AG Barr to launch Irn-Bru energy drink, report

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Energy drinks Caffeine

Scottish soft drinks maker AG Barr is rumoured to be preparing a
new Irn-Bru energy drink aimed at women as part of a series of new
product developments.

Barr may use the new Irn-Bru drink to take on the dominance of Red Bull in Britain's rapidly growing energy drinks sector, according to a report in The Scotsman​ newspaper.

A spokesperson for Barr told​ she could not confirm or deny the report, but said the group was developing lots of new products in a number of different areas. It was a case of "watch this space"​, she said.

Barr's iconic Irn-Bru drink already makes up more than a fifth of Scotland's fizzy drinks market, according to AC Nielsen​.

Yet, Roger White, Barr's chief executive, said in the group's annual report last year that rising consumer trends for health and well-being had made Barr "acutely aware of the need to broaden our portfolio further to ensure future growth"​.

He said one of the firm's big targets was to break further into the energy and sports drink markets.

All soft drink producers are busy re-aligning their portfolios in the UK, as well as in the US and Western Europe generally, as demand for sugar-laden fizzy drinks continues to fall.

Energy drinks have emerged as a promising sector, now accounting for £1 in every £5 spent on soft drinks in the UK, according to market research group Mintel​.

Market value has grown 71 per cent in the last five years, aided by Britain having longer working hours than any other EU nation and the fact that energy drinks have become trendy among the country's young, fashion-conscious consumers.

Red Bull remains the archetypal energy drink, but rival companies are formulating products, using an array of other energy boosting ingredients such as green tea, yerba maté and ginkgo biloba as well as revitalising ingredients such as vitamin C, schizandra, açaí, ginger and cranberry extracts.

Competition in the market is, however, becoming pretty fierce as both big and small companies battle for ground.

Sophie Carkeek, senior analyst at specialist drinks consultancy Zenith International​, said: "Their [energy drinks] sustained growth is testament to the segment's staying power. Red Bull is the undisputed global market leader, but a broadening of product types and proliferation of brands means that its share is gradually being eroded."

Related topics R&D Energy & Sports

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