Soft drinks are far from fizzling out – just look at Irn Bru

Business

Soft drinks are far from fizzling out – just look at Irn Bru

The soft drinks sector is a sustainable business, considering its target market

Chris Gilmour

Not all readers of this column will be familiar with Scotland’s other national drink, Barr’s Irn Bru. However, some of the factors influencing the recent trading update from AG Barr will resonate with South African soft drinks manufacturers and their customers.

This iconic Scottish brand, which has many copycats, is orange in colour, perhaps a reflection of the apparent iron content in its secret recipe. And woe betide anyone who spills it on the carpet; it is almost impossible to remove the resulting stain.

The soft drinks sector is a good sustainable business, considering its target market is the young and the young at heart. It succeeds even in the miserable UK climate in which AG Barr operates. Of course in hot and sunny regions such as SA and Mexico, there are even better intrinsics. But the fact that AG Barr has been around for more than 140 years bears testimony to its resilience – and of course the Scots’ liking for all things sweet...

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