’90s Kid-Drink SunnyD Is Growing Up

Say hello to SunnyD Vodka Seltzer.

March 08, 2023

Photo by: Photo courtesy of SunnyD

Photo courtesy of SunnyD

Attention, ’90s kids. The drink of your childhood is now following you into adulthood. The distinctively tangy, orange-flavored fruit juice SunnyD is transitioning from breakfast table to bar. It’s getting into the hard seltzer game. SunnyD Vodka Seltzer has arrived.

Citing “popular demand,” SunnyD is rolling out its new hard seltzer to retailers nationwide, arriving at select Walmart stores on Saturday March 11. Billed as a “boldly original beverage” combining SunnyD with vodka seltzer, the 4.5 percent ABV drink will come in individual, slim, ready-to-drink 12-ounce cans ($1.99 each) as well as four-packs ($9.99). Each can clocks in at 95 calories with zero grams of sugar.

Created in 1963 “when two Florida dads looked around an orange grove, and thought, ‘good, but we can do better,’” the brand says, SunnyD’s popularity peaked in the 1990s, but has enjoyed a resurgence since it was acquired by Harvest Hill Beverage Company in 2017.

“SunnyD is … the most boldly unique orange drink on the planet,” Ilene Bergenfeld, Harvest Hill Beverage Company’s chief marketing officer, says in a press release. “Consumers are passionate about this iconic brand, rooted in nostalgia but with a taste that resonates today. Many have told us that they enjoy SunnyD as a mixer and asked for this product. So, we looked at the hard seltzer category, and thought, good, but we can do better. And SunnyD Vodka Seltzer was born.”

Said to include real fruit juice, SunnyD Vodka Seltzer promises to taste different from other hard seltzers: “strong” and “full of flavor,” according to one participant in a blind taste test.

Bergenfeld adds that the drink is made for adults to enjoy with their friends. “We have developed something we know adult SunnyD fans and hard seltzer enthusiasts alike will be proud to enjoy,” she said. “We look forward to hearing what they think.”

Bergenfeld didn’t have to wait long.

“Why does this look both disgusting and delicious at the same time?” wondered one TikToker in a video zooming in on a retail pallet piled high with boxes of SunnyD Vodka Seltzer that has been watched more than 3.8 million times in four days.

Commenters to the video came down on both sides of the disgusting/delicious coin.

“What?! This is a dream come true,” wrote one.

“i need,” another declared.

While a third responded that the new drink “screams heart burn.”

We’re with the commenter who noted, “they knew exactly what generation they were marketing to.” Indeed, they did.

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