No ID, no sale of sparkling juice
A new sparkling grape juice is being treated like booze, despite not containing a single drop of alcohol.
Lisa Newlands, 43, attempted to buy a bottle of the Lindauer’s new faux bubbly, Sparkling Grape, after 11pm Saturday, on her way home from work.
She left empty handed because the $8 bottle is being treated like booze, so customers must have ID and purchase within the store’s alcohol-dealing hours.
Shopping at Countdown Takapuna Newlands says it was ‘‘mind boggling’’ to be told she couldn’t buy a bottle of sparkling juice.
A teetotaller, she says she was ‘‘excited’’ to find a new non-alcoholic beverage near the softdrinks.
‘‘I read the label and thought it sounded really nice. I took it up to the counter and they said ‘it’s alcohol, you can’t buy it’.’’
The supervisor told her it was the only brand of grape juice they could not sell her, because it was marketed as if it were alcohol. She says even some staff were confused by the virgin juice prohibition, which was clearly labelled as ‘‘alcohol-free’’.
‘‘When you’re sitting there, having an argument in public about sparkling grape juice, bizarre.’’
But the supermarket’s alcohol responsibility manager Paul Radich says the decision on the juice is down to an agreement with supplier, Lion. ‘‘As this is an adult alcohol alternative we agreed with Lion to retail the product as if it was alcohol,’’ he says.
‘‘We take our responsibility around the sale of restricted items seriously, and this is why we are vigilant around all products from prominent alcohol brands, so as to not normalise a product which looks very similar to other alcoholic products.’’
Countdown cannot place the nonalcoholic drink in their booze section, so position as close as possible. Newlands visited Milford’s Countdown, where she says clearly marked boxes sat next to packets of potato chips.
Auckland Council alcohol licensing manager Rob Abbott says there’s nothing in local acts, or any regulations, prohibiting the sale of the grape juice after 11pm.
Radich says it is ‘‘Countdown’s policy that zero per cent and lowalcohol products should be treated like the rest of our beer and wine products, and sold responsibly.’’ it’s just
Countdown is selling Lindauer’s Sparkling Grape range as alcohol, so require age verification.