Age restricted items

In this section

As a responsible local business, we age restrict a number of our products to safeguard the welfare of our customers.

We age restricted the following items and age identification will be requested if deemed necessary. (Please see our Challenge 25 policy.)


  • Alcohol
  • Knives & bladed items (excludes replacement cartridges for safety razors)
  • Tobacco & related products (including cigarette papers, filters, lighter fluid and matches etc.)
  • E-cigarettes
  • Firelighters
  • Gas Cylinders


  • Lottery & Instant win cards (including payouts for prizes)
  • Painkillers (including aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen and any products containing these products, e.g. Lemsip, adult Bonjela etc). These items will be sold at a maximum of 2 packets or 32 tablets per customer
  • Laxatives
  • Party poppers and similar (including Indoor fireworks, cracker snaps and throw-downs)
  • Petrol (including Diesel & LPG)


  • Christmas crackers

We will also always ensure that magazines, DVDs and video games are age restricted as shown on the items. 

Energy drinks 

As part of our Social Responsibility we restrict the sale of energy drinks to those 16 or over. Although Challenge 25 will not be applied our colleagues will ask for proof of age of customers who in their judgement appear to be under 16. Requested customers will be asked to provide an acceptable form of ID as detailed within Challenge 25 below


There are occasions when we need to restrict the sale of solvents to protect against volatile substance abuse. It is illegal for our colleagues to sell solvent-based products to customers if they believe they will be used for the purpose of becoming intoxicated.

Our colleagues are trained on the products we sell that can be abused and will restrict the sale where we deem it appropriate.

Challenge 25

In all of our East of England Co-op stores, we operate a challenge 25 policy. If a colleague believes you to be under the age of 25, you will be asked to produce a valid form of identification stating you are over the required age before being sold the item/s.

We accept the following forms of identification:

  • Photo driving licence
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) accredited card
  • Passport
  • National Identification Card
  • British Armed Forces Identity Card

To be valid ID must be in date and colleague may refuse to accept the ID if they feel it is not genuine or has been tempered with.

If our colleagues believes you are buying age-restricted products (alcohol, tobacco or e-cigarettes) for someone under age, then we not sell the items in accordane with our legal responsibility.  

If you are sold restricted products and seen giving them to an underage person, we will inform the police.

We take our responsibility around the sale of age-restricted products seriously. If you feel that our refusal to serve you was unfair and would like to speak to someone please contact our Customer Support Team on 0800 0556109.