Gerber Foods Soft Drinks has taken on the marketing of former Procter & Gamble juice brand Sunny D.
Gerber previously manufactured and distributed the drink, formerly called Sunny Delight, but has now been assigned marketing duties by new owner the Sunny Delight Beverages Company (SDBC).
Gerber is recruiting a trade and consumer marketing team for the brand. P&G spent &£3.5m on advertising Sunny D last year (Nielsen Media Research). Gerber is expected to invest a similar sum, overseen by international marketing director Rob Spencer and SDBC managing director Jean Jacques Fredj.
Sunny Delight was a success on launch in 1998, but came in for criticism over its sugar content and formulation from food experts.
It was sold to Boston-based private equity house JW Childs Associates last April and SDBC was set up as a standalone company. P&G also launched a Summer Fruits variant last year (MW February 12, 2004).
The brand’s agency of record is Saatchi & Saatchi, which is expected to be retained. Saatchi & Saatchi introduced an animated ad in 2003, featuring the unrealistically perfect Max Wilde, a boy who prefers water and milk to soft drinks. The ad strapline was: “Real kids aren’t always into stuff that’s good for them. Sunny D can help.”