After-School Delight

Sunny Delight Beverages Co X Energizing Juice Drink CanTeenagers are inscrutable folk. They hate everything, but they love not listening. They don’t care at all. They’ve already heard that song. As the Internet recently told me, they hang out in pretty much all the same places as seagulls. Their voice tones typically hover between volumes of barely audible and mute.

It’s a perplexing demographic to understand for anyone, be it parents or marketing executives, who have attempted just about every strategy to reach these enigmatic consumers. The results are harder to quantify than the net brain damage caused by MTV reality shows. But considering the importance and size of the market, the beverage industry keeps on trying.

The next teen-angled effort comes from Sunny Delight Beverages Co., which announced Monday the test market launch of SunnyD X, a carbonated juice drink that the company hopes will serve as an energy drink alternative. The 16 oz. cans are available in three flavors — Orange, Lemon Lime and Fruit Punch — and are covered with the letter “X.” The product has a combination of three carbohydrates and seven B-vitamins that help metabolize the carbohydrates into energy, according to a company release.

“Simply, put SunnyD X offers the energy teens crave without the ingredients moms tell us concern them such as caffeine and taurine,” David Zellen, the company’s associate marketing director, said in the release.

Zellen is seemingly referring to the heavy stream of backlash pointed at the energy drink category not just by moms, but also by politicians with an eye on their constituencies.

While Sunny Delight still bears the reputation of its sugar-packed core line, the company hasn’t been averse to evolution. On March 3, the company announced that it has reached an agreement with SodaStream. The pair will co-develop flavors exclusively for SodaStream, the at-home soda kit, in SunnyD Tangy Original Orange and Orange-Strawberry, among other varieties.

The SunnyD X test begins in select grocery chains and independent convenience stores in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington through distribution by Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Company, Canada Dry Potomac Corporation, Great State Beverages and Blue Coast Beverage. The company will sample the product at locations of interest to teens, according to the release, such as concerts, sporting events, skate parks, beaches and other seagull hangouts. The marketing plan will also include in-store signage, social media and a new website: