The makers of Buckfast have hit out at an Easter egg sold with a bottle of the tonic wine in the box as they warn children may drink the alcohol.
The firm behind the controversial drink are taking action to have the chocolate treats removed from shelves. The Buckfast chocolate eggs, which come with a miniature bottle of the tonic wine and a lighter, are being sold by Northern Irish company d-Bees Offsales.
They report 2000 orders coming in from all over the UK, America and Australia. However, J Chandler & Co, who bottle and distribute the wine which is made by Benedictine monks in Devon, have distanced themselves from the product.
They said they were concerned the chocolate treats could attract children and called on consumers to boycott them.
Stewart Wilson, sales manager of J Chandler & Co, who bottle and distribute the wine, said: “The Easter eggs that are currently being advertised for sale in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK have not been authorised or instigated by our company.
“We strongly advise the public not to purchase them. As an alcoholic drinks manufacturer we take our responsibilities very seriously.”
“Our products are for adults and we do not engage in any activity that promotes our products, either directly or indirectly, to children and young people.
“We do not manufacture or advertise any confectionery items.
“Customers are advised not to purchase these Easter eggs and we are taking the necessary action to have the products removed to ensure the protection of the public.”
d-Bees, who are based in Lurgan, County Armagh, has attracted interest in the past after creating a Christmas Buckfast hamper and a Valentine’s collection of the drink.
But it appears to be the Easter package, which costs £9.99, which has drawn the most support from the beverage’s loyal following.
Derek Brennan, who owns the shop, said: “The website crashed due to interest. We currently have 2,000 orders.”
Last year Fife-based firm Chillilicious, who run Scotland’s only chilli farm, sold Buckfast Easter eggs and sold out within a few days.
The Church of Scotland criticised SNP MP Roger Mullin, who endorsed the eggs on social media. Buckfast has been repeatedly blamed for fuelling drunken violence and anti-social behaviour in Scotland.
The drink has an alcohol content of 15% and the caffeine equivalent of about four coffees per 75cl bottle.
In 2015, the Scottish Prison Service found 43.4% of inmates had consumed Buckfast before their last offence despite it accounting for less than 1% of total alcohol sales nationally.
But J Chandler insist most customers drink it responsibly and have accused politicians and police of unfairly singling them out.
d-Bees have not responded to requests for comment.
Source: The Telegraph