Beverage Council expresses disappointment at Countdown’s decision
The New Zealand Beverage Council today expressed its disappointment at Countdown’s decision to restrict the sales of
energy drinks to young people under the age of 16.
Council spokesperson Stephen Jones says there was no evidence to support Countdown’s decision given New Zealand already
has some of the strongest energy drink regulations in the world, and the evidence shows these regulations are working
“While we respect the right of Countdown to make this decision, this really is a case of a solution looking for a
problem,” says Mr Jones
“Independent research from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand shows that energy drinks contribute less than three
percent of the overall caffeine intake of young people aged between 9 and 15,” says Mr Jones.
“This low-level of consumption is evidence that the existing framework around the sale and marketing of energy drinks is
effective and that young people are consuming caffeine from sources other than energy drinks.
“Labelling regulations in New Zealand also require energy drinks to display a caffeine content warning as well as an
advisory statement that energy drinks are not recommended for young people.
“The ingredients in energy drinks have been proven to be safe and have been approved by Food Standards Australia and New
Zealand. But, like all beverages containing caffeine they should be consumed in moderation.
Mr Jones says this is particularly the case for young people, which is why New Zealand Beverage Council members have
committed to not market to children and to not sell energy drinks directly to schools.
“While it is laudable for retailers to look at ways to help improve the diets of young people, it makes little sense to
put in place restrictions targeting a single product that contributes less than three percent of a young person’s
“A wide range of products contain caffeine and instead of focusing on energy drinks, we would prefer to work together to
focus on understanding how and why children are accessing caffeine and what we can all do to better educate consumers
about the caffeine content across all food categories.”
The New Zealand Beverage Council recently released a series of commitments around the marketing and promotion of energy
drinks, including committing members to not market to children or promote excessive consumption.