Sunkist Pineapple

$4.00

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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 US and the 10th best selling soft drink. Unlike many other competing orange sodas, Sunkist contains caffeine (19.0 mg). In 2010, there was a consumer recall after a batch was accidentally mixed with 6 times amount of the caffeine, sickening consumers.