If it Isn't Broke Don't Fix It : What Happened To The Irn Bru ? (By Anthony) Featuring Ben E Blanco
There's an old classic saying that rings true, if it isn't broke don't fix it.
Now if you're from the UK , more so Scotland, You've had a taste of Scotland's national soft drink. If you're not from the UK, you probably have heard of, or have a friend's family that drinks it, or seen and been curious, or wonder what the hell's going on with this.
Coming from a Glaswegian Scottish background, living back-and-forth, one thing that's ingrained in our taste buds, and in every single household's fridge is a bottle of Irn Bru.
When growing up in Glasgow as a young boy, you even recognized by the region or the family, they would have their own name for it, either , bottle of Bru ,or skoosh.
Now in Canada and the U.S, they call all soft drinks pop, we call them all Ginger, but Irn Bru is such a thing that some people just call it Ginger, as there is no other to them .
It's great as a kid growing up , we even make ice cream floats with it , adults take it with vodka , witch is a very popular libation, and of course apart for being Scotland's # 1 selling soft drink, its also Scotland's #1 selling hangover drink.
The very distinct taste and smell whenever I come across one here , completely transports me back to Glasgow , with so many great memories attached .
But yesterday not the case .
Haven't been home to the UK in over 3 - 4 years now ,
My Ma had brought down some cans when visiting last.
Today I opened that can of Glasgow Juju, convinced I was getting the Juju, but it tasted completely different , why ? Well upon investigation , it turns out I still have my Glaswegian taste buds, because they changed the bloody recipe ?
Apparently this happened 4 years ago, and the country went into such an uproar they had to re-release the old version , which now sells at a marked up premium , and now the new Irrn Bru is rubbish .
I mean how do you end up with a country that consistently beats sales of coca cola and go fiucking with it , one would like to think the entire marketing team at that table got the sack .
I mean , why in the heck , or how could you muck that up?
So let's take a look at it according to taste of Scotland, Sun
As famous as Scotch Whisky, Edinburgh Castlem or Haggis – even Coca-Cola
Like the Austrian origins of the croissant or the Portuguese home of Vindaloo, the birthplace of Irn-Bru may come as a surprise to some.
Yet it’s this fact that makes the story of Irn-Bru all the more remarkable. Edging out giants like Coca Cola in Scotland as well as establishing itself as “national drink” and emblem of national Scottish pride, Irn-Bru’s success is one of the most impressive marketing feats a soft drinks company has ever pulled off.
The secret recipe
Naturally, the “medical tonic” Iron Brew drink first produced in America over a century ago bears little relation to the concoction that sits on today’s supermarket shelves.
The drink was originally thought to have been a dark color with a vanilla taste, closer to cola than today’s distinctive sweet-but-metallic flavor. It wasn’t long before other companies followed suit with similar “Iron Brew” drinks.
It was Barr’s, however, that hit upon the magic 32-flavour recipe in 1901, a secret so preciously guarded that a mere three people currently know the complete ingredients list: Irn-Bru’s former chairman Robin Barr, his daughter Julie Barr and a director.
It’s even rumoured that the recipe is locked deep inside a Switzerland vault to keep it from the prying eyes of competitors.
The origin of IRN-BRU start back in 1901. Steel workers working on the re-building of Glasgow’s Central Station were known to drink too much beer when quenching their thirst. In response, a local soft drinks manufacturer named A.G.Barr decided to produce a tonic-like drink containing caffeine and sugar that could help get the workers through their daily graft. The drink was a hit, Iron Brew was born and its long history of helping Scots through tough situations began.
IN 1946, the UK soft drinks industry proposed amendments to Food labelling regulations. This meant it would be illegal to use a name which was not considered literally true. It would have banned Iron Brew since, although it did contain iron, it was never brewed. Quick thinking on the part of A.G.Bar renamed their popular drink ‘IRN-BRU’ and it became an instantly recognizable name.
