Soft Drink Reviews Irn Bru

The Barr family have been producing soft drinks in Scotland for well over 100 years. Robert Fulton Barr set up a factory in the Parkhead area of Glasgow in 1887 where, with the help of his brothers, he began manufacturing a range of drinks, culminating in the creation of Iron Brew in 1901.

At the time of WWII, it was deemed by the Government of the day that Iron-Brew was not actually a “standard drink”. Therefore, it was decided to remove it from the shelves and it remained unavailable for the duration of the war.
After the war, all those previously unavailable products began to fill the shelves of the shops, but the Government brought in new regulations regarding food labeling. Because Iron-Brew was not actually brewed, or made of iron, it had to change its name.

So in 1946 Barr’s Irn-Bru was born. It has since grown steadily in popularity and is now a staple part of the Scottish national diet – something uniquely Scottish to wash down those other Caledonian delicacies, haggis suppers and deep-fried Mars Bars. Irn Bru is, in fact, the biggest-selling grocery product in Scotland.

With a combination of acquiring many other soft drink manufacturers and clever advertising, A.G.Barr plc. is now among the top soft drinks producers in Europe.

IRN BRU has long been used as a hangover cure and now Scotland’s ‘other national drink’ has been added to our original ‘national drink’, to form Irn-Bru Whisky. This means that you can get drunk while curing the impending hangover.


Coca-Cola is claimed to be the world’s favorite soft-drink, but it plays second fiddle in these parts. Scotland is in the unique position of being the only country in the world that coca-cola is NOT the top selling soft drink. IRN BRU is.
It’s even available with your burger at the local McDonald’s.

What’s it like?

IRN-BRU is certainly different. The orange colour might remind you of orange soda, but it’s not. It also has a sort of deep, rusty colour that reminds you of scrap metal! 

The initial aroma is clean and cool, and smells a little like tangerines. It’s definitely sugary (not surprising, really), and it has a nippy, tanginess.

Checking the label in the vain hope of deducting more information about the ingredients is a waste of time – all it says is, “a sparkling flavoured soft drink”.

Fine….but what does it taste like?

There’s an initial smack of fruit flavour, but what sort of fruit is anyone’s guess. You’re inclined towards oranges, or something similar, but I think that has as much to do with the colouring as the flavour. There could be hints of tangerines, maybe some iced-tea and perhaps even bubble-gum…or perhaps not!

It’s refreshing, zesty and very, very thirst-quenching.

IRN-BRU contains: Water, Sugar, Carbon Dioxide, Citric Acid, Flavourings, Preservative (E211), Caffeine, Colours (E110, E124), (IRN BRU does actually contain iron – it has an ammonium ferric citrate content of 0.002%).

The drink’s secret recipe, a blend of 32 syrups and other flavours, is known only to two members of the board of Barrs, and is one of the most closely guarded secrets in Scotland!

Soft Drinks containing Artificial Sweeteners really Healthier Soft Drinks

It is a widely known fact that sugar in soft drinks has been in question for some time now. Research has shown sugar to be a leading cause of obesity and this caused an epidemic for those soda drinkers out there. As Americans, we are in a constant search to find the easiest method for losing weight. Thus the artificial sweetener evolved. Soon it was discovered that it did not have the greatest side effects so it researched and reinvented only to discover that it has yet to be perfected. Today, we still have good old fashioned, obesity causing sugar and new and improved, cancer causing yet obesity preventing artificial sweetener. As a consumer, which one is actually the better choice?

When you investigate the evolutionary history of soft drinks, you will discovery that they have only recently evolved in relation to how long humans have been on the earth. The only to “beverages” available were breast milk and water until about 11,000 years ago. In the big picture, humans have been around for 100,000-200,000 years. This leads you to believe our systems may not have been set up to digest either substance at all.

Let us first take a closer look at the original sugar. Sugar is quite natural as it is a plant. It begins as sugar cane or sugar beets. Once it is extracted, it then goes through the refining process, which is when the natural goodness is altered. When sugar is introduced to the body, it causes an instant jump in insulin levels resulting in what we call a sugar high. The down side is once you come down from the high it causes your body to fall into a sort of depression. To compensate for the depression, your body craves more sugar and thus the vicious cycle begins. The abuse of this cycle can also lead to diabetes, due to the high caloric intake of sugar, and even some bi-polar disorders due to heavy mood swings. This leads us to the problem of obesity. Sugar can become addictive causing that need to have sugar all the time. Since refined sugar does not occur naturally, the body does not have to work hard to break it down. In fact, it begins before it ever hits your stomach. It is absorbed quickly and directly into the blood stream. Sugar is carried to the blood by insulin. Then there is an immediate response where enzymes rapidly work to convert sugar to fat and a slower response, where a few different genes are turned on and off. This action actually creates more enzymes to turn the sugar into fat. The upside? It is the more natural of the two choices of sugar or artificial sweeteners. In small amounts it is not harmful.

