AN American family who fell in love with Irn Bru during a holiday to Scotland wrote to AG Barr asking if they planned to change the US recipe.
Katharine Bono and her sons love the drink so much they have been importing bottles of pre-sugar tax Irn Bru online from Amazon.
But the family from Pennsylvania are not fans of the new UK recipe Irn Bru introduced to beat the tax, which comes into force today (fri).
Katharine, 48, says she cried when she learned about the change and took a month to break the news to her eldest boy.
The family have resorted to the next best thing – the US version of Irn Bru which contains plenty of sugar but tastes slightly different because of American laws on flavouring and colouring.
Katharine, a biotech scientist from Bryn Mawr, is qualified to state that ferric citrate is the main missing ingredient in the US version.
The family is now worried AG Barr will also reduce the amount of sugar in the US recipe.
She emailed the Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire-based firm on January 9 this year: “Hi – I was curious if the Irn Bru sold in the US will also be changing their recipe (which I’ve noticed is already different from the UK version) to reduce sugar?”
AG Barr replied to Katharine with bad news: “It is our intention that Irn Bru will be as consistent as possible across the world, subject to local requirements.
“Irn Bru for the US hasn’t changed for the moment but our intention is that it will change in the future.”
Katharine said today: “The US version is apparently missing the “girders” because it doesn’t have the ferric citrate.
“I would say is almost as good, but not quite.
“I currently have a small stash of the original Scottish recipe from Amazon.
“I keep wondering what the street value would be in Glasgow.”
Katharine said her eldest son, Dominic, 15, “absolutely loves Irn Bru and I would say obsesses as much as any Scot does about the drink”.
“I actually cried when I heard the news about Irn Bru,” she said. “I’m not much of a soda drinker but do like the flavor and that it’s unique.
“I was mostly sad for my son Dominic. It took me at least a month to tell him the news.
“I bought him some Scottish Irn Bru from Amazon for Christmas, it was one of the few things he asked for.
“The first time we had it was in April of last year, when I took my kids to Scotland. I had heard of it beforehand, but didn’t try it because as an adult, I had whisky to drink in Scotland.”
Today (6 Apr) marks the day that the UK sugar tax will begin to affect store prices of drinks that contain more than 5g of sugar per 100ml.
With this in mind, Irn Bru changed their recipe in January, in time to avoid a hike in prices for their customers.
The company were met with a backlash from fans who claimed the new recipe was nowhere near as good.
A petition called “Hands off our Irn Bru” calling for the company to stick to the original recipe has now received over 50,000 signatures.
A spokesman from A.G. Barr said: “It is our intention that IRN-BRU will be as consistent as possible across the world, subject to local requirements.