Procter & Gamble wants to sell its controversial children's drink Sunny Delight to focus on its snacks and coffee businesses.

The news comes in the wake of P&G’s £7.5m six-month campaign in the UK to position Sunny D as a healthier alternative to fizzy brands, through a fictional cartoon character called Max Wilde.

P&G brand manager John Lear said the decision to “explore alternative options for ownership of the global Sunny D business” was not driven by factors in the UK and Ireland.

He added that Sunny D “continues to be the largest chilled juice drink and is growing significantly behind the latest brand activity”.

The sale will include P&G’s Punica juice drink brand in Germany.

P&G added that it wants to find a licensee or partner to bring its nutritional beverages to market. In the US it has been testing a powdered, iron and calcium-enhanced beverage called Nutristar as well as a bone and energy-development drink called Elation.