Now let us review artificial sweeteners. There has been much research and modification done to this less natural evil. It has been shown to cause irregular heartbeats and cancer. Studies back in the 70’s, linked the sweetener, saccharin, to cancer. This ignited the improvements to artificial sweeteners. More recent studies on lab rats had continued to prove a relation to cancer when there was the largest aspartame study ever done on animals. A more recent study was done on humans based on a survey conducted in the mid 90’s. They documented the amount of aspartame was consumed, particularly from sodas and sweetener added to teas and coffees. Over a five-year period, all cancer cases were recorded and none were related to the amount of aspartame consumed. These artificial sweeteners are added to foods and drinks on the market under several different names. One of those is Acesulfame K. It is non-nutritive and is 200 times sweeter than sucrose (aka table sugar) and is often used as a flavor-enhancer or to preserve the food’s sweetness. The negative is that Acesulfame K does contain the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans. The controversy is that there has not been enough testing and that testing is not currently required by the FDA. This is the case with most versions of the current, on the market artificial sweeteners. Most say that, like the saccharin study from the 70’s, there have not been enough studies to prove negative or positive effects.

In both cases, there seems to be a few common factors. In moderation, neither seems to be all that harmful. Another common factor is the lack of satiation. They can cause you to have munchies, which adds caloric intake. This is counterproductive in the case of the artificial sweetener. Are soft drinks containing artificial sweeteners really healthier than soft drinks containing sugar? Possibly in moderation and when extra calories are not added in order to make up for the empty calories consumed. The most honest answer given by health experts is to stick to water and milk for the majority of liquid intake.

The History of Coca Cola

Did you know that the Coca-Cola Company has been around since May 8, 1886? Doctor John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist invented the formula. He began selling the concoction for five cents a glass at a local Atlanta pharmacy (Atlanta Beginnings). It was not long before Stith’s concoction became the number one selling soft drink. A title Coca-Cola has continued to retain.

However, in the early eighties, the company brought on a new chairperson; under his headship, changes began to take place. One of those changes resulted in a decision to alter the original formula (New Coke). Its new name was New Coke. Was the New Coke an attempt to draw new prospects, or to retain the title of number one soft drink?

From the very beginning, Coca-Cola advertisements consisted of slice-of-life images showing Americans enjoying a refreshing “pause” (Coca-Cola at Home). Bovee and Williams both authors of advertisement state, “Sponsors find that advertising is most effective when it actually reflects the society and the market to which it is targeted.”

The Coca-Cola advertisement team was very particular in reaching that society. In a typical advertisement, one could enjoy images such as a youthful couple on a date enjoying the refreshing soft drink; or a middle-aged women stopping during her gardening to sip a cold Coca-Cola; or even a man on the golf course pausing for a drink.

The advertisers knew how to reach the people by utilizing the average American, in which most could associate with in their daily life. “In reality, the first responsibility of advertising is to aid its sponsor by informing, persuading, and reminding the sponsor’s customers and prospects” (Bovee and William). Advertising was Coca Cola’s route to informing the world of their refreshing soft drink. It was their door to reaching the consumer and it was paying off well.

However, in the early eighties, even with all their spectacular advertisement, Coca-Cola began losing ground to the Pepsi Cola Company. Coke at that time was selling double of what Pepsi sold; unfortunately, Coca-Cola sales slowly began to fall (Demott). Coca Cola’s market dropped from 22.5 % to 21.7 %, while Pepsi’s rose over 18 % giving the company approximately an 8 % increase of sales. “Each point represent[ed] about $200 million in sales” (Demott). It was during this time that Robert C. Goizueta became the new chairperson (Diet Coke and New Coke). His plan for the company was what he called “Intelligent risk taking” (Diet Coke and New Coke). He implemented a plan to introduce a new soft drink called diet coke. While working on this new soft drink, he had the idea of creating a new twist to the old Coca-Cola. This change resulted in what he called the “New Coke”, which was “the first change in the formulation in 99 years” (Diet Coke and New Coke).

