Disgruntled fans of the drinks took to Twitter to vent their anger at the retailer’s decision to axe them in a bid to curb childhood obesity.
Tesco’s decision was attacked as being “ridiculous”, “mad”, “idiotic” and “stupid” by a number of Twitter users.
Cakes and cigarettes
Many questioned why Tesco would cut the soft drinks but continue to sell other food and drink products deemed to be unhealthy – such as fizzy drinks, such as Coca-Cola, donuts and cakes – and cigarettes.
One user described removing Ribena to combat childhood obesity as “throwing a lettuce into the sea to combat global warming”.
Tesco was forced to respond to Twitter users to inform them it would not be removing all Ribena and Capri Sun from stores, just certain sizes of the drinks.
There are currently only plans to cut the added-sugar versions of Ribena and Capri Sun in lunchbox-sized cartons and pouches, Tesco said on Twitter.
A Tesco spokesman said:“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. 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.”
Earlier this year, Tesco committed to reducing the sugar content of its own-brand soft drinks by 5% each year, he added. This is on top of 4.5bn calories already cut from the retailer’s range.
Lucozade Suntory Ribena used its Ribena UK Twitter account to clarify which products would be affected.
‘Thanks for the love’
“Thanks for all the love,” it said. “Don’t worry, you can still buy Ribena Squash, 500ml bottles and no added sugar cartons in Tesco.”
Other Twitter users poked fun at the decision, claiming it could create a black market for the drinks.
Lily Bailey tweeted: “Personally I think this whole Ribena thing is just going to create a blackcurrant market in the playground.”
@niaIIsky joked: “Can[’t] wait for the six year olds to start illegally dealing Ribena behind Tesco.”