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'You Asda prove you're over 18': Telford store refuses to let student, 21, try boozy mince pie

By Tom Oakley | Donnington | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A student was stunned when an Asda store refused to give her a mince pie sample - because it contained alcohol and she was unable to prove her age.

Student Merryn Walker was asked for her proof of age at the Donnington supermarket branch in Telford when trying the mince pies.

The 21-year-old did not have any formal ID at hand, and as the luxury all-butter mince pies contained a small amount of port and brandy, she was turned away.

Ms Walker described the move as 'crazy'.

But the store defended itself, saying products containing alcohol are not offered to customers under 18, for "obvious reasons".

A spokesperson for Asda said: “We know our customers will love the fantastic festive food we have available this year, which is why we’re sampling bite-sized portions of some of the tasty treats in the build-up to Christmas.

"For obvious reasons products containing liquid alcohol are only offered to customers over the age of 18.

"However, mince pies are a family staple and would usually be made available to all – but, we would never criticise an individual for trying to do the right thing when presented with a customer who’s lucky enough to look younger than their years.”

The mince pies are described as “generously filled with spiced vine fruits and a splash of rich ruby port and French brandy, all encased in crumbly shortcrust pastry."

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And despite only containing four per cent brandy and 1.5 per cent ruby port, customers do need ID to try a sample of one of the baked treats in store.

However, a proof of age is not needed to buy them according to Asda.

Meanwhile, it has been predicted that Christmas spending is set to fall for the first time since 2012 as Brexit uncertainty and a drop in real wages weigh on UK households, research suggests.

The news could spell trouble for retailers, many of which rely on a spike in sales in the final months of the calendar year to help boost revenues.

Research compiled by IHS for Visa forecasts that consumer spending during the festive period is set to fall 0.1 per cent in real terms compared with the same period last year, when spending grew 2.8 per cent.

It would be the first time that spending has dropped over the November to December shopping period since 2012, when it declined 1.3 per cent.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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