The company began to implement secret taste tests of the new concoction, of which “the new one beat the old one by 55% to 45%” (Demott). In reference to these results, coke began to go full force with its new formula. The company had the idea that change would be a great way of boosting their sales lead over the “Archrival Pepsi” (Demott). “The company even created some misinformation. Coke told bottlers that it would soon put a 100th anniversary label on its packages and that they should begin clearing out stocks of preanniversary bottles” (Demott).

On April 23, 1983, Coke finally introduced the “New Coke.” Consumers did not take the news very well. Some people began storing the old formula in their homes. “In June 1985, Newsweek reported that savvy black marketers sold old Coke for $30 a case” (Ross).

Many outraged consumers began to voice their opinion of the New Coke. Sam Craig, professor of marketing and international business stated, “[t]hey didn’t ask the critical question of Coke users: Do you want a new Coke? By failing to ask that critical question, they had to backpedal very quickly” (Ross).

Most consumers were so fond of the original formula that they demanded its return. The Coca-Cola Company loosing further ground responded to those demands. On July 10, 1985, “eighty seven days after the new coke was introduced, the old coke was brought back in addition to the new one” (History of Coke). The Coca- Cola Company admitted to its marketing mistake. President Donald R Keough stated, “We did not understand the deep emotions of so many of our customers for Coca-Cola” (qtd. Ross).

This recognition, along with the return of the old Coca-Cola brought the Company nearly eighteen thousand calls of appreciation. After the return of the old coke, their market rose to the highest peak in twelve years. This was an outstanding success for the Coca-Cola Company.

As you can see, the New Coke was not an attempt to draw new prospects but rather a way of saving the company from slipping into second place under Pepsi. Perhaps the publicity of the New Coke itself, though negative, sparked a greater audience resulting in many more Coca-Cola drinkers.

Which is better Coke or Pepsi

Everyone who drinks soft drinks will know that there are two major players in the cola market at the moment, namely Coke and Pepsi. Between them they hold a massive majority of the soft drinks industry and are both available globally. Their respective popularity have both fluctuated over the years and they have constantly been in competition for the biggest market share of the industry. So much so that when you go to fast food or cinema chains you will usually see one or the other but never both. This is because either company makes the companies they supply to sign exclusivity deals to ensure that their rivals aren’t allowed to compete with them. The exception being supermarkets, who are too large and powerful to be dictated to.

Personally i very slightly prefer Pepsi to coke, although i will drink either, and they are very similar. To describe the tastes i would say coke tastes sharper, and Pepsi sweeter. In fact my preference is marginal enough that i will usually just buy whatever is on offer n the store where i go, as usually one or the other is on sale. There are some people however who claim that they love one of the drinks and hate the other, which seems strange seen as they are so similar. I think a lot of people are similar to me in that the aren’t that bothered which they drink and will fluctuate between buying Pepsi and coke.

In the United Kingdom coke is the bigger brand, although Pepsi is available in all supermarkets and most shops. Strangely enough in most of the place i have visited in the United States, Pepsi seems to be a lot more popular. There are often a lot more Pepsi products available than coke, even though coke has the larger market share and is supposedly more popular. The difference between the two probably coming from corporate deals such as coke’s with Mcdonalds.

Other then the availability of either in certain chains, there really is very little between them. They look the same, are the same price and are sold in the same amounts. Pepsi is made from kola nuts and coke is made from prunes, neither of which many people eat by themselves, meaning there are no real comparisons to be drawn there. As for the other products that the respective companies make, there is quite a lot of variation. Pepsi own Lipton’s ice tea, mountain dew, sierra mist, Lays and Doritos. Coke on the other hand produce Fanta and Sprite, and have many sponsorship deals, such as the long running deal with the English premier league (soccer). So in terms of their overall companies they are fairly similar as well.

Overall at the moment coke have a slight edge in market share over Pepsi, due largely to the fact that coke is more popular in most parts of the united states. However this is only ever one advertising campaign from being reversed, so it looks like these two giants will be locked in their battle for a good while yet. As for which is the best it wold be hard to say for sure, although Pepsi has overall been more popular over the course of the two drinks being in competition, even though it isn’t at the moment. There was also famously a campaign by Pepsi where they conducted blind taste tests on the public, the majority of which seemed to prefer the taste of Pepsi to coke.

Fast Food Chain Reviews Papa Johns

Papa John’s is a franchise-based pizza chain that purports to have over 3,000 restaurants around the world.  They are led by their enthusiastic and commercial-starring founder, “Papa” John Schnatter.  The pizza provider is really not a sit-down restaurant, but instead distributes their menu through delivery and carry-out.  Major competitors to Papa John’s would include pizza providers such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Little Caesar’s, all of whom provide relatively low-cost pizza delivery services to the general public.  Here are a few details on the strengths, weaknesses, and offerings of Papa John’s Pizza.