If it Aint Broke Dont Fix It : What happened to, The Iron Bru
Scots Twitter users react in anger to plans to change Irn-Bru recipe (Original press release from 2018)
AG Barr said the sugar content of Irn-Bru would be cut by around 50 per cent “later this month”, prompting devotees of the drink to begin stockpiling cans in case the taste changes.
“The vast majority of our drinkers want less sugar in their Irn-Bru so that’s what we’re now offering” - AG Barr, makers of Irn-Bru
The drink makers announced plans to drastically cut the sugar content of Irn-Bru in October, allowing it to avoid the UK Government’s new sugar tax which is due to come into force in April
Instead of using high amounts of sugar, the drink will shortly be blended with a mix of low-calorie sweeteners including aspartame, already used in thousands of other products.
The move means that Irn-Bru’s sugar content will fall from 10.3g per 100ml to just 4.7g, making it officially under the 5g level at which the new sugar tax takes effect.
Despite the change, there will still be four teaspoons of sugar in a regular 330ml can of the drink, although this is significantly less than the 8.5 teaspoons found in the old version.
AG Barr said bottles and cans featuring both the old and new recipes may appear on shelves together “for a time”, urging fans of the drink to remember to check the label.
Irn Bru, which was first launched in 1901, has long been Scotland’s most popular soft drink, outselling global brands including Coca-Cola. It is sometimes described as “Scotland’s other national drink” after whisky.
Scotland's Larder: Peter Dignan of Lost Loch Spirit
As a result, the decision to change the recipe has proved controversial, with more than 6,700 people signing an online petition entitled: “Hands Off Our Irn-Bru”.
However, it was on Twitter where the most obvious reaction to the news could be seen as Scots took to the social media platform in droves to complain.
BRU-TIFUL Irn Bru is bringing back its original recipe for good – but the lower sugar version is staying too
IRN Bru fans can now knock back the original recipe orange drink all year round.
The limited edition 1901 Irn Bru drink which contains sugar instead of sweetener is now available from shops permanently.
The makers of the fizzy drink AG Barr, first added the "old and unimproved" 1901 drink to its line-up in 2019.
The move followed a change to the Irn Bru recipe in 2018 which saw the sugar content cut by half.
Fans of the Scottish drink were left outraged by the changes, leading to petitions and stockpiling of the full-sugar version of the fizzy drink.
Regular Irn Bu is now made with sweetener and contains 4.7g of it compared to 10.3g of sugar before the recipe change.
Fizzy drinks makers were hit by a new tax on sugar designed to tackle obesity.
The Irn Bru 1901 drink comes in 750ml glass bottles and contains 11g of sugar, no caffeine and Irn Bru's secret flavoring.
Irn Bru 1901 also contains quillaia, an ingredient that gives the drink a frothy head.
The recipe is based on the authentic recipe for the drink.
Irn Bru is often described as Scotland's other national drink - after whisky - which was first produced in Falkirk in 1901.
The carbonated drink was first called Iron Brew, but in 1946 a law change meant brew had to be removed from the name as the drink is not brewed.
When launched in 2019 as a limited edition it was only on sale in Scotland and was priced at £2.
This time the fizzy drink will be available across the UK and is expected to be the same price, though this will depend on the retailer.
Regular Irn Bru contains 20 calories per 100ml and Irn Bru 1901 contains 43 calories per 100ml.
There is also a sugar-free version and Irn Bru Xtra, which also has no sugar, containing just 1 calorie per 100ml.
Irn Bru fans welcomed the permanent addition
"I can't wait!!" said one commenter on Instagram, while another simply declared "yaaaaaaaaaaaas!"
But some are sill calling for the return of the "original recipe".
One social media user said: "Prefer the Irn Bru prior to the sugar tax. This 1901 recipe is way too frothy and just not as nice. Bring back the original... original!"
Another tweeted "Just bring back the proper stuff".
Speaking as your humble writer , I will never understand why any company in their right mind would go out of there way to mess up a good thing
IRN - BOO
But there is one thing where change is certainly a good thing
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