Grocery startups ‘toothless’ in preventing underage drinking

Rapid grocery services have been told to take “urgent action” after failing to properly check the ages of customers buying cigarettes and alcohol.

In a 12-month study by ID testing company Serve Legal, just 45 per cent of 18 and 19 year old shoppers had to prove their ages to drivers.

By contrast, supermarket delivery services asked 72 per cent for identification, rising to 78 per cent at in-store retailers.

It comes after a series of local campaigns to limit alcohol sales from grocery startups.

READ MORE: Millions spent creating ‘dark stores’ for rapid grocery startups

Serve Legal director Ed Heaver argued that online “age identification measures” were not enough.

“These are toothless if delivery drivers are failing to ask for physical proof of age or are leaving goods unattended on the doorstep,” he said.

“No responsible retailer or delivery company should be handing harmful goods to a young person without asking to see physical proof of age.”

In August, Getir accused Brighton & Hove council of introducing “prohibition” when it was banned from selling alcohol overnight.

Critics of the grocery firm were concerned over deliveries to party hotspots.

The same month, a councillor from Tower Hamlets lost her battle to stop Weezy dropping off alcohol altogether.

“The easier it is to buy alcohol locally – whether online or from the premises – the more people will drink,” she said.

“I have been verbally abused by drunks and on many occasions have feared for my safety.”

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