Now I know you can still get Sunny Delight in the shops today, but to me it’s not a patch on when it was first launched in 1996 in the UK.
It was packed full of sugar and although it looked like orange juice and hinted that it was a healthier alternative to fizzy drinks it was just as bad. But kids everywhere guzzled down Sunny D not caring that it was basically syrup, just that it tasted so good.
Parents thought that the drink was healthy and were chuffed that their kids were gulping it down in large amounts. As I am not a fan of fruit juices I didn’t want to try it at first and stuck with my Coca Cola, but after trying a little bit in our fridge one day I was hooked.
I remember me and my sister finishing off bottles like George Best and demanding more from my mum. But it was not so much because we were hooked on the drink, no we wanted enough tokens to get ourselves a Sunny Delight basketball!
When the ball had been delivered we kept drinking it anyway, after all it was rather refreshing to have a fruity/sugary drink that was also chilled in the fridge after a long day playing outside in the summer holidays with our new toy.
But then there was the report that a girl had actually changed colour after drinking so much of the stuff. The chemicals in it had gotten into her skin and she started glowing yellow. Parents were horrified, especially as at the time their advertising campaign was of a snowman drinking Sunny D and turning yellow himself.
After such a promising start sales slumped and they were forced to relaunch it with a new recipe. By then I’d gone back to Coke and if I wanted a bit more fruitiness in my beverages then I’d go for a Fanta, safe in the knowledge it wasn’t going to make me look like a character from “The Simpsons”.
After spotting it in the supermarket last summer I wondered whether it could still be the same syrupy drink that I had crave all these years, so I shelled out some of my hard earned cash (well, student loan) to find it was now 70% fruit juice. Three sips later it was thrown in the bin knowing I’d never enjoy the original taste again.
The nation on the whole agrees with me and no-one pays too much attention to it any more. Sunny Delight is unloved and has seen better days, just like the deflated basketball in my garden shed at home.