Is nothing sacred?
Next, someone will be claiming that deep-fried Mars bars are bad for your health.
Angry Scots are protesting against plans to slash the sugar content of their beloved national soft drink Irn-Bru and folk have begun stockpiling the beverage said to be a hangover cure. As of this month, Irn-Bru will be made with 50 per cent less sugar. Currently a can of has just under 140 calories, which will reduced to 65 …
I don't think you are supposed to drink it when you are sober. It requires a balanced state of ongoing inebriation, recovery from a post-pub dinner of curried haggis and chips plus deep-fried Mars bar. Only then can you really appreciate it's potency.
For everyone else, it is made from the sweetness of Scottish wild thistles, combined with a pinch of rust from the Forth bridge and the tears of England supporters who have just endured another thrashing at Murrayfield.
@macjules. Oooooh! fighting talk. Let's see. The Six Nations is coming up.
Actually, Scotland are in great shape and I'm always torn when the Calcutta Cup kicks off. English born, some residency and education in Dumblane and Leith. PP
PS: Post WW2 England won 47 ish Scotland 16. 8 Drawn.
Never heard of it.
They used to have good TV adverts. Good enough to make you try it once. Not good enough, in my mind, to make me drink the stuff a second time (too much vanilla in it for my taste).
"Good enough to make you try it once. Not good enough, in my mind, to make me drink the stuff a second time (too much vanilla in it for my taste)."
I've had a couple of cans (while in the U.S.!), and it was okay. To me it seemed to taste like a variant of cream soda, and if I liked cream soda more I might have had more.
Come to think of it, it did seem overly sweet, so reducing the sugar content might be a good idea, although cutting it in half seems a little drastic. On the other hand, I was also sober at the time.
May I introduce you to the Soda-Pop then John? Take a half pint glass, add a measure of Tia Maria, a measure of Cointreau and a measure of Vodka. Top up with Dent Special Lemonade* and it tastes just like a cream soda. It gets you drunk from the feet up, because you feel fine until you try to stand up after the third one, but I've never yet had a hangover with it.
*It's toxic waste yellow and fizzy. Other brands of Lemonade do not work. Picture of said lemonade: https://goo.gl/images/gHcYC4
I like it and wishing a cold caffeine hit I will choose it instead of a cola. However I have not consumed a sugar laden soft drink in many years and cannot taste Aspartame so I'm a Scot who is not scunnered by this. So long as they don't touch the recipe for the diet version. Then It's taps aff and face paint on, pal.
Just be very careful not to spill it on the soft furnishings, it stains. Our lounge room carpet is orangey pink. I strongly suspect this is why.
I also applaud Barrs though I strongly suspect they are motivated more about their price point in advance of the sugar tax than any thought for the health of their consumers.
The Biological reality is that sugar is a non necessary foodstuff. Outside of insulin dependent diabetics who get things wrong and the latter stages of marathons and the like (NOT halfs or anything shorter) it has no place in our diets. Alternatives are available. Soft drink consumption is not compulsory.
> The Biological reality is that sugar is a non necessary foodstuff. Outside of insulin dependent diabetics who get things wrong and the latter stages of marathons and the like (NOT halfs or anything shorter)
That (well, mountain running & mountaineering) is exactly what I stock my Bru for. Living outside Bighty it is not exactly easy to come by so I use it as a little reward after the first three hours (and after winter training runs), and that is PRECISELY because of the sugar.
Except that now, in all their wisdom, governments are finding it fashionable to slap a tax on the sort of stuff that we endurance athletes quite legitimately use. May as well just switch to amphetamines, at least they're not taxed. :(
And about as equally legal, the way things are going.
People said the same thing about Lucozade, but they still haven't done it.
It started as a suggestion, then it was a voluntary thing, and now it's 'if you don't drop most of the sugar from your sugary drink, you'll be paying an extra tax per 100ml'.
Because according to some people*, sugar is the new tobacco.
"It'll be fun when the government eventually realise artificial sweeter is linked to dementia...."
Thankfully artificial sweetners have never been fingered as a cause in the increase of diabetes cases...oh wait...
some godawful artificial sweetener
What - like xylitol? (Oooh - it's an 'ol', it must be artificial and really, really bad for you!).
