Barr shares rise as it cuts sugar in Irn Bru

Shares of Cumbernauld-based Irn-Bru maker A.G. Barr rose after it said it has made a “further commitment to reduce sugar across its soft drinks portfolio” in advance of a UK government levy on sugary drinks.

Barr shares rose almost 3% to around 531p, giving the firm a stock market value of roughly £620 million.

“A.G. Barr today confirms 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,” said the company.

“This successful reformulation programme now includes the iconic Irn-Bru brand, which will see its sugar content reduced in line with changing consumer tastes and preferences.”

The UK government plans to introduce a levy on sugary drinks next year.

A.G. Barr CEO Roger White said: “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 …

“We will continue to respond to our consumers and adapt to their changing preferences, offering great tasting products that are right for this generation of consumers and the next.”