Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wintry decline

Procter & Gamble must be smiling this morning after Asda pulled Sunny D from its shelves. That it managed to sell that brand on and that someone bought it is one of the great feats of product dumping.

Asda pulled the once all-conquering Sunny D after what it said was a dramatic slump in sales. Mums used to love Sunny D, feeding it to their increasingly fluorescent kids by the gallon.

It was the great product launch of the 1990s, winning all kinds of plaudits for its growth and then, almost it seems overnight, everything unravelled as the world went sort of healthy and the fact that Sunny was mostly sugar and very little fruit spelled the beginning of the end.

Attempts to revive it floundered, changing its name from Sunny Delight to Sunny D, variations with stupid names were launched (Light Sunny Delight? Oh come on that's just plain confusing, it doesn't even scan), but nothing worked.

If only someone hadn't mentioned what was in it. Of course, if kids had their own budgets what was in it wouldn't really be the problem, but sadly for food marketers targeting kids this is not the case.

Damning words from Asda which yesterday said: "Our analysis and customer feedback shows Sunny D is in long-term decline."

If only someone had told JW Childs Associates, the private equity group that bought Sunny D from P&G, what were they thinking.

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