First made from boiling down birch bark when the Scandanavians couldn't get sugar during WW2.
 Well - it is bad for you if you are a dog. In humans it causes virtually no insulin-response. In canines, it produces a very large insulin response - enough to send the dog into a fatal diabetic coma. Which is why we don't use it any more..
Aspartame... that stuff tastes fucking revolting, and instantly gives me belly ache/explosive shits. Why can't they just REDUCE the amount of sugar, why do they need to add that shite to it.
I stopped drinking Lucozade for it, Aspartame should be saved for 'diet' / 'light' drinks. Oasis, Lilt, Dr Pepper, they all have aspartame in now instead of sugar, I am running out of soft drinks to purchase on the rare occasion I do actually fancy one, is nothing sacred!?
Total energy content matters, and there is evidence accumulating on the bad effects of a high-carb, low-fat, diet. There's a clear correlation, and there has been some pretty smart testing done to tease out the direction of causality. There are a lot of diet fads which go to extremes, based on slight evidence, and they go bad. The big change I have seen is the rise of "energy" drinks, and Irn-Bru might just be exotic enough to sell for some of the same reasons. A sugar cut isn't a bad thing, but whenever somebody goes for something obvious and simple, I suspect they are wrong.
I don't know why people have this idea that Irn-Bru is unknown in England. Maybe they live so far south that they get their info from the French.
"I don't know why people have this idea that Irn-Bru is unknown in England. Maybe they live so far south that they get their info from the French."
Yep, we always had access to Irn Bru right back from being a kid 50 years ago. Then again, Newcastle is further North than some parts of Scotland.
"People said the same thing about Lucozade, but they still haven't done it."
Lucozade are able to rely on the "but we're a sports drink" excuse ... that's why when fizzy drinks were banned from schools by son's school was still able to have a lucozade vending machine to help everyone "rebuiild their energy levels" after sports (though , of course, most sales would be in break and at lunchtime)
> Lucozade are able to rely on the "but we're a sports drink" excuse
And so is Irn Bru, Coke, Red Bull (beurgh!) and pretty much anything with lots of sugar and caffeine. The difference being you pay half the price at the cost of having to shake the gas off before you drink it.
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C.S. Lewis
It started as a suggestion, then it was a voluntary thing, and now it's 'if you don't drop most of the sugar from your sugary drink, you'll be paying an extra tax per 100ml'.
Typical strategy, used on smokes, alcohol* in the last twenty years. Surprised we're not on the same on salt, transfats,
* probably also on corporal punishment and seatbelts too.
We'll be touching our toes at the behest of barely sane middle-aged 'battle-axes' every morning before we know it.**
** Yes, another 1984 reference.
In most tribal cultures, what is'nt forbidden is mandatory. We're almost full circle in what isn't mandatory is taxed to buggery or outlawed.
Still, I look forward to sugar speakeasys, a vibrant gang culture, and lots of new urban myths that will keep hollywood in sort of new material for the forty years after the madness is finally put to a stop.
"Surprised we're not on the same on salt,"
We are. There are already Govt. threats in place over the salt levels in food. I find when eating out I need to add salt. Same when cooking. I need to add salt when using some pre-made ingredients when in the past I'd not have done. Tinned beans (of all types, not just baked beans) tinned tomatoes etc. all seem to have very low salt levels. Even OXO cubes seem to lack any salt nowadays.
Can't the 'traditionalists' just add a teaspoon of sugar to it when they open it? I suspect that 'Irn-Bru Classic' will be on sale in the summer.
As an eight-year-old I tried this with a bottle of diet cola fresh from the soda stream at a friend's house after school (the regular Cola syrup had run out and the diet stuff tasted even worse in the days before Aspartame (which is bad enough). His mum was not happy with the results. Nucleation was not my friend that day
<quote> Can't the 'traditionalists' just add a teaspoon of sugar to it when they open it? I suspect that 'Irn-Bru Classic' will be on sale in the summer. </quote>
We'll be importing it from Algeria like they do with Mexican Coca-cola into the US....Yes IRN-BRU is a big seller in Algeria
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I bought a bottle of buckie once, but didn't drink it straightaway and went out for the night. After coming home I discovered that a flatmate had pinched it, drunk the lot, passed out and managed to shit herself, getting it on the carpet to boot. The shite that is, not the jakie juice.
