Sunny Delight Spending $70 Million

Sunny Delight Beverages Co., Cincinnati, will buy J.M. Smucker Co.'s Sherman, Texas, plant and will upgrade all five of its North American manufacturing facilities to the tune of more than $70 million.

The company also plans to sell its Western European Sunny Delight juice drink business to Orangina Schweppes, a company of the Suntory Group. Terms were not disclosed.

Sunny Delight has been leasing space at Smucker’s Texas plant since 2004 to produce its SunnyD brand. Smucker will continue to produce Folgers coffee there until April 2011. Sherman Economic Development Corp. is providing incentives.  

“This [overall] investment will lower our costs via 'no-touch' robotic warehousing at each site and will further enhance our sustainability efforts through upgraded, consumer preferred packages that require less material and energy to produce,” said Ellen Iobst, senior vice president of manufacturing and technology. “The result will be more highly efficient beverage operations across North America better capable of producing our seven brands and meeting our retailers' and consumers' needs."

Sunny Delight operates plants in Anaheim, Calif.; Sherman, Texas; South Brunswick, N.J.; Littleton, Mass; and Atlanta. Brands include Sunny Delight, Elations, Fruit2O, Bossa Nova, Veryfine, Fruit Simple and Crystal Light ready-to-serve beverages.

The company is majority owned by J.W. Childs Associates L.P., a Boston private equity firm, which bought the Sunny Delight business from Procter & Gamble in 2004.

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