IRN-BRU manufacturer AG Barr would consider entering the liquor market, just weeks after Coca-Cola outlined plans to add alcohol to a product in Japan.

Roger White, chief executive of the company, said that it was not something he would have considered three years ago, but it was now “something for us to think about”.

HeraldScotland:

His comments come after Coca Cola revealed that it was entring the growing Chu-Hi market in Japan.

Chu-Hi drinks come in a can and are made by mixing a distilled drink called shochu with sparkling water and flavourings. They contain between three and eight per cent alcohol, around the same as beer.

READ MORE: New reduced-sugar Irn Bru: Makers say most fans won't notice the difference

AG Barr established closer ties to the alcoholic drinks market in 2015 when it paid £21 million for Funkin, a company which makes fruit-based mixers to which spirits such as rum or vodka can be added.

HeraldScotland:

The company is ramping up investment in Funkin this year and plans to launch the drink in draught format in cocktail bars.

When asked if AG Barr was considering launching a product which contained alcohol, Mr White said: “If you’d asked me three years ago I would have said it’s not something we would think about but now that we’re entering into being a more regulated environment, it’s something for us to think about.”


On April 6 a tax on sugary drinks comes into force, which led AG Barr to controversially change the recipe of Irn-Bru, reducing the amount of sugar from eight teaspoons per can to four.

READ MORE: New reduced-sugar Irn Bru: Makers say most fans won't notice the difference

While the change faced opposition from some fans, Mr White said it had been well received by consumers.And he added: “Definitely with Funkin [a version with alcohol] is something to think about,” he said. “Whether it’s for the core drinks business, we’ll keep thinking about that for a little bit longer.”