I took that as an omen and have still never tried the stuff.
Step 1: Post an article on an IT news website that has nothing to do with IT, and just appears to make jokes about Scottish people.
Step 2: Include a Braveheart-inspired picture and use the word 'Jocks' in the title.
Step 3: Wonder why Scottish people don't like you.
We don't. We're too busy hating the French.
(joke, for those that don't spot the icon)
What is this vile slur? What kind of pathetic excuse for an Englishman are you?
Of course we hate the French!
Disliking France has been a cornerstone of British foreign policy for nearly 1,000 years! We only relinquished the claim to the French throne around 1800...
Ahem: British != English
(Something else that really irks 3/4 of the nations of the UK, when the English forget that (which, annoyingly, is almost every single time))
You should look up the “Auld Alliance”, as certainly not all of us hate the French.
And right now, a Passport to Pimlico is also looking like it would be a very useful thing to have (thanks to the voting choice of what was mostly small-minded Englanders, sadly (yes, we know it wasn’t all of you)).
> Step 1: Convince yourself, repeatedly, that the English hate you.
Having lived in Glasgow* I can confirm that the people that hate the Scottish most are the Scottish. They fucking despise them. Same with south vs north Wales.
More on topic; anyone know how an English boy can get the proper stuff (in glass bottles) south of the border?
* Greatest city in the UK by the way**. Bristol is a close second.
** I pure said that in ma heed with a wee Cumbernauld accent.
Having lived in Glasgow* I can confirm that the people that hate the Scottish most are the Scottish.
I used to just think it was a Glaswegian hatred of Edinburgh dweller - and then I was going out with a Glaswegian and witnessed the Rangers-Celtic match aftermath.
Just looked it up. And Irn Bru has all the good things!
Sunset Yellow and Ponceau to make it radioactive orange. Loadsa sugar to give you energy. Caffeine to keep you awake. And quinine, should the Scottish midges ever decide to upgrade their attacks to include malaria.
Oh, and ammonium ferric citrate. Which is apparently used in water purification.
Which all suggests that Irn Bru should be prescribed on the NHS.
I’ll swear by the magic medicinal qualities of the caffeine and quinine in Irn-Bru, but when the EU recommended that they change their colourings to something less noxious (and potentially hyperactivity causing (and not in a good way)), Barr’s took a perverse delight in very loudly refusing to do so <sigh>.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that they have chosen to use aspartame, a sweetener with a dubious history (and which breaks down in warm temperatures), rather than a more modern sweetener such as stevia (a natural plant extract) or sucralose (based on sugar and intentionally designed as a sweetener, rather than the dodgy lab experiment that is aspartame).
I’m sure Barr’s are doing this more to avoid the sugar tax than out of any actual concern for the health of their customers.
"Step 3: Wonder why Scottish people don't like you."
Step 5. Hope they FO and leave the UK so that paying a few Scotistani Groats to cross the border for Duty Free gives a reason to visit the place. Or alternatively wait a few decades for AWG to make it slightly less inhospitable to visit "Greece without the sun"!
1: Fail to appreciate that there's a difference between "affectionate ribbing" and hate speech
2: Completely lose sense of humour
3: Take offence [usually on other people's behalf] at the slightest opportunity --even when none was intended
Why ? Just Why ?
Bru has one use- to give you a rush of sugar to clear hangovers, or other head-clearing activities (find a can is quite useful for additional thinking power)
So, cutting the sugar means not as much of a sugar rush- we don't exactly drink it for the taste.
Low sugar is Diet Bru or that abomination Irn-Bru Xtra.
Back in Edinburgh for Hogmanay, this Reg contributor found the new "Xtra" (link below) was stocked instead of the weakish no sugar version still supplied in England. "Extra" took me back to being a metre tall in Glasgow.
What on earth is The Donald going to bathe in now to get his healthy orange glow? :-)
Personally I actually prefer the DietBru to the full sugar variety, but then I'm a soft southern jessie and quite fat enough already thank you.
