Original recipe Irn-Bru on sale for surprising price

A corner shop selling original recipe Irn Bru for £5.99 says the coveted drink is 'like stocks and shares' - with the price going up by a quid when supply is low.

Published 8th May 2019
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Newsxtra Newsagents in Glasgow city centre cut its prices two days ago when they found a new supplier of Scotland's other national drink - and is now selling cans of original recipe Irn-Bru for £5.99 each.

The price had been inflated to £6.99 previously as stock diminished, but corner shop bosses do not want customers to feel they are being fleeced. And when they ran out for three days, nearly 40 people came in asking for the hard to come by drink.

Shop manager Ali Baig, 32, said: "Now it's £5.99, but while stocks were low we were selling it for £6.99. The price is dictated by supply and demand. When stock was low, we put the price up.

"Then we came across a new source, and we were able to put the price up. It is not just about cash, it's about availability.

"This morning someone came in and bought five cans, at £5.99 each. We've had suppliers phoning us up, sometimes they ask ridiculous prices. We want to charge a fair price, we don't want people to think we are profiteering.

"As soon as we get another supplier we are able to put the price down - two days ago it was £6.99. It's the way that stocks and shares go, anything is dictated by supply and demand."

original recipe Irn-Bru

Picture: SWNS

Staff at the shop have to exercise caution when they approach a new supplier, and do a random taste test to ensure the drink is legit. And as the corner shop opens for 24 hours, workers are used to drunk people stocking up in the early hours of the morning in preparation for their hangovers.

Mr Ali, who does not drink or sell booze in the shop, believes the cans are as expensive as small bottles of whisky. He said: "I can taste the difference, 100 percent - I've been brought up with Irn Bru. It is instant. You notice the difference straight away. We ran out for about three or four days, and we had no Irn Bru in the shop but people kept coming in and asking for it.

"Our boss kept trying to source it, that's why the price was £6.99. We have to do taste tests, we look at the packaging and we make sure people are not being ripped off. We taste test a can randomly, we need to make sure we are selling our customers original recipe Irn Bru.

"I wouldn't say it's a blackmarket as such. People are selling it on eBay for £8. One Saturday morning I sold more original Irn Bru cans than any other drink, between 8.30am and 10am, and everyone had at least two cans. We are looking at what people are wanting, which is Irn Bru.

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"Irn Bru is part of Scottish heritage - CocaCola can send all the PR gurus they want, and all the strategists, but Irn Bru is part of Scottish culture. It was the old recipe that won over our hearts as children. It is part of the national identity and it is really important to people to buy the old recipe.

"We don't sell alcohol in the shop, but I would say it's as expensive as whisky. We've got a lot of elderly people who come in and buy the old Irn Bru.

"People might think it's a quick cash in, but it's trying to provide customers with what they want."

A spare crate will be auctioned off for charity this month.

Words: Sarah Ward

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