommended for children and they already have to carry a warning on pack.”