AG Barr is investing £6 million in IRN-BRU, the UK’s No.1 flavoured carbonate*1, with a programme of activity that will spearhead its plans to drive growth of the UK’s £251 million*2 flavoured carbonate impulse category.


The far-reaching investment, which will engage soft drinks consumers throughout the UK, will focus on two main platforms – national support for eye-catching new pack designs, which launches this month (April), and activation of IRN-BRU’s partnership with The Football League and the Scottish Professional Football League.

The new packaging reflects IRNBRU’s most iconic symbol of the last 100 years – the girder – with a modern twist. IRN-BRU’s original strongman – Adam Brown – will also feature on-pack, drawing consumers’ attention to the brand’s rich history and heritage.

“We’re backing the rollout of the new pack designs, which retain the instantly recognisable IRN-BRU orange and blue colours, with our biggest ever marketing campaign to drive shopper awareness and demand to new levels,” says Adrian Troy, AG Barr’s Head of Marketing.

“Marketing support for regular and sugar free IRN-BRU will involve a sustained outdoor advertising campaign, headline-generating PR and extensive digital support.

The programme builds on IRNBRU’s position as the biggest flavoured carbonate advertiser in 2015, accounting for 35% of total advertising spend within the category*3.

AG Barr will also be investing heavily in its Football League partnership at grass roots level, with football fans having already voted IRN-BRU the No.1 brand partner associated with The Football League*4 during its first year.

“Our three year game plan is for IRN-BRU to become footfall fans’ favourite soft drink and we’re going to do this by bringing the brand’s unique personality to the game and its fans,” adds Troy.

“In addition to activity with this year’s Football League play offs during May, including ticket competitions, extensive sampling and limited edition football packs, we’ll be generating national awareness over the next two years through high profile brand support within walking distance of thousands of independent retailers, connecting with football fans who shop at their ‘local’ stores week in, week out.”

IRN-BRU has already established a strong foothold in England, with a 56% increase in shopper spend on the brand in England and Wales*5, £20 million retail sales growth in the last 5 years*6 and 8 million views of the brand’s ‘Grip’ digital advert in 2015.*7

Soft drinks remains one of the most profitable categories for the independent retail trade, with flavoured carbonates accounting for one in five of drink now sales*8, highlighting the role that IRN-BRU can play in-store.

AG Barr is also advising retailers about the importance of offering shoppers sugar free IRN-BRU, the UK’s No.1 low calorie flavoured carbonate*9, as 38% of carbonates sold in 2015 were low or zero sugar*10 and low calorie drinkers consume 33% more than people who drink regular soft drinks.*2

*1: IRI Marketplace, Vol Sales, OFC’s, MAT to 31.01.16, GB Convenience

*2: IRI Marketplace, Value Sales, MAT to 31.01.16, GB Convenience

*3: AC Nielsen , MAT to 31.12.15

*4: Football League Sportscope Brand Tracking, October 2015

*5: TNS Omnibus Survey Feb 2015

*6: Estimated Retail Sales based on AG Barr Sales Data

*7: IMQ Ad Tracking 2015

*8: IRI Marketplace, Value Sales, OFC’s, MAT to 31.01.16, GB Convenience Drink Now

*9: IRI Marketplace, Value Sales, Low Calorie OFC’s, MAT to 31.01.16, GB Convenience

*10: IRI Marketplace, Ltr Sales, Total Carbonates, MAT to 31.01.16, Total Coverage

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