Main offerings

The Papa John’s menu is fairly similar to other pizza establishments.  Customers can order various sizes and customize their pizza with different meats and other toppings.  Papa’s John’s has a regular and a thin crust, and people can split their toppings between sides of the pizza if they wish.  As with other pizza establishments that have begun to expand their menu, Papa John’s also offers wings, chicken, strips, breadsticks, salads, beverages, and dessert pizzas.  The Papa John’s menu does not tend to be the cheapest, but it is also not the most expensive.  There are typically online or coupon “specials” that customers can use on a regular basis.  

Sides and unique traits

Papa John’s does add a couple of unique twists to their pizza.  Each pizza is typically delivered with few pepperoncini’s in the box, which can be put on the pizza or just eaten.  In addition, the box will usually come with two small tubs of liquid garlic butter.  Some people will drizzle this over the pizza slices, while other people will dip their pizza crusts into the butter.  This is not necessarily the most healthy strategy, but it is rather tasty. 

Access and comparisons 

Overall, Papa John’s is a quality establishment that makes a respectable pizza.  The company advertises with a slogan of “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza,” though pizza of this type often comes down to personal preferences.  Some people are loyal to the taste of certain pizza delivery restaurants.  Papa John’s is also similar to other chain establishments in that customers can order their pizza online and have it delivered straight to their door.  If people are looking for a good delivery pizza, Papa John’s is certainly an option to consider.   

Papa Johns Pizza Pizza best Pizza

The second best pizza I have had

Thanks to the economical recession my local estate agent closed door 2 years ago and left an empty shop for long time. Last March finally a new business took over it and gladly it’s one branch of Papa John’s.

What is Papa John’s:

Papa John’s is the third largest Louisville, Kentucky. With the slogan “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza” it has spread 3300 establishments in over 30 countries including the USA and the UK.

How to order it:

Similar to many pizza chains you can order online via their website, over the phone from their menu or go to the shop to personally order. Their website is easily navigated. You just type in your post code then you will find the nearest one. From the online menu you can simply choose what products you would like. Once you pay your order via debit or credit card Papa John’s will  deliver to your door within 30 minutes of your order being placed. Ordering via phone is just as similar as on line. At the shop in general you need to wait for 15 minutes at most for your order given the popularity.

What’s the choice?

At Papa John’s you have great variety of pizzas and accompaniments to choose at reasonable prices. There are four crust choices: 6 slices, 8 slices, 10 slices and 12 slices, on which you can create your own pizza or order from Papa’s classics, Papa’s favourites and  Papa’s finest. No matter you are a vegetarian or spicy food lover you can always find one. Last but not least if you can’t decide which one you are happy with or you want to try more you can order two different half pizzas in a go. You also have thin base or deep pan base to choose depending on your pizza size. There are a number of side orders that you can have with your pizza such as Garlic Pizza Bread, Cheesy Jalapeno, Bites Chicken Dippers, BBQ Chicken Wings, etc.

My first experience:

Admittedly I love pizza very much and have tried many different pizzas, such as Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, supermarket brands and local pizzas, but it’s my first time to know Papa John’s when the new one was opened around my area. When I saw the shop design and the name I didn’t have any interest in it to be honest. They were not remarkable to my taste, in opposite they looked very country with green and red colours in a board. However when I received their leaflet at my home and knew they are having ‘buy one get one free’ promotion for two months, I decided to give it a whirl. So after a couple of opening days I popped into my local Papa John’s.

It was a dinner time and they were quite busy. There were two staff in front of a short counter, one was answering the phone orders, the other one was dealing with customers in person. The shop was clean, bright but not big. There were a few customers waiting for their orders. I noticed the staff dealing with customers was very friendly and talkative, who introduced customers to their products clearly and efficiently, but other staff obviously were inexperienced with their works in some ways. Consequently waiting for 40 minutes I finally took my pizza home. 

The pizzas themselves by all means were very tasty. The base were soft with the natural toasted taste of whole grain. The toppings looked  very fresh and eye appealing. I had one named All THE MEATS and one named PAPA’s PEPPERONI PLUS in the range of Papa’s favourites. The All THE MEATS one was really meaty with ham, pepperoni, sausage, bacon and spicy beef in a perfect combination; the PAPA’s PEPPERONI PLUS one had very qualified pepperoni, mushrooms and onions. I was really impressed by the great authentic taste of pepperoni. It’s the first time I felt pepperoni is a fine food, rather than an ordinary sausage. However the dips I chose for my pizzas were really disappointing. They had a very strange smells and tastes mixing garlic and sour cream. Luckily the pizzas were tasty enough without them.

