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Bon Accord drinks are back with a new range and a modern makeover

Once one of Scotland's most famous brands, Bon Accord soft drinks is set to make a comeback with a brand new image and a range of drinks created for the modern market.

Published: July 25, 2016
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Once a dominant brand on the Scottish soft drink scene, Bon Accord was a household name and loved by many.

First set up in 1909 by the Robb family, the business, which was based in Arbroath, manufactured a range of soft drinks including Bon Accord Cola, Lemonade, American Cream Soda, Tropical and many more flavours and were known for their iconic orange lorries which delivered their drinks to homes across Scotland.

Now, four generations on, the company has been revived by the great-great granddaughter of the original founders, Karen Knowles, and business partner Nathan Burrough, who have re-imagined the brand for modern day consumers.

Gone are the neon colours and sugar in favour of natural sweeteners and real fruit juices aimed at the more health-conscious consumer.

The soft drinks company hopes to be among a new wave of Scottish soft drinks, designed to chime with contemporary food and drink trends.

Realising consumer habits have changed in recent years, Karen was determined to create new Bon Accord recipes which were a clear departure from the Bon Accord of yesteryear.

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The company has relaunched with a brand new range of soft drinks, developed and tested with the help of the University of Abertay’s Food Innovation department.

The range includes three new drinks - a cloudy lemonade, Scotland's first sparkling rhubarb (both sweetened with natural ingredients, containing no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners) and a Scottish tonic water.

Bon Accord Juice 1

The new range includes sparkling rhubarb, tonic water and a cloudy lemonade. Picture: Bon Accord

Bon Accord Director, Karen Knowles said she inspired to create the new drinks range by the lack of decent healthy alternatives to the current crop of sugar filled soft drinks, she said: “When I was pregnant and out with family and friends, I was struck by how uninspiring soft drinks were and how much sugar was in them.

"It felt like there was a real lack of choice for adults. Noticing this gap in the market was the inspiration behind bringing back Bon Accord.

"Having worked in the food industry for the last 10 years, I began to realise that I had the skills to revive the brand with new high quality recipes aimed at adults. We have produced a range of drinks which can be enjoyed on their own or as mixers to your favourite tipple."

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Fellow director Nathan added that taking into consideration the upcoming Sugar Tax legislation, the partners felt it was important for Bon Accord to create a range of soft drinks which were more in-tune with consumer habits and trends, he said: “People are more clued-up on what they drink and it was our priority to make soft drinks to savour, drinks which are made with natural ingredients and are lower in sugar.

"The new tax pushes producers to think about the ingredients they use and we are already ahead of the game. This is a really exciting time to be a part of the food and drink industry in Scotland. Bon Accord is back and better than ever.”

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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