P&G Puts Soft Drink Brands Up for Sale

17 July 2003

Procter & Gamble’s soft drinks duo, Sunny Delight and Punica, are up for grabs, announced the planet’s largest advertiser on Wednesday.

Or to use a phrase more attuned to the P&G ethos: it is “exploring strategic alternatives” for the brands, singly or otherwise. Together, the duo generate around $500 million (€445.02m; £313.37m) annually, slightly over 1% of the company's $40.2bn sales last year.

P&G-watchers are not surprised at the move, the brands having languished in the doldrums for some time. Separately acquired during the 1980s, they initially enjoyed significant growth (Sunny Delight sales quadrupled, Punica tripled) but there has been a marked deceleration of late – possibly as a result of sustained campaigning by consumer groups about the drinks’ high sugar content.

But ever the consummate marketer, P&G put its ‘for sale’ notice in a more positive light. “[Since] we’ve bought [the businesses], we’ve grown them substantially. And to really take it to the next level, it is going to take someone that has juice beverages as a corporate priority.”

Proclaimed chairman, president and chief executive Alan G Lafley: “A key element of our strategic focus involves tough choices that enable us to redeploy resources and invest in core and new businesses. This is one of those tough but right choices.”

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff