The association claims that because the high caffeine content drinks sector is growing, promotions must be regulated to ensure consumers have all the information they need to make informed choices about purchasing and enjoying high caffeine content soft drinks safely.
In its code of practice, all drinks with high caffeine content must carry the additional labelling statement: “Not suitable for children, pregnant women and persons sensitive to caffeine”. In addition, such drinks may not be promoted or marketed to persons aged under 16s.
It adds that “due responsibility” should be exercised if high caffeine soft drinks are linked with the consumption of alcohol. In such situations, the relevant rules set out in the BCAP and CAP Codes for the advertising of alcohol should be respected as appropriate.
It will include energy shots like Relentless (pictured), as long as they are not categorised as food supplements.
Drinks are defined as being high in caffeine if they contain more than 150 mg of caffeine per litre – roughly the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
Jill Ardagh, BSDA director general, says: “The guidelines published today show the industry strengthening its commitment to informing consumer choice about the drinks that are suitable for children. Many adults enjoy drinking high caffeine content soft drinks, but these drinks are not manufactured for children, and it is responsible to say so on the label.”