My opinions:

Before I wrote a review about Domino’s pizza, in which I said I’m a Domino’s fan. To me Domino’s makes the best pizza in the world. However after tasting Papa John’s now I’m not very sure with my previous statement. If there must be a champion I would still vote Domino’s, but Papa John’s would be the second one, with a little distance from the best. To me they both are tasty, fresh and healthy, but Domino’s base is more chewing and less stodgy.

Since the new Papa John’s opened I have visited it quite regularly. Because there are so many options for me to have, and their offers are really generous. Not like Domino’s , in which you can just have ‘buy one get one free’ offer on Tuesday, at Papa John’s you can have the offer every day, at least it seems like that so far. Their pizzas are priced similarly with Domino’s and my local pizza shop, but the flexible offers and wide options made it in advantage to grab my attention, especially on Thursday and Friday, which usually are my take away days. Incidentally after a few weeks running their staff are more skilled and their service is provided more efficiently.

So I would definitely recommend Papa John’s  to anyone who like pizza because it is a freshly made, tasty and healthy take away food.

H2O2 Therapy, Lyme’s Disease, and an Inspirational Story

When you’re in the business of selling H2O2 which is hydrogen peroxide for whitening teeth and alternative medicine, you begin to hear the same stories of people who have recently discovered food grade hydrogen peroxide therapy and are using it to change their lives. However, every once in a while I hear a story and I just can’t help but be overwhelmed with emotions, coming to terms with how real everything we’re doing is and how much of an impact using H2O2 therapy has on some peoples’ lives.

Just the other day I was in my favorite alternative health doctor’s office, sitting in one of the four big comfy black leather chairs in the lobby having my 3% H202 solution inserted into my arm (which may end up being a whole new blog post in itself). A surprisingly healthy looking lady(unlike a normal doctors office where everyone is sick and miserable, people at this kind of office actually look happy and healthy) sitting across from me, eventually let curiosity get the best of her and asked me “What was in your IV bag and how long have you been coming here?”.

“Hydrogen Peroxide!” I happily replied, “This is only my second treatment, but I’ve been coming here for about 3 months”. Before I could continue on about the H202 therapy, she began to tell me her story. Although everyone who has changed their lives with Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy loves to share their story and spread the word, I believe she was specifically trying to give me words of encouragement.

“I’ve had Lyme’s disease for over 15 years. I have been very sick; a few years back a Lyme’s disease specialist put me on IV antibiotics for over a year. This made me very overweight, sick, and eventually I was even too sick to continue the treatment… and I still had Lyme’s disease! For a short time after I saw an alternative practitioner but it was not a perfect match and stopped seeing him. About two months ago I was at my all time low. I was tired, sick and didn’t even want to continue living. I had an incurable virus so what was the point?” By this time, I was incredibly shocked by her story considering how healthy and normal she looked now, you would have never guessed it was only just two months ago it happened.

“Then, I had visited a health food store in Lapeer” she continued, “and met this amazing gentleman named L.B. We had begun talking about my condition and I pretty much just broke down. I told him exactly what I’m telling you, that I did not want to live any more. L.B. insisted that I go see his alternative practitioner Dr Megan Strauchman. He had said that Dr. Strauchman had saved his life and he HIGHLY recommended her to me. Just look at me now!” Sue says enthusiastically. “I’ve only been coming here for 6 weeks and I feel like I have a new lease on life. I’m starting to feel like my old self”. Sue then reassured me that I was in good hands with Dr Strauchman

Ironically, she also proceeded to tell me about this remarkable health food store in Lapeer and the educated staff that they had. “If it weren’t for them… I wouldn’t be here and be getting well; I really don’t know what I would have done.” I politely listen to Sue until she stopped talking, commending her on he determination not to give up. I told her my honest opinion, that I didn’t see a sick, overweight, or unhealthy person at all! I saw a beautiful, healthy woman. She was truly an inspiration.

After she had finished her story, I couldn’t help but introducing myself. “I’m Rebekah from Rebekah’s Health and Nutrition Source of Lapeer.” What I happened next, however, would be something I’ll probably never forget for the rest of my life. Tears came out and bonding took place. I am truly thankful for this experience. Sue encouraged me all right, more then she realized. Once again I am assured I have found my path in life. I will continue to do what I feel is right. I have taken the oath to provide the proper information and the highest quality products so that all people can be happy, healthy and free!

Good health to you and your family!!