A row has broken out over plans to change the secret recipe behind Scotland’s other national drink.
Manufacturers AG Barr announced that from January this year, they intend to cut 50% of sugar from Irn Bru in favour of artificial sweetener aspartame.
An online petition has been set up by Ryan Allan, urging the company not to make the change, and has so far attracted over 7200 signatures.
Ryan Allen, from Ayr, who started the petition, said: ‘I understand that soft drink manufacturers are coming under mounting pressure from government to lower the sugar content of their drinks and that they intend on introducing a “sugar tax” that would apply to the sales of sugary drinks similair to the way cigarettes and alcohol are taxed.
‘I would far rather pay more for a bottle than have an altered recipe version.
‘Although we are being made more aware of the health effects of too much sugar in our diet it also has to be said that aspartame has often been the subject of studies and intense debate and is believed, by some researchers and activists, to have links to a multitude of ailments including cancer,seizures,headaches,depression, ADHD,weight gain and birth defects.
‘I believe that a responsible adult should have the choice as to what poisons they want to put in their body and i think that Irn Bru should continue to sell its original full sugar recipe even if that is at a price increase, or risk sales plummeting like they have with lucozade since they cut sugar.
‘Irn Bru is such a distinct flavour no other brand who try imitate it get it right, and if Barrs follow suit of the likes of Lucozade, Dr Pepper, Sprite, etc, I think its iconic flavour will be affected.
‘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. I think to deny people in that condition their crutch would be a crime.’
Andrew Johnston, from Dalry, has backed Ryan, and said: ‘If they do swap it for aspartame, I will not drink it ever again as aspartame and other sweeteners give me the sh*ts.’
A spokesperson from AG Barr said: ‘From January 2018 Irn Bru will continue to be made using the same secret Irn Bru flavour essence, but with less sugar.
‘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.
‘We ran lots of taste tests that showed most people can’t tell the difference – nine out of 10 regular Irn Bru drinkers told us we had a good or excellent taste match.
‘Most shoppers can expect to buy Irn Bru with reduced sugar from later this month. Give it a try when it comes out.’
To sign the petition, click HERE.