Challenge 21 – 25? – provide evidence that Challenge 21 was not enough to prevent underage drink purchasing


Platypus were asked to identify whether the then, Challenge 21 scheme was a strong enough test for retailer staff to identify underage drinkers. 


We needed to provide strong evidence that a substantial number of young people under the age of 18 can look even older than 21 to other adults. We conducted a ’10 years older’ test by asking 200 passers-by on street to guess the ages of 5, 16 year olds previously selected to help us with the research.  We also conducted mini groups with teens and store staff to understand their perspective on under age alcohol purchase.


The majority of passers-by guessed the 16 year olds to be 18+years with a substantial number even guessing at above 21.  The Challenge 25 procedure has now been widely adopted across most retailers.