Flagging Sunny D brand is set for a revival with an exotic flavour and portfolio rationalisation by new owner Gerber Foods.
Sunny D Caribbean Style with no added sugar, a blend of passion fruit, orange, apple and pear juices, hits chillers from June 6. Available in 1.5-litre, 500ml and 8x200ml formats, it will go head-to-head with number one UK kids soft drinks brand Robinsons Fruit Shoot [Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2005], which this month launches Tropical No Added Sugar.
Sunny D communications manager Paul Nicholls said: “The vision is to put Sunny D back on mums’ agendas, which is where it was in the late ’90s. We believe the brand has legs to go places.”
The brand has had a chequered history. Launched in 1998, it was one of the fastest growing new products of the decade until a spate of negative press turned consumers away. While it remains the UK’s number two chilled fruit/juice drink, the brand has been hit by falling sales in consecutive years with a 13% decline last year (The Grocer Top Products Survey, December 11, 2004, p96 - ACNielsen y/e October 2, 2004).
Gerber took over the rights to manufacture, distribute and market Sunny D in the UK in February in a deal with private equity firm JW Childs, which bought the brand from Procter & Gamble last August. Gerber is axing Summer Fruits and a calcium variant to concentrate on its core products, Florida Style and California Style orange, available in original and no-added-sugar varieties.
Nicholls added that Gerber would be focusing on “deep-rooted” NPD that addressed shifts in nutritional concerns.
Sunny D will return to TV screens from August 1 as part of a £6.3m marketing campaign with ads on the theme ‘Because No Child is Like Max Wild’.
A £3.3m TV campaign for Peanut M&M’s shows young people hanging out together and features the cheeky animated M&M characters. The ads target 16 to 34-year-olds and aim to establish M&M’s as a brand to share with friends. The campaign also includes a sponsorship deal with youth programme MTV Cribs and specially printed samples with a promotion to win plasma TVs, home cinemas and inflatable sofas.
Stefan Chomka