Modern Marketing

AG Barr reveals Irn-Bru Xtra as part of its new marketing strategy following sugar tax

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

July 24, 2016 | 4 min read

Irn-Bru will launch its first new core product in 35 years after announcing its new drink Irn-Bru XTRA.

The AG Barr-owned brand has revealed the new soft drink which it says will launch next month and has described it as being “full of extra taste” but with “no sugar”.

After more than a year in production Barrs are making sure they capture the attention of loyal Irn-Bru consumers, promising that its latest product has been created using the distinctive Irn-Bru recipe but is “excitingly new and refreshing”.

Irn-Bru Xtra

Irn-Bru Xtra

The introduction of the new "no sugar" drink comes in response to the upcoming levy on high-sugar soft drinks from April 2018 which has already impacted on fizzy drinks companies, including AG Barr, and forced them to change their marketing strategies.

Following confirmation of the sugar tax, AG Barr's chief executive, Roger White, announced that the company would shift it marketing efforts to focus on "substantially" reducing the portfolio’s sugar content and would look to expand its range of products with "lower" and "no sugar" drinks.

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Discussing the launch of Irn-Bru XTRA, AG Barr's head of marketing, Adrian Troy, said: ": “It’s clear that the market is changing and consumers want more choice. We’ve listened to this and have worked incredibly hard to not only develop Irn-Bru XTRA, but to make it available to buy this summer.”

“As a brand, strength and resilience is at the heart of everything we do and Irn-Bru XTRA is a total knockout. With the Irn-Bru secret recipe at its core, it delivers extra taste and no sugar. We’re confident it will be just the tonic for those that are keen to try something new and enjoy the bold Irn-Bru taste they love, without any sugar.”

AG Barr's latest addition to its prized Irn-Bru range is part of a wider shift in the soft drinks industry following the sugar tax announcement which has saw many companies develop less sugary alternatives to their core products. George Osborne's announcement of the impending sugar tax hit many soft drinks makers hard, including AG Barr which saw its share price hit hard immediately following the confirmation that the levy would go ahead.

As part of its efforts to further strengthen the brand in the lead up to the new taxation AG Barr redesigned its cans for only the eighth time in its 115 year history. The new look packaging of its most successful product celebrates the brand's rich history with a vintage design that brought back its original strongman, Adam Brown.

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