safefood welcome move by Aldi and other retailers to ban sale of energy drinks to under 16s

  • safefood research found massive increase in number of product on sale
  • Some brands contain up to 17 teaspoons of sugar

Wednesday 24 January, 2018. Following safefood’s recent research which found a 290% increase in the number of energy drinks products on sale over the past 10 years and our longstanding position that these drinks are not suitable for children under 16, safefood welcome the announcement by Aldi, Waitrose and Asda to ban the sale of these products to children. This represents a positive step in protecting children and helping consumers, especially those shopping with children and older children shopping on their own, to make healthier choices.

Ray Dolan, Chief Executive, safefood said;

This move by Aldi and other retailers echoes safefood's position and those of other leading health experts that energy drinks are not suitable drinks for children under 16. We also continue to stress that these stimulant drinks are not suitable for rehydration purposes following sport; that they are not recommended as a mixer for alcoholic beverages; and that marketing of these products should be undertaken without ambiguity or association with sport or alcohol”.

Dr. Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood continued “It’s staggering how these products are so prevalent in our shops and together, energy drinks and sports drinks now comprise more than 20% of the soft drinks market³ in Ireland. Consumption can have health consequences because of their sugar and caffeine content. A typical 500 ml can has sugar levels of 12 teaspoons per can which is equivalent to two standard chocolate bars. It also typically provides the same amount of caffeine as is found in two espressos. In addition, the use of energy drinks as a mixer with alcohol among young adults also has consequences in the context of Ireland’s current binge–drinking culture. We would now hope that all other retailers on the island of Ireland follow this significant move by Aldi, Asda and Waitrose which we welcome. Initiatives like this are steps that only retailers themselves can carry out, parents are firmly behind them and it’s really positive.”

While the majority of energy drink brands surveyed in the safefood report comply with current labelling legislation, specific marketing claims are made such as “contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue”. Brands also make references to their appeal among “top athletes, students” and “in highly demanding professions”

The safefood report “Energy Drinks in Ireland – A Review” can be downloaded from our website, along with an infographic.

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For further information or to request an interview, please contact

Emma Walsh / Amy Pilgrim

Wilson Hartnell

Tel: +353 1 669 0030  

Mob: +353 87 317 0897 (Emma Walsh) / +353 87 261 3300 (Amy Pilgrim)

Email: emma.walsh@ogilvy.com / amy.pilgrim@ogilvy.com

Or

Dermot Moriarty / Julie Carroll

safefood

Tel: 00353 1 448 0600

Mob: 00353 86 381 1034 (Dermot) / 00353 86 150 3047 (Julie)

Press@safefood.eu

References

¹In February 2015, 17 brands and 39 separate energy drink products were identified in a safefood survey of six major retail supermarket chains. This compares with 10 energy drink products found in a 2002 survey by safefood. This represents a 290% increase in the number of products available at the time of the survey.

²Safetrak survey of 800 adults on the island of Ireland. Millward Brown/safefood November 2014

³ Mintel “Innovations in Soft Drinks in Ireland” (November 2015).

Editor’s notes

The estimated value of the energy and sports drink market for the island of Ireland (IoI) stood at €189.5 million in 2015. This was split as follows:

ROI – 130.4m (9% share of soft drinks market)

NI – 59.1m (14% share of soft drinks market)

  • 42.6% of students (n=2500) reported using energy drinks as a mixer with alcohol (Davoren M. Alcohol related harm among third level students in Ireland 2015 UCC)
  • On the island of Ireland, the total soft drinks market is valued at €1,816.2 million with ROI accounting for 76% of total soft drink sales (€1,3787.7 million) and NI accounting for 24% of total sales (€428.4 million) (source: Mintel “Innovations in Soft Drinks in Ireland” – November 2015.
  • On the island of Ireland, 21% of the advertising spend in the soft drinks market last year was by energy and sports drinks and amounted to €1.872 million. The total advertising spend in the soft drinks market in Ireland was €7.1 million (source: Nielsen - March 2016)
  • Total number of Global social media accounts for energy drinks (source: socialbakers.com)

 

Brand

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Red Bull

61

121

20

Monster Energy

13

37

8

Relentless Energy

1

2

1

Boost

1

1

-

Mountain Dew

36

10

14

Kx Energy

1

1

1

Tiger

7

1

1

Emerge

1

1

1

Green-up

1

-

-

Lucozade Energy

2

1

1

  • Top 5 Energy drink brands worldwide sales (source Euromonitor International 2013)

Brand

2013 Sales  in billions of dollars

1. Red Bull

10.9

2. Monster

3.8

3. Rockstar

1.1

4. Lucozade

0.9

5. Burn

0.7