A.G. BARR Announces Further Commitment To Reduce Sugar Content In Its Products

A.G. BARR has announced a further commitment to reduce sugar content across its product portfolio, ahead of the government’s crackdown on the soft drinks industry.

The company, which owns brands such as IRN-BRU, Rubicon and Strathmore, said that by accelerating its long-standing sugar reduction programme, over 90% of its company-owned soft drinks portfolio by volume will contain less than 5g of total sugar per 100ml by the autumn of this year.

The reformulation programme now includes its IRN-BRU brand, which the group said will see its sugar content “reduced in line with changing consumer tastes and preferences.”

Roger White, Chief Executive at A.G. BARR, commented: “Evidence shows that consumers want to reduce their sugar intake while still enjoying great tasting drinks.  We’ve responded by significantly reducing sugar across our portfolio in recent years, through reformulation and innovation.

“Today’s announcement builds on this progress and we are now expanding our successful sugar reduction plans to include our iconic IRN-BRU brand.   We’ve worked hard to deliver IRN-BRU’s unique great taste, using more of the secret IRN-BRU flavour essence, but with less sugar.”

The UK government plans to introduce a levy on sugary drinks in April 2018 as part of measures aimed at tackling the nation’s obesity problem. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) will have two bands – one for soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and a higher one for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml.

NAM Implications:
  • Apart from the benefits of reduced sugar intake, a key issue for soft drinks suppliers has to be consumers’ heightened awareness of sugar content arising from the new legislation, possibly resulting in rejection of the product?
  • …or at least increased opportunities for completely sugar-free drinks?