Industry News | April 1, 2013

Sonic Goes Green with New Tea Lineup

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Living up to its reputation as the “Ultimate Drink Stop” SONIC Drive-In announced the launch of a new line of freshly brewed green iced teas available in thousands of flavors, including five brand new flavor mix-ins: peach, mango, raspberry, blackberry, and mint.

The antioxidant-rich sweet and diet green iced teas, along with the five new sugar-free flavors, join the current sweet and unsweetened freshly brewed black iced tea offerings, and elevate SONIC’s selection of unique drink combinations to 1,063,953, including more than 20,000 that are zero or reduced calorie.

“Consumers have shown increased interest in green tea in recent years due to the refreshing taste and widely touted health benefits,” says James O’Reilly, SONIC chief marketing officer.

“We recognized this growing trend and took the opportunity to be one of the first national quick-service restaurants to offer freshly brewed green iced tea. And because we are all about choices, we didn’t launch just one or two iced tea varieties, but launched sweet and diet green iced tea with five new sugar-free flavor mix-ins,” he adds. “These new flavors, combined with our thousands of other iced tea flavor options, make it fun to make healthy choices.” 

The five new flavor mix-ins and the diet green iced tea are sugar-free and sweetened with Splenda, and contain no artificial flavors or colors.

The new iced teas and flavors can be creatively combined into blends like mango sweet black iced tea, blackberry green iced tea, and peach diet green iced tea.

Guests can take advantage of SONIC’s popular daily drink happy hour from 2 to 4 p.m. and try out the new iced tea varieties and flavor combinations for half price.

In addition, all of SONIC’s freshly brewed iced teas can be purchased in gallon size for family gatherings, get-togethers, and tea parties.

“After months of thoughtful iced tea mixology, we’ve nailed it,” says chef Clas Petersson, vice president of product innovation, who leveraged past experience in green tea product development in Asia to develop SONIC’s green iced tea.

“The flavor profile of green iced tea differs greatly from our other drink options, so the flavor mix-ins we created had to be equally special,” Petersson adds. “We chose these five new flavors because of the way they complement the green iced tea and black iced tea, and also because of the ability to add them to our pre-existing drink lineup, expanding our flavor offerings to our extremely creative and experimental guests.”

The integrated marketing launch of the new iced teas and flavors includes national television ads featuring SONIC’s iconic Two Guys, local radio and local print advertising, and packaging and on-lot prominence and social media activity.