Sunny D slammed, but manufacturer fights back - again

By Sarah Britton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food additive, Sugar substitute

Sunny D slammed, but manufacturer fights back - again
Sunny Delight has faced a fresh barrage of criticism from the Food Commission, which dismissed its latest reduced sugar 'reinvention' as a triumph of...

Sunny Delight has faced a fresh barrage of criticism from the Food Commission, which dismissed its latest reduced sugar 'reinvention' as a triumph of style over substance.

“The drink obviously had to change - too many mums were questioning its ingredients - but this is hardly the 're-invention' that the manufacturer claims,” said a spokesman for the Commission. “The only real re-invention here is in the packaging - a fresh coat of paint splashed over an old, discredited product.”

He claimed that the ingredients still left a lot to be desired: “The actual juice content is still a measly 15% - that's just six teaspoons of real juice in a 200ml bottle. It still contains preservatives, thickeners, starch, colourings and artificial sweeteners, along with a sprinkling of added vitamins to persuade mums that it is healthy.”

However, Paul Nicholls, commercial manager at Sunny D brand owner, the Sunny Delight Beverages Company, said the brand was not trying to pretend it was something that it wasn't.

“We have not, nor do we have any intention of promoting Sunny D as a 'healthy' drink. It is a juice-based soft drink as are [other brands such as] Ribena and Fruit Shoot,” said Nicholls. He claimed the company was still developing the drink: “We have made it very clear in all of our communications that we are re-inventing Sunny D with the help of mums - this is a process, not the final destination.”

He claimed the firm had made clear improvements to the drink. “We have to date removed all artificial additives apart from two preservatives, which were retained to keep the product fresh,” he said. “We have also reduced sugar levels so that both of our Original variants have 25% less sugar than our key competitors such as Ribena and Fruit shoot.” He added: “Obviously our No Added Sugar variants contain artificial sweeteners, as with all soft drinks.”