Orange is not the only colour, certainly when it comes to the packaging for carbonated orange drinks. Tango painted it black. And now Sunkist is turning blue.

Designer Bruce Duckworth says that the history of blue being used to package real oranges on their way to market stalls, allied with blue being orange’s complementary colour and hence showing orange off to its best, led to the new blue cans.

Coca Cola Schweppes Beverage’s category controller for flavoured carbonates Robin Chatterton – a prime contender for any ‘longest job title’ competitions – plays down the trail blazed by Tango’s Wickens Tutt Southgate-designed black can.

‘Certainly there have been defining moments, and Tango did break the mould, but this is Sunkist moving on to reflect the needs of our consumers,’ he says. The

customer is looking for something more than just an orange carbonate. ‘Naturalness is key,’ says Chatterton.

Launched successfully in the UK in 1989, Sunkist has a much longer heritage in the US, where the name was applied to the fruit itself from the turn of the century.

And it was to the type-led graphics of orange fruiterers’ branding from 90 years ago or more that Turner Duckworth looked when hand-lettering the can. The Californian heritage which the Sunkist brand relies on is more genuine, claims Duckworth, than the TV-manufactured Baywatch version of the US West Coast.

Shelf-Shout, ‘pick-up-ability’ and market acceptance by 15- to 18-year-olds were CCSB’s targets. Chatterton is confident that the new look hits all the right notes. Four variants, five pack sizes and three multipacks have all been given the revamp and will appear on shelf from Monday.

Chatterton says that the UK-led changes may well roll out across Europe. That Sunkist has won new supermarket listings on the basis of the redesign alone bodes well.

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