Asda has performed a u-turn by agreeing to stock children’s drink SunnyD just four months after it delisted the product, ostensibly to offer its customers “healthier alternatives”.
The move comes after owner Sunny Delight Beverage Company (SDBC) reformulated the fruit drink and revealed further plans to overhaul the recipe by removing all preservatives.
Rob Spencer, marketing director for Gerber Foods, which distributes the troubled soft drinks brand, described Asda’s decision to delist the brand at the time as “very strange”.
However, SDBC commercial director Paul Nicholls says the brand had been under pressure from a number of other retailers, with Netto also delisting the drink in January.
“We were in talks with several concerned retailers earlier this year, but all of them have taken us back and approve of the work we’ve done and our future strategy,” said Nicholls.
“There is still work to be done. We have removed all the artificial ingredients and have only two preservatives left in the drink. They will both disappear in the medium term, meaning SunnyD will be completely natural.”
Spencer and Nicholls have overseen a complete review of the product, which last year saw the setting up of a parents advisory group in order to try to learn from consumers what they wanted from the product owners (MW September 22, 2005).
Since then SunnyD’s sugar levels have been reduced and the amount of on-pack nutritional information has increased to include Guideline Daily Amount figures for contents.