Chances are you’ve drank Gatorade at some point in your life. The sports-drink has been around for over 40 years and was made popular by football players at the University of Florida. Football coaches still receive the obligatory Gatorade shower after winning a game. Gatorade is one of the big dogs on the U.S. sports-drink park but when it comes to the sports nutrition market, well not so much…yet.
Gatorade is owned by PepsiCo and they want a piece of the $20 billion dollar sports nutrition market. Duane Stanford recently wrote an in-depth article (for Bloomberg Businessweek) on Gatorade’s plan to get in the sports nutrition game. He shares, “In the same way PepsiCo rules the potato chip aisle, its Gatorade division has embarked on an audacious plan to cover the sports nutrition world with offerings to challenge a full spectrum of energy and after-workout “recovery” products, including energy bars, gels, protein shakes, and pretty much anything else athletes put into their bodies.”
Their plan is still being worked out. One of the first steps was a reworked logo and the packaging of their “G-Series”. A simple “G” made it’s debut in 2009 and while confusing to some the branding team has a plan for it’s long term integration. Typically you’ll find Gatorade at a grocery stores or convenience stores but look for that to change. They are working on getting on the shelves (with success thanks to PepsiCo) of GNC, sporting goods and specialty sports stores. Their thinking? “It’s about being where athletes shop and sweat,” says Andrea Fairchild, vice-president of brand marketing. If you’re going to target athletes and those who work out, it makes perfect sense.
The sports nutrition distributors I spoke to shared that the G-series isn’t moving yet and there’s still confusion as to what exactly the products are. Gatorade is aware of the challenges ahead of them and taking steps to be the choice of what athletes put inside their bodies. Gatorade has embraced social media and they currently have nearly 4.5 million facebook fans. That’s no joke. It will be interesting to see how “G” markets to athletes going forward and if they are able to tap into the the sports-nutrition business.
One item of note to women is that Gatorade is a “founding partner” in ESPNw.com and had a strong presence at the espnW: Women + Sports Summit I attended this summer. It was there that I first tried the G-Series Fit drink and it tasted great. I was impressed that it was a smooth taste without a nasty after taste.
Check out the entire Bloomberg article here. It’s well written and one that has companies in the sports nutrition business taking notice. “Like” Gatorade on facebook and follow them on twitter @gatorade.