Costa Coffee Is Now Banning Under 16s From Consuming Caffeine In Stores
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Costa Coffee has revealed its stores have the power to ban children from consuming caffeine.
The high street coffee chain has given its staff the discretion as to whether they choose to serve certain drinks to children under the age of 16.
This decision comes after a number of supermarket chains decided to ban the sale of energy drinks, which typically have high caffeine content, to school-age children.
Costa Coffee has more 1,500 branches across the UK and a further 900 overseas, so the move could pose a huge shift in how caffeine is consumed by under 16s.
The chain is the largest coffee shop chain in the UK making up a huge 40 per cent of all coffee shops in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Some branches have already started asking for ID from customers who look younger than 16 and refusing to serve them.
One dad recently told the Bristol Post how his 12-year-old daughter was refused service when she tried to order an iced coffee at the Costa Coffee in Conwy, Wales.
"I had never heard of Costa doing this before, her older sister has often bought her own drinks at Costa before," he explained.
"This is an occasional treat rather than regular coffee drinking and a lot of Costa drinks do seem to be aimed at younger people."
He added that there should be a blanket policy across stores to avoid any confusion over whether under 16s should be served.
"If they are concerned about health then perhaps they should also stop selling cakes or high calorie drinks to overweight children because obesity is a far more serious health issue in this country than caffeine consumption."
A spokesperson for Costa told Metro: "We do not encourage the sale of caffeine to children under 16, and it is at store discretion to question a customer's age if they have any concerns.
"Our advertising is not directed at children, and you must be 16 or above to own a Costa Club Card.
"Caffeine information is available upon request should a customer wish to know the level of caffeine in their favourite Costa coffee."