For hangovers I prefer a litre of fruit juice, 2 paracetamols and a can of cold creamed rice. Then back to bed to sleep it off.
Given Barrs history of having very good ads promoting this wonderful hangover cure I can only hope and pray to the gods of hangovers that this is just a brilliant way to get folk talking about the product and rushing out to A) Stockpile it (Have 20 cans still left from Xmas myself) or B) try it for the 1st time.
It's just Tizer.
P.S. During the independence referendum campaign, I heard a woman on the radio say she was going to vote Yes because Irn Bru™ isn’t made in England (it is).
This is the kind of thing the SNP’s stormtroopers love to kick off about, like the time they thought the lion had been removed from the Tunnock's wrapper (it was never on there in the first place)…
I had some Tizer recently, out of a sudden onset of nostalgia. It was horrible. In a completely different way to how horrible Irn Bru is. So they aren't the same drink.
In fact, I just looked it up. Obviously they're both just sugar and fizzy water, but there's a different set of flavourings in the two. And Irn Bru contains quinine. So if global warming ever heats Scotland up to the extent that it's at risk of malaria, the Irn Bru will keep them safe.
Barrs also make dandelion and burdock. Loved it as a kid, tried it recently. It covers your teeth in horrible furry stuff. Yuck. Also way too sweet.
Tizer isn't even originally a Barrs drink, it's only been Barrs since 1972. Before that it was Pickup.
Irn Bru is OK, cold from a glass bottle with a roll and square sausage or a mutton pie if consumed on a dreich day in Scotland. In any other circumstance it can resume its primary purpose as a sink and drain unblocker.
There are already 'diet' versions so why would they create another one? Push the price up to cover the sugar tax, and folks will pay the premium for the good stuff. Of course AG Barr's might make a mistake in the sugar tax premium and 'accidentally' make even more profit out of it.
But dont listen to me, I'm a bad scotsman, I've avoided processed sugar for a few years now and can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had a can of the Bru since then. Your taste buds reset after a while and I find them all pretty disgusting now, and the aspartame and other carcenogenic compound versions even worse. If you want to put yourself off ever drinking Coke/Mountain Dew/Irn Bru ever again, I can recommend watching That Sugar Film.
I've also avoided a Pizza Crunch, and never seen a deep fried Mars bar, as I dont go into chip shops in the tourist hotspots.
When the New Coke debacle happened in the US, it was because Coca-Cola forgot a fundamental truth about long-established soft drinks: people don't drink them for the taste, but because they're have cultural meaning. Changing them -- even if the change doesn't impact (or is an improvement on) taste -- will get people mad because it's perceived as a cultural loss.
Better to introduce a separate product than to change the one people cherish.
In the US, it actually depended on which part of the country you looked at. People in the South did take it as an attack on their culture, as did many older adults.
There was also a twist to the situation... The taste tests showed that people felt it was "sweeter" than the original — but the company reported that a significant chunk of the flavor backlash was focused on the drink's acidity masking the sweetness. (I certainly remember it seeming much too Pepsi-like.) Given that New Coke appeared during the time periods that bottling companies were switching over to HFCS, it's possible that the version that won taste tests used cane sugar while the final product often used HFCS.
Some 20 years ago a formal company Christmas party turned into a back to someone`s and we almost completely shook off the boring bastards,
( they will emerge with more alcohol intake and become unsociable so it is like keeping weeds at bay, but our fun lawn stayed pretty tidy)
Before the shutting times of shops became critical.we had run out of wine and had a spirits and mixers crisis on the second bit. ( I`m fime a little water with whiskies and rums and that is all) .
From this came Jack Daniels with Irrn Bru, which should not work. in small amounts they complement. I tried to demo this with a sugar free one years later and it tasted like TCP and my little cred was under scrutiny.
The sstandard southern scot drink down south was Barr`s Tizer, But I had IRN BRU in both Stepney and Romford as a kid, it was marketing by coke overwhelmed until about 198x and the fightback. We had Idris and R White`s ( good on you Elvis Costello) lemonade too but Idris Cream Soda was the no 1 drink as a kid sweet and complicated.
