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New Zealand supermarket chain Countdown will restrict sales of energy drinks to people 16 years and over from September 1. This decision follows several UK supermarket chains that have done the same, requiring teenagers to present ID to prove they are 16 or over when purchasing energy drinks.
The restriction is said to be in response to concerns of both parents and health advocates as well as the NZ Ministry of Health. The Minister of Health advises that children and young people should not consume energy drinks or energy shots.
There has been some criticism of the move from the beverage industry and other retailers who say research shows people under 16 are not high consumers of energy drinks. The industry would prefer an educational approach about caffeine across all foods and drinks. Caffeine containing drinks must already carry a caffeine warning on pack and an advisory statement they are not recommended for children and young people.