The fruit juice content of Sunny Delight is being cut from 70% to 15% just one year after the brand was given a healthy makeover.

The new lower juice content is the same that Sunny Delight had prior to its ill-fated £4.5m overhaul last March, when the brand was relaunched with no artificial flavourings, preservatives or added sugar. Despite the healthier credentials, sales crashed 39.3% to £6.8m over the past year, with volumes plummeting 49% [IRI 52w/e 23 January].

The new version of the six-strong Sunny Delight range is rolling out now with an rsp of £1.39 for a one-litre bottle, which is 20p cheaper than the 70% fruit juice line-up. The 500ml bottle will drop from £1.10 to 95p. With the drop in juice content bringing a lower shelf price and reduced production costs, owner The Sunny Delight Beverage Company predicted the new drink would be more suitable for the economic climate.

"Achieving [the higher juice content] meant that the product cost was significantly higher than the previous offer, something that, at the time, research indicated consumers would be happy to meet," said SDBC area manager Richard Baragwanath. "It is our expectation that bringing Sunny Delight back to its heartland of value will secure its future success. We anticipate 80% of Sunny Delight sales in multiples and 50% in convenience will be on promotion in 2010, further reinforcing the value proposition," he said.

Baragwanath added that the company hoped to reintroduce the high juice content variant "at a time when the market conditions were right".