Fans of Scotland’s national drink Irn-Bru are ‘panic-buying’ cans of the 117-year-old soft drink amid plans to change its recipe.The new Irn-Bru will see the drink’s sugar content cut by more than 50 percent, its makers confirmed.
AG Barr have said they will be tweaking Irn-Bru’s recipe to dodge the UK government’s tax levy on sugar, to be introduced during 2018. It prompted devoted Scots to stock up on the drink, with some reportedly buying up to 250 cans, amid concerns its unique taste will be lost forever.
Currently doing a bulk Amazon order for Irn Bru. Need a least one can for every hangover for the next 20 years, better get a loan…. https://t.co/pq57fo1qIx
— Kyle Thornton (@kyleakthornton) January 4, 2018
I hear the rumble of 1000 angry scotsmen rushing to panic buy cases of Irn Bru.
— MemphisR56 (@Ratchphis) January 4, 2018
The UK government tax on sugary products will apply to every drink containing more than 5g per 100ml of sugar. Irn-Bru will therefore have its sugar content cut from 10.3g per 100ml to just 4.7g.
A petition opposing the change to the recipe has garnered almost 7,000 signatures.
The man behind the ‘Hands off our Irn-Bru’ petition, Ryan Allan, from Ayr, told the BBC’s Kaye Adams program: “I’ve got 24 glass bottles in my loft that will do me for emergencies.”
“I know sugar has its concerns but so do sweeteners and people are not as aware of that as they should be.
“I know the stuff is about to hit the shelves now and I’m going to ask people to try it out of curiosity but if you don’t like it don’t buy it, vote with your pound.”
On his Change.org petition, he said: “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,” he added.
People have flocked to social media to express their frustration at the recipe change.
One user expressed his bafflement:
Others took it as an opportunity to have a go at the Tory government.
I actually can’t deal with the irn bru recipe changing, only 4 days into 2018 and the Tory government have managed to ruin the New Year. Fuck them and their sugar tax
— katie x (@katiexchanteIIe) January 4, 2018
Another highlighted the toxicity of the aspartame sweetener, understood to be in the new recipe.
I see none of the media are going strong on aspartame in Irn Bru Recipe. Please do, it’s a horrid chemical
— Chic Gibson (@chicgibson) January 4, 2018
One user even called for a new prime minister, who would recognize the drink as a “national landmark.”
If Ed Miliband were Prime Minister, there'd be no Brexit, a decent NHS, and the Irn Bru recipe would be recognised as a national landmark.
— The Miliverse (@TheMiliverse) January 4, 2018
A spokesperson from A.G. Barr defended the change, saying that nine out of ten people who had tried the new recipe could not tell the difference from the authentic Irn-Bru.
“The vast majority of our drinkers want less sugar in their Irn-Bru so that’s what we’re now offering.
“We know that our loyal drinkers love Irn-Bru for its unique great taste and we’ve worked hard to deliver this,” they said.