The Sunny Delight Beverage Company has overhauled its iconic Sunny D drinks brand for the second time in less than two years in an attempt to re-engage with mums and their kids.
After slashing the sugar levels and updating the packaging in July 2007, it has now ditched all artificial flavourings, artificial preservatives and added sugar. The company has also replaced Sunny D’s semi-opaque bottle with a transparent one and abandoned the 2007 handwriting-annotated labelling.
The three-product range, which contains 70% natural juice compared with the current 15%, will hit shelves from late this month. It will be supported by a £4.5m marketing campaign, which breaks in time for the new school term in September.
SDBC said the reformulation and new look would win over lapsed users who had abandoned the brand after a barrage of negative publicity in the late nineties and early noughties.
It had been a challenge to make the drink healthier without compromising the flavour children liked, said Lee Taylor, international technical director at SDBC.
“We are thrilled that the widespread changes we made to our whole manufacturing platform have resulted in a product that is both natural and achieves taste parity with current Sunny D,” he said.
An Apple & Blackcurrant flavour has joined the existing Florida Orange and Caribbean variants. The 1.5-litre bottle will be delisted and replaced with a 1-litre bottle (rsp £1.45), and a new 4x330ml multipack (£3.25) will be introduced alongside the 330ml bottle.
Joe Hale, account director at brand consultancy Dragon, said the relaunch would help satisfy consumer health demands, but warned SDBC to beware the effect on its brand image. “It must ensure it doesn’t detract from its fun proposition and become an overly worthy juice brand, of which there are too many at the moment,” he said.
Procter & Gamble launched Sunny D in the UK in 1994 and sold it to SDBC in 2004.