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Outcry over alcohol among fruit juices

Cape Town - Shoprite customers got a shock this week as they picked fruit juice off the shelf, only to find it was alcoholic.

Photographs circulated by angry shoppers via e-mail and social networks show a sangria packaged similarly to fruit juice, positioned among non-alcoholic juices on the shelves.

Shoprite has been stocking Sangria (a wine-based drink) on its shelves right alongside ordinary fruit juices. Picture: Supplied. Credit: Supplied

The message circulated contained a warning, especially for Muslims, not to mistakenly drink an alcoholic product thinking it was fruit juice.

On Facebook, Tilal Mall posted: “Warning! Shoprite is selling Sangria brand of fruit juices containing wine. It is packed next to the normal juices. Please warn fellow Muslims.

“Please be wary of this – it is all supermarkets.”

Later, Mall commented: “Shoprite should send a countrywide apology for that! “Putting alcohol in non-alcohol shelves.”

It is unclear in how many Shoprite stores the Sangria brand has been put with the fruit juices.

The fruity flavours of cranberry and apple, kiwi and litchi, and passion fruit Sangria are nestled between Cape Harvest and Fruitree juice brands.

Turn the Sangria boxes around, though, and they clearly state they contain “a blend of fruity white wine” of 6 percent alcohol by volume.

Alcohol is supposed to be shelved in a separate, specially designated part of a supermarket.

Shoppers first began noticing the box juices containing alcohol next to plain fruit juices on Monday.

The Eastern Cape Islamic Society, called the Council of Ulamaa, confronted a store manager in Port Elizabeth about the placement of the sangria.

“He apologised and had the juices removed,” the council reported on its website.

“All stores should be contacted to point out the problem.

“Those Shoprites that stock alcohol will move the juices there (to the alcohol section), and those that do not, will remove it.”

Shoprite spokeswoman Sarita van Wyk did not respond to requests for comment.

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