Tesco's 'Ribena Ban' Sparks Twitter Mockery

Tesco's 'Ribena Ban' Sparks Twitter Mockery

Tesco's decision to pull Ribena, Rubicon and Capri-Sun from its shelves has met with dismay and ridicule from many Twitter users.

The supermarket will no longer stock small cartons and lunch box-sized added sugar drinks from 7 September.

Tesco said it will make "a positive difference to children's health" and campaign groups such as Action on Sugar have called it "great news" in combating obesity.

But Britain’s biggest retailer is taking a bit of a bashing on social media, with many pointing out it still stocks other sugar-filled high-calorie products such as chocolate, pizzas and fizzy drinks.

@LilyBaileyUK tweeted: "I was gonna buy a Ribena but Tesco don't sell it cos it causes obesity so I guess I'll have a coke, fags and wotsits cos they must be fine."

"Tesco stops selling Ribena to tackle childhood obesity?! So processed meat, Coke, chocolate, crisps & pizza next yeh?," tweeted @RouReynolds.

Rachel Adedeji tweets: "I don't think @Tesco banning @RibenaUK will prevent child obesity. I think parents stopping feeding their kids junk food will though #ribena."

"Wow. Tesco has cured obesity by banning Capri Sun and Ribena.The ONLY two causes of obesity. What a time to be alive," posted @OliverAge24.

Parodies featuring the famous purple drink have also surfaced.

One image shows the Breaking Bad characters cooking up an illicit batch, another features Al Pacino's Scarface character surrounded by a stash of the drink.

@o2One tweeted: “Panic buying? Don't worry if Ribena is banned at #Tesco, you could always get it off the black (currant) market."

"Anyone know where I can score some Ribena, y’know … for a friend?" adds @LarnerC.

For comparison, a Ribena 288ml carton has 119 calories and 29g of sugar; a 330ml can of Coca-Cola has 139 calories and 35g of sugar.

A 330ml pouch of Capri-Sun has 135 calories and 33g of sugar; a regular Mars bar has 230 calories and 30.5g of sugar.

And Ribena lovers should not be too dismayed, the drink will not disappear altogether from Tesco’s shelves.

The larger cordial bottles and no-added sugar versions will still be available.

Tesco says only sizes apparently aimed at children - from 150ml cartons to 300ml bottles - will be banned.

"We want to help our customers make healthier choices and that's why we have pledged to continue to cut sugar from the food and drink on our shelves," said a spokeswoman.

"From September all the children's juice drinks we sell will have no added sugar in them because we know it'll make a positive difference to children's health."

The chain has also pledged to cut the sugar in its own-brand soft drinks by 5% a year.

The Ribena 'cull' may have been mocked on social media but it reflects a very real problem.

One in five 10-11-year-olds in England is classed as obese, according to Public Health England.

Their 2013/14 study , which took the weight of a million schoolchildren, showed a further 14.4% were overweight.

Tooth decay in children is also nearing "crisis point", a senior dental surgeon warned recently, with some surgeries struggle to cope with the number of youngsters needing extractions.