Tennants lager had pictures of unattanable wholesomely pretty girls to tease budding engineer geeks, like the Big D nuts card with Beverley Pilkington who I years later discovered lived up the road from me when was 18 and she was a year older ( and remainst hus).
HATRED:... NO!.... takes too much effort and destroys people so that is all they do, look at the multiple crap fuelled by this today all over. Amongst many life experiences I had the joy of visting Ruanda after the "troubles". and that informs me how quickly us and them rather than family squabbles get to inhuman act level.
The Scots and the Frrench are family to the English, have been for a few hundred of years and we get on each others nerves,
There are historical squabbles that are just there for the squabble. That isn`t hatred, more your irritating cousin winding you up about grandad`s book collection in the will.
The Scot`s and the French ganged up against in various plots.So? Family history.
The French domination of the EU civil service structure in no particular order screwed up our fire extinguisher coding, the low emissions engines suddenly had to have a cat by law rather than just fit the specs, and Volkswagen... and all that unscientific stuff was behind the brexist swell. From every engineer and infrormed others that I know..
Be kind, be tolerant but reject iffy and wrong stuff as soon as you spot it and challenge it always
The only reason it's being changed is the sugar tax. That's it. And replacing it with Aspartame. Because you know, FDA approved and all.
Of course, alcohol doesn't seem to be affected... being made of sugar... nothing to do with loss of tax revenue... only someone cynical would think such things...
In the news on the same day the CMA are blocking the Innocence/Refresco merger on the grounds that "consumer choice could be restricted".
(Ok Ive been selective in my choice of quote, but just claim it as a cast-iron protest against a flaccid Barr product).
Since alcohol is metabolized to sugar the last thing you should want for a hangover is a bunch of sugar.
Still, it seems like they could change the formula and still have Irn Bru classic or original or whatever for those who don't think it would be the same thing to just dump a couple teaspoons of sugar into the lighter version.
Nothing like a bit of a casual racism, would have expected bit better from The Register, stooping to same levels as Daily Mail.
Suppose thats why a lot of Scottish people hate the English (English based media anyway)
I suppose the English are referred to as Cu@ts by a lot of us
The Scottish are not a different race. Living on the other side of an imaginary line drawn on a map by some self-appointed "king" a thousand years or more ago does not make them a different race.
Then again... there is the red hair thing!
As an Englishman living in Scotland for the last 13 or so years, I've never really gotten used to the taste. Imagine the taste of sweaty socks mixed with burning tyres...
That's Irn Bru.
I actually think it tastes better when it's flat, rather than fizzy. It's smoother. But I think the same about cola, so it's probably just me.
My six-year old daughter bloody loves the stuff, though.
Given that she's such a fan, I'm quite happy to hear of the sugar reduction; maybe we won't need to be so stingy in rationing it!
This is a stab in the dark, and The Register isn't the place I'd expect to find an answer to this question, but I've been trying for years to find a copycat recipe for Irn Bru. Does anyone know what's in it?
There's tons of recipes for Coca Cola out there but none for Irn Bru!
Example Coca Cola recipe: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/this-american-life-reveals-coca-colas-secret-recipe-full-ingredient-list/
This is all caused by the CASSH Consensus Action on Salt, Sugar, and Health.
A bunch of po faced holier than thou types fronted by a diabetic MP who try to get anything a bit Sweet or Salty banned rather than allowing consumers to make their own choices based on the pack labelling.
Industry wide, every Processed food manufacturer is being forced to cut calorie levels to hit their arbitrary targets [100Kcal or less per snack] which will be enforced with the sugar tax when it comes in.
This of course ties into the cost of raw materials caused directly [mostly] by Brexit [Look at commodity prices of Butter & Eggs for a shock] and the ongoing shrinkflation of pack sizes.
Nearly every drink now, even my beloved Vimto has artificial sweeteners which I hate the taste of.
"...rather than allowing consumers to make their own choices..."
And getting everyone else to foot their bill as they spend all their money on the sweets and salties? Now do you see the problem? The problem with "let everyone make their own choices" is that people don't live in isolation, and their actions (for good or ill) affect everyone around them, which in turns affects everyone around them, and so on.