Central England Co-op is the latest multiple retailer to announce plans to ban the sale of energy drinks to under 16s.

From 1 March, customers who buy energy drinks that contain 150mg or more caffeine per litre will be asked to prove that they are over the age of 16.

The Society said it took the decision after speaking to dozens of parents and teachers about their growing concerns that more and more young people were drinking these products.

In January the Co-op Group, all of the major supermarket groups and discounters announced similar plans, all of which will come into effect in March. A number of independent retailers already refuse to sell energy drinks to under-16s.

Hannah Gallimore, Central England Co-op corporate responsibility manager, said: “We pride ourselves on being a responsible and ethical retailer based at the heart of our communities and after receiving feedback from teachers and parents we knew we had to act.

“This decision will ensure that strict guidelines are in place to prevent young people under the age of 16 buying these products in line with industry labelling guidelines.

“High caffeine energy drinks carry advice stating that they should not be consumed by children, we hope that our decision to put this voluntary sales age limit in place will help address concerns associated with these drinks being consumed by under 16s.”