“Hey, anybody thirsty? We got OJ, some purple stuff, soda…Yeah! Sunny Delight!”
If you don’t recognize the above line, perhaps you are unfamiliar with the classic advertising campaign for Sunny Delight, the orange flavored drink that brings in about $700 million a year.
The beverage is back in the news after announcing it’s gone zero waste.
The company’s sustainability measures have paid off early, as all six of their manufacturing plants have reached zero waste three full years ahead of schedule — all while making impressive strides in other environmentally friendly areas.
According to the Sunny Delight Beverages Company’s recently released 2009 Sustainability Report, in 2007, 36% of total waste ended up in area landfills. By the end of this year, that number will fall to zero.
In addition to waste reduction, the bev company has been able to cut energy use by 8% and water use by 9% — dropping carbon emissions by 17% in the process.
Sunny D’s been giving corporate offices some greening as well. It’s working toward a paperless workplace, with accounts payable and expense reporting both going paperless last year and vendors are now submitting invoices electronically.
It’s also pledged to implement healthy changes to the product line, first by cutting the calories in Sunny Delight…
When Sunny Delight was re-launched as Sunny D in the UK, the recipe contained 70% juice instead of the measly 5% that the original recipe called for — an admirable attempt at making a healthier alternative to many of the sugary drinks on the market.
But after a sales slump, Sunny D decided to drop its price point, resorting to a 15% juice recipe and upping the corn syrup quotient.
Now, teaming with First Lady Michelle Obama’s child obesity campaign, the company has committed to a 45% cut in the calories in its beverage lineup by 2015. The report estimates that “would take 38 million pounds of potential weight gain out of the American diet each year.”
The company has also acquired Bossa Nova, a brand of “superfruit beverages” including the popular acai berry drinks, a healthy berry that is sustainably harvested in the Amazon.
These are all important measures not just for the environment, but for Sunny Delight’s public relations department.
The company suffered a mighty PR blow a few years back, when a child in the UK turned bright orange after drinking too much of the beverage. The image problem was compounded by a Sunny Delight ad circulating at the time, depicting two snowmen slurping down the drink and subsequently turning orange.
So while you’ll always be better off with a tall glass of 100% orange juice, the recent corporate social responsibility measures Sunny Delight has taken make it a whole lot easier to choose Sunny D over the purple stuff.