Woman slams Target’s new rule of IDing customers for non-alcoholic drinks

@winewithmadison/TikTok JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘It’s a little tricky’: Woman questions Target’s new rule of IDing customers for non-alcoholic drinks

'Whole Foods has always carded me for buying non alcoholic beer.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Apr 19, 2024   Updated on Apr 19, 2024, 11:28 am CDT

Madison G (@winewithmadison) uploaded a viral TikTok about a new practice Target is purportedly implementing: Carding anyone who buys a non-alcoholic “party”-themed beverage.

So if someone’s trying to get themselves an O’Doul’s or Heineken Zero, or, weirdly enough 0% alcoholic White Claw Hard Seltzer, Target will require folks to provide an ID to purchase it. It’s a practice that Modern Retail says already exists at some Walmart and Target locations, but Madison stated that the red and white brand is making this standard operating procedure at its stores, something Food and Wine has reported on as well.

“On one hand, customers don’t want to wait to get carded and they think that people of every age should be able to buy these beverages,” she says. “But it seems like Target is saying that if your beverages are a replacement for an alcoholic drink or it’s marketed towards partying, they want you to be 21-plus to buy it.”

Madison seemed to approve of the stance Target is taking against youngsters purchasing non-alcoholic variants of drinks and it’s not difficult to see why. Non-alcoholic variants of drinks can look very similar, especially from a distance, to their boozy counterparts with similar color schemes.

“I think it’s great that Target is bringing in more non-alcoholic beverages and that they’re carving out space in all of their stores to sell these products to consumers,” she says. “But I do think it’s a little tricky to draw a line in the sand and say that to buy certain non-alcoholic products you need to be 21 or older.”

She lists Liquid Death, a canned water product, as an example. “To be clear, I don’t think anyone should be carded to buy Liquid Death but I do think it’s a little odd where this line in the sand is getting drawn.”

“Overall I want more people to have non-alcoholic options so if this is the price we have to pay then I’m okay with it,” she says at the end of the video before asking her followers for their opinion.

Viewers in the comments section seemed divided on the subject. For one user, there wasn’t really a debate: “If there’s no alcohol….why do I need to be carded???”

Another penned, “I think liquid death is a bit extreme since it’s literally water…but I can see why bars may card for NA beverages.”

@winewithmadison How do you feel about target carding people to buy non alc bevrages? #winetok #target ♬ original sound – Madison G

Someone else pointed out how other retailers engage in this same practice, but don’t think they should.

“CVS has been doing this I got carded for NA Champagne,” they wrote. “I think they shouldn’t because there’s no Alcohol & younger ppl deserve to have fun mocktails.”

But a lot of folks were dead set against the practice, with one sharing, “I disagree because imagine you’re a teen who doesn’t want to drink but peer pressure and now it’s hard to buy.”

Someone else questioned where the buck stops, commenting, “We bought lemonade and Diet Coke as a replacement for alcohol drinkers at parties should they card for that too? I hate this.”

Could this practice possibly be part of a larger initiative to help curb underage drinking? Minors are easily getting access to alcohol by tricking self-checkout kiosks, demonstrated by this liquor store owner and TikToker here.

The Daily Dot previously covered this “hack” and even included links to statistics about the prevalence of self-checkout stands and how minors have been increasingly using them in their quest for underage drinking—and there have been plenty of other outlets that have discussed this same issue. Some bills have even proposed that stores halt the purchase of alcoholic beverages at self-checkout stands completely.

Food Republic writes that carding for non-alcoholic beverages seems to be part of a growing initiative to help stop minors from purchasing similarly branded boozy editions of similar-looking beverages: “Carding customers for all alcohol-adjacent drinks may help cut out the risk of accidental alcohol sales to minors. Since some brands — like Heineken and Budweiser — produce and sell both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, checking IDs can ensure that anyone buying the beverages is of legal drinking age. Stores may also be concerned that the association could promote alcohol consumption to minors, even if they’re attempting to purchase non-alcoholic versions.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Target via email Madison via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Apr 19, 2024, 4:00 pm CDT