AG Barr to remove two colourings in Irn-Bru

AG Barr to remove two colourings in Irn-Bru

Soft drinks group AG Barr has bowed to pressure from regulatory authorities and agreed to remove two colourings from its flagship Irn-Bru drink.

AG Barr confirmed the move to just-drinks yesterday (27 January) and insisted that the decision will have “absolutely no affect” on the taste of Irn-Bru.

The colourings - sunset yellow and ponceau 4R - were two of six linked to hyperactivity in children in a study commissioned by the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Government ministers and the FSA called for a voluntary ban on the use of the colourings in 2008.

AG Barr initially said it had no immediate plans to sign up to the FSA’s voluntary ban. But, this week it said that it is “fully committed” to replacing the two colourings.

“We have been working hard to achieve this for the past 18 months,” a spokesperson for the firm told just-drinks.

“We have made excellent progress across the portfolio, although a programme such as this understandably has different implications for different products and some are taking longer than others.”

The firm did not give a date for when the colourings will be replaced.

“With Irn-Bru the programme is going well, however it is taking longer because it is a unique product and a unique colour, and we’ll only complete the process when we’re 100% satisfied that the outcome is right for our consumers," said the spokesperson.

The firm added that the implications of the FSA guidance had been an “ongoing consideration” for the business.

AG Barr said today that it expects profits to beat market expectations for 2009, following a 20% rise in sales.