Street pushers in Glasgow have been demanding up to £2 for a hit of Irn Bru as addicts have started stockpiling ahead of a planned change in recipe.

Irn Bru, widely regarded by many as Scotland’s gateway drug to Buckfast and Battered Mars Bars, has long been used as baby food and on Corn Flakes as a staple part of the local diet.

Makers of the fizzy favourite are changing the formula of the product to cut the sugar content by almost half. It is part of a sugar-reduction programme by AG Barr before the government levy on sugary drinks comes into effect in 2018. But users have launched the “Hands off our Irn Bru” petition, attracting more than 6,000 palm prints.

Irn Bru addicts are angry after the manufacturer revealed the new flavour would appear in stores in January. They have been taking to Scottish Social Media (basically shouting at strangers on the High Street) to vent their dismay, with stories of people stealing up to 250 cans mentioned but not substantiated.

Nicola Sturgeon said “This is yet another attack by the Westminster Government on the people of Scotland. If they go ahead with this it will automatically trigger IndyRef 24”.

However, supporters have pointed out that since Glasgow has an average life expectancy on a par with Honduras and Paraguay, its possibly not such a bad idea.