Irn-Bru: Made in Scotland from girders. Plus, eight and a half teaspoons of sugar. However the recipe for Glasgow’s favourite soft drink is set to change as part of a sugar-reduction programme by AG Barr before the government levy on sugary drinks comes into effect in 2018. Fans of the drink reacted to the news with dismay, prompting an official statement on the formula change.
“We know a lot of people are concerned right now about the changes to Irn-Bru. We understand but we want to reassure you of a few things” makers AG Barr said today.
“Irn-Bru will still be made with the same secret flavour essence as it’s always been. So it’ll have its unique taste. This isn’t changing and it never will.
“Irn-Bru will still be a sugary drink. We’re reducing the sugar, not losing it all together. There will still be about 4 teaspoons of sugar in a can.
“We’ve done a shed-load of taste test on this. In these test, 9 out of 10 people said we’ve got excellent or a good taste match.
“We know we won’t convince everyone right now. But when you try it, we hope you’ll agree it still tastes amazing.”
Despite the statement, an online petition against the changes is currently approaching 30,000 signatures.
Callers to radio phone-ins have said they are stockpiling cans of Irn-Bru before the change and shops in Glasgow have reported customers emptying their fridges of Irn-Bru bottles.
The Cumbernauld-based firm announced last year that it would cut Irn Bru’s sugar content from about 10g per 100ml to just below 5g. This will reduce the calorie count per can from just under 140 to about 66.
Ryan Allen, who started the Hands Off Our Irn-Bru campaign, said: “It is a national treasure in Scotland and really is part of our culture with its unique taste, branding and marketing. “It’s also well known to alleviate the effects of a hangover and is many a person’s craving, saviour or go-to drink after a night on the tiles. Don’t do it Barr – please have a rethink on this.”
He added “The government’s ‘sugar tax’ that would apply to the sales of sugary drinks is similar to the way cigarettes and alcohol are taxed.
“I would far rather pay more for a bottle than have an altered recipe version. I believe that a responsible adult should have the choice as to what poisons they want to put in their body.”