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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 11:23 GMT
Irn-Bru signs Russian deal
Irn-Bru screenshot
Irn-Bru is known as Scotland's "other national drink"
A deal has been struck to resume the Russian production of what is often referred to as Scotland's "other national drink".

Irn-Bru, which was created in Scotland more than 100 years ago, is the third most popular soft drink in Russia.

Now Barr Soft Drinks has reached an agreement with the Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) of Russia to expand production.

We are very excited about having Irn-Bru as part of our product portfolio

Barry Shea, PBG Russia
The drink has been on sale in Russia for four years, but the previous franchise bottler went bust late last year.

Under the new franchise PBG will manufacture, distribute and sell the product.

Bosses said the deal represented "a significant move forward" in Russia for Barr.

Production is due to start next month, initially at plants in Moscow and Samara

Robin Barr, chairman of Barr Soft Drinks, said: "We are delighted to confirm our link with PBG, which will enhance and improve the distribution of Irn-Bru throughout Russia."

Irn-Bru cans
Irn-Bru hopes to secure better distribution
A spokeswoman said the company hoped to gain a wider audience as a result of the new deal.

It is expected that linking up with a larger bottling company will enable Irn-Bru to secure better distribution.

The new deal will be followed by a national television campaign.

The drink has already proved popular with Russian consumers.

Irn-Bru is the third best selling soft drink in Moscow, being beaten only by Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Centenary celebrations

Some attribute its popularity to a resemblance to the old Soviet-era soft drinks which were once sold in the country.

Barry Shea, PBG Russia general manager, said: "We are very excited about having Irn-Bru as part of our product portfolio.

"Our sales team is anxiously awaiting the introduction of this well known brand and is totally committed to making it a huge success in Russia."

Irn-Bru - which was created in Glasgow by Andrew Greig Barr, one of three brothers from a Falkirk family - celebrated its centenary in May last year.

See also:

05 May 01 | Scotland
100 years on the Bru
29 Mar 00 | Scotland
Irn Bru firm targets England
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