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Sunkist is a brand of primarily orange flavored soft drinks launched in 1979.

Sunkist logo 2008.jpg
TypeSoft drink
ManufacturerKeurig Dr Pepper[1]
Country of originUnited States
Introduced1979; 40 years ago (1979)
Related productsFanta, Mirinda
Sunkist 'Orange'
Nutritional value per 1 can (375 mL)
Energy833 kJ (199 kcal)
48.4 g
Sugars48.4 g
0 g
0 g
MineralsQuantity %DV
34 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Sunkist 'Orange'
Nutritional value per 1 can (355 mL)
Energy711.28 kJ (170.00 kcal)
44 g
Sugars43 g
0 g
0 g
MineralsQuantity %DV
70 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.


Sunkist was first licensed by Sunkist Growers to the General Cinema Corporation, the leading independent bottler of Pepsi-Cola products at the time. The soft drink was the idea of Mark Stevens, who foresaw the potential based on market research which indicated that, worldwide, orange was the third best selling soft drink flavor (largely due to The Coca-Cola Company's Fanta brand).

After extensive R&D during 1977 and early 1978, in which research was conducted on taste, color and carbonation levels, Sunkist made a grand introduction in New York by franchising it to The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York City, where Edward F. O'Reilly was president. At the time of introduction, Sunkist Soft Drinks had only five key employees: Mark Stevens, President; Peter Murphy, VP Sales; Dr. John Leffingwell, VP R&D; Ray Sissom, VP Finance; and Jim DeDreu, NE Regional Manager. It went national soon thereafter by being franchised mainly to leading Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola bottlers. The advertising slogan was "fun, sun and the beach" using TV and radio commercials with the Beach Boys' hit song "Good Vibrations" as the brand's theme. In 1980, Sunkist Orange Soda became the #1 orange soda in the USA and the 10th best selling soft drink. Unlike many other competing orange sodas, Sunkist contains caffeine (19.0mg). [2] After finding two different labels for the same SKU of Diet Sunkist in WV and OH retail stores, a call to the Sunkist consumer hotline on December 11, 2018 confirmed that Sunkist was in the process of introducing a slightly changed formulation with a slightly different order of ingredients and a reduction in caffeine content from 41 mg / 12 oz can to 19 mg per can for Diet Sunkist; this version still has the same SKU number, but the formulation change is shown on the packaging with a new logo "Diet Sunkist Orange" on cans and boxes. In 2010, there was a consumer recall after a batch was accidentally mixed with 6 times amount of the caffeine, sickening consumers. [3]

In late 1984, Sunkist Soft Drinks was sold to Del Monte. From late 1986 until 2008, it was produced by Cadbury Schweppes under license through its Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages subsidiary. Following the demerger of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages from Cadbury Schweppes, it is now produced by Keurig Dr Pepper in the USA. Sunkist is still the most popular orange soda in the United States.[citation needed] Sunkist (as a carbonated soft drink) is sold in the UK by Vimto Soft Drinks under license from Sunkist Growers. It is also sold in Australia by Schweppes Australia (a subsidiary of Asahi Breweries), but the Australian formulation is caffeine free. In Canada, a caffeine free version of the orange drink is marketed as C'Plus.[4] The package indicates that there is a small amount of Sunkist Juice.

In the Philippines, it was sold by Cosmos Bottling until 2001, when San Miguel Corporation acquired Cosmos and sold its brands to Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. As of 2013, Sunkist is sold by Asia Brewery. [5]

Keurig Dr Pepper makes a variety of Sunkist flavors. In addition to Orange, there is Diet Orange, Grape, Strawberry, Cherry Limeade, Pineapple, Lemonade, Diet Lemonade, Peach, Fruit Punch, Pink Lemonade, and Strawberry Lemonade.[1]


Australia (marked on 375 mL can):

Canada (marked on 355 mL can):

  • Carbonated water
  • Sugar/Glucose-fructose
  • Concentrated orange juice
  • Citric acid
  • Modified corn starch
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Sucrose acetate isobutyrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Color
  • Natural flavor
  • Ascorbic acid

United Kingdom (marked on 330 mL can):

  • Carbonated water
  • Sugar
  • Citric acid
  • Natural flavourings
  • Acidity regulator (sodium citrate)
  • Sweeteners (acesulfame K, sodium saccharine)
  • Preservative (potassium sorbate)
  • Stabilizer (acacia gum)
  • Antioxidant (ascorbic acid)
  • Color (mixed carotenes)

United States (marked on 20 oz. bottle):

United States (marked on 12 oz. can):


  • "Good Vibrations." (1978-early 1980s)
  • "Drinkin' in the Sun." (late 1980s)
  • "Feel All Orange Inside." (2007-2010)
  • "Head For the Sun." (2010-2013)
  • "Taste the Sun." (2013-2016)
  • "Drink the Sun." (2016-2018)
  • ”Good Vibrations.” (2018-Present)


  1. ^ a b "Sunkist Soda - Dr Pepper Snapple Group". Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Caffeine Content of Drinks". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Murray (2014). Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us. p. 120.
  4. ^ "C'Plus". Canada Dry Mott's Inc. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  5. ^


  • Pruitt, Bettye H. (1994) “The Making of Harcourt General” Harvard Business School Press, pp. 106–107, 153, 173. ISBN 0-87584-509-6. Google Book Search. Retrieved on March 28, 2008. Note – the individual mentioned as Mark Sobell is also known as Mark Stevens.
  • 1984 Sunkist Ad featuring the "Good Vibrations" theme song, YouTube video "[1]" Retrieved on March 27, 2008.
  • 1984-85 Sunkist Ad featuring the "Good Vibrations" theme song, YouTube video "[2]" Retrieved on May 12, 2008.
  • Cadbury Schweppes purchases Canada Dry and Sunkist soft drinks from RJR (July 1986), New York Times (online) "[3]" Retrieved on March 27, 2008.
  • 1989 UK Sunkist Ad, YouTube video "[4]" Retrieved on May 28, 2008.
  • Sunkist Soda - History
  • Sunkist Soda - Products
  • Sunkist Soda Montage — In-the-Beginning, YouTube video "[5]" Retrieved on August 12, 2011.
  • Sunkist Consumer Hotline Phone (866) 374-6567 contact on December 11, 2018 after initial inquiry earlier in December 2018.

External linksEdit

  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '06 [6]
  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '07 [7]
  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '08 [8]
  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '09 [9]
  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '10 [10]
  • Beverage World — State of the Industry '11 [11]
  • Sunkist Display Contest