In our new series, Flashback Fridays, we take a look at our favorite blast-from-the-past foods—still living, some long dead. Cue the nostalgia.
You remember SunnyD, don't you? The tooth-achingly sweet after-school beverage synonymous with your elementary school youth? That SunnyD is back in all its original flavors (plus some new ones), the company has confirmed. It's back and if you want to hear more about it, you're going to have to take this journey with me back to the 1990s. Or you can just scroll. Whatever. But I'm going to talk about being young for a bit.
SunnyD was more than just a drink. It was more than just a mood. It was the embodiment of a decade of glorious carelessness and blissful ignorance where we vaguely knew (but certainly did not care!) that sugar would kill us slowly. To sip a SunnyD was an intentional act of spite. To love SunnyD was to stick it to the man. We were a generation of tiny rule-breakers who delighted in drinking shit that would erode us from the inside in.
Plus, it was fucking delicious.
While this may not be true of the new iteration of the drink (I said you could scroll, OK?), Fooducate called SunnyD one of the worst drinks in its category in terms of nutrition value back in the 2010s when it was still bopping around in fridge aisles behind the last of the Surge cans. In fact, the site slammed it so hard it's almost laughable:
In fact, a quick Google search of the stuff yields nothing but condescension re: added sugar and the belittlement of a drink that meant so much to so many people. It's almost like everyone forgot we all lived through the same years of thinking diet sodas were chill and healthy...or that they've forgotten we currently are bombarded with "everything is OK and fine for you in moderation!" content from people who don't actually eat fun things whenever we sign online now.
Those who were lil sugar-guzzling soldiers will DELIGHT (!) (ugh) (sorry) in the news of the drink's return. Those who wrote it off the first time around will continue to shame people for what they consume while pretending they don't use the new flavors of SunnyD as the perfect chaser the next time they get drunk.
Ugh, OK, fine, I'm done. Turns out I'm just mad at everyone and also that it's not the '90s anymore?
Whatever. The new "juicy Watermelon and tangy Lemonade flavors that taste like summer in a bottle" are available now wherever you can (or would've, at least) find SunnyD. All of the 10+ original flavors are back in stores too. Per the SunnyD website, there's not a flavor among them that's more than 60 calories. And...that's it! That's all I've got. The reminiscing was more fun, no?
Tess Koman covers breaking (food) news, opinion pieces, and features on larger happenings in the food world.