It was not an entirely unexpected statement from AG Barr that they are going to focus more on ‘low sugar” and “no sugar” products in the future. The impending sugar tax, and the impact on their share price, has no doubt played a part in their announcement, however the reality is that they have been diversifying into more healthy products for some time.
The sugar free version of IRN-BRU has been available for several years and it continues to sell very well. AG Barr also owns other brands such as Rubicon who offer a wide range of fruit juices, many with low, or no, sugar options, and their Strahmore Water brand is one of the market leaders.
The truth is, finding a solution to the sugar content problem is not something new to AG Barr, or many of the other soft drinks companies. Mr Osborne’s announcement about the “Sugar Tax” has certainly focussed lots of attention on companies like AG Barr, and it has probably redoubled their efforts to change their revenue streams in favour of products that won’t be subject to the new tax when it is introduced in April 2018.
AG Barr is a true success story and this doesn’t happen by accident, they are very aware of market trends and they have responded well so far. The company is putting its faith in the strength of the brand, and in Chief Executive, Roger White’s words, “consumer-driven innovation”.
They know there is a much greater awareness of the impact of sugary drinks, and that consumers are looking for healthy alternatives, something we at Excel Vending have also acknowledged for a long time now. In fact, we reported in a recent blog that 58% of the bottled products sold in Excel’s vending machines are either sugar-free or fruit juices, so consumers are already making sensible choices.
AG Barr will respond to consumer demand, and doubtless they will continue to create great products that will hopefully allow them to enjoy the sweet taste of success for a long time to come.