The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has given evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, which is currently holding an inquiry into the impact of energy drinks on children’s health.
As part of the inquiry, the committee is looking at what current action is being taken on the sale of energy drinks to children and whether regulation has a role to play, such as the introduction of a legal age restriction for energy drinks.
During an evidence session, ACS chief executive James Lowman told the committee: “Over half of convenience stores currently are not selling energy drinks to under 16s. Some have particular shades of that policy, so it might be that they don’t sell to people in school uniform, it might be not to sell in the morning, it might be not to sell more than one can.
“We are community retailers – if there is contact from the school or other stakeholders, we absolutely say that retailers should engage with them positively, and it has resulted in more of these voluntary energy drinks policies being put in place.”
Recent ACS polling of 1,210 independent retailers found that 53% do not sell energy drinks to under 16s. ACS has also produced guidance for retailers that states energy drinks do not require age restrictions but retailers should respond to requests from local schools and stakeholders requests not sell to young people.