The Grocer has also learned chances of a sale have been dealt a further blow, with latest independent sales figures showing the brand has suffered a 28.6% nosedive at the till in the last year.
The Information Resources figures, covering the major multiples in the year to September 6, show sales dipped almost £11m to rest at just over £27m. Most disappointing for P&G will be the fact that the collapse comes in the middle of a six-month £7.5m campaign to reposition Sunny D as a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks.
A P&G spokeswoman said: “We have no news regarding any potential buyer and we will not issue updates until we have a buyer.”
Brand experts said they believed it had now become even more difficult for P&G to offload the brand, which was a £150m-a-year sales hit as recently as four years ago.
Dominic England, a senior consultant at brand strategist Dragon, said: “It seems unlikely a buyer will come forward now. The relationship between the brand and the consumer is now bereft of trust following its problems with health claims and no amount of changing the formulation or advertising can hide that.”
Sean McKnight, a consultant at Wolff Olins, added: “The latest TV campaign is superficial and trying to reposition the brand identifies what was wrong with it in the first place.”