PepsiCo CEO doesn’t want casual sports drinkers

PrintAlthough it is still the market leader, Gatorade has lost 5% market share compared to this time last year.  Indra Nooyi says Gatorade’s recent decline in sales are a result of casual Gatorade drinkers choosing other beverage options instead of Gatorade.  Nooyi defines these “casual” sports drinks consumers as users that buy it simply for the taste.  In a second quarter earnings conference call, the PepsiCO CEO said, “Those users don’t really have a right to exist in the Gatorade world.”  Nooyi also states that to regain lost share, the Gatorade business unit will maintain Gatorade prices while creating other products to capture the migrating Gatorade users.

One must wonder what type of additional products the company will introduce to keep these users as customers.  Will it be a completely new product line, featuring a different brand name and beverage formula?  Or will be it a release under the Gatorade umbrella?

BevWire’s recommendation is to release it under the Gatorade brand.  This leverages on the sports drink’s brand stature, allowing consumers to more easily trust on the new drink.  With other Gatorade product lines such as Fierce, X-Factor, G2, and others marketed as offering more vitamins for the user, this new drink can capitalize on the users that want less vitamins (those that simply buy it for the taste).  To capture the entire spectrum of sports drinkers – casual and actual athletes – the brand’s product portfolio must reflect this as well.  Let’s wait and see what PepsiCo plans to do – release additional products under the Gatorade brand name, or release a new product under some other brand name.

vitaminwater10 adds 4 more: go-go, mega-c, recoup, and revitalize

vitaminwater10, the low calorie (only 10, hence the name) and naturally sweetened flavored water will double its offerings next month.  Starting August 17, 2009, go-go, mega-c, recoup, and revitalize will join xxx, energy, multi-v, and essential in the beverage company’s low calorie product offerings.  Here’s what vitaminwater has to say about their new flavors:

  • vitaminwater10 go-go (mixed berry): contains 250 milligrams of ribose, 100% vitamin c, 25% vitamin e and four b vitamins per bottle, because we know that every day is a marathon. we’ve formulated go-go to give you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to help you reach your daily finish line.courtesy of
  • vitaminwater10 mega-c (grape raspberry): formulated with 250% vitamin c, 25% zinc, plus four b vitamins per bottle, to help keep your immune system fighting the good fight to stay healthy.
  • vitaminwater10 recoup (peach-mandarin): armed with 100% vitamin b3, b5, b6 and b12, per bottle, plus 100% vitamin c, because recoup was created to help you cope with whatever life throws at you.
  • vitaminwater10 revitalize (green tea): it can’t give you back your childhood, but it can load you up with 140 milligrams of protective antioxidants like vitamin c, egcg and green tea polyphenols per bottle. protective antioxidants can help to support your metabolism and immune system so you can fight those “aging” free radicals.

BevWire wonders what the impact (if any) these new flavors will have on consumers.  The regular vitaminwater green-tea flavor is called Rescue, whereas the 10-calorie edition is called Revitalize.  Power-C (also known as Mega-C) in Canada is a dragonfruit flavor, whereas the 10-calorie edition called Mega-C is a grape-raspberry flavor.

Has vitaminwater10 taken a new direction?  The original 4 flavors (xxx, energy, multi-v, and essential) kept the same name from both vitaminwater and vitaminwater10.  Now these 4 new flavors have different names and flavors.  Consumers may get confused about what the company is doing with these new flavors, since the names and flavors don’t match with what they expected from the regular flavors.

In addition, vitaminwater10 appears to be going down the same path as vitaminwater: too many flavors.  With 15 flavors of regular vitaminwater, and 8 flavors of vitaminwater10, that adds to up a total of 23 flavors!  Unless the company starts to narrow out the flavors, they risk cannabalization.  Sometimes, less is more.  The market is already saturated with numerous variations of this beverage, and consumers will simply be switching back and forth between the flavors.  In the end, the loser may be vitaminwater.

Mike is G. Michael Jordan to Get Limited Edition Gatorade Tribute.

The Gatorade Company will celebrate Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame induction this fall with a series of limited edition Gatorade sports drinks.  Starting in July, Gatorade will release these sport drinks while supplies last, to commemorate Jordan’s legendary “G” moments: then, now and forever.

“From its role fueling Michael Jordan on the court to the unforgettable ‘Be Like Mike’ ad campaign, Gatorade was as much a part of Michael’s game as his explosive leaps or his trademark fade-away,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer for Gatorade.  “Michael’s Hall of Fame induction is the latest ‘G’ moment in a career filled with them, and fans will certainly want to have a piece of history by collecting all six of these commemorative bottles.”

The Limited Edition Jordan Series features three new flavors of Gatorade Thirst Quencher which represent Jordan’s career then, now and forever.  There are six variations in all, and each tells a portion of the Jordan story through pictures and words.  They include:

G Limited Ed MJ ThenTHEN – Championship Blue (Berry Cherry Blend):  Two labels celebrate Jordan’s early rise to stardom.  The first honors his days at E.A. Laney High School in Wilmington, N.C., where Jordan once was cut from the varsity basketball team.  Jordan, who kept a stash of Gatorade in his garage to fuel his training, rebounded through increased guts and dedication to become the school’s best player.  A second “then”-themed label showcases his time at the University of North Carolina, where Jordan famously hit the game-winning shot for the Tar Heels during the 1982 NCAA Finals.

NOW – Championship Gold (Citrus Orange Blend):  Based on Jordan’s favorite Gatorade flavor, the citrus orange blend of Championship Gold turns the spotlight on Jordan’s enduring business acumen.  The first label displays his continuing role in the NBA as part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.  The second label describes how Jordan took his golden touch to the world of “Superbikes” as founder of Michael Jordan Motorsports, where his winning team already won its first AMA Superstock Championship in 2008.

Forever – Championship Red (Berry Blend):  Two labels honor Jordan’s enduring legacy – the unforgettable memories that will enthrall fans forever.  One label highlights his career accomplishments (six NBA championships and a host of individual records) while another label focuses specifically on Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, when despite waking that morning with flu-like symptoms Jordan courageously scored 38 points and led the Bulls to a pivotal victory, all while drinking Gatorade on the sidelines to provide the fuel he needed to compete.

G Limited Ed MJ ForeverJordan utilized Gatorade to fuel great performances throughout his career and in 1991 the perennial All-Star signed a formal endorsement deal with Gatorade that continues today.  Almost instantly the partnership put a stamp on sports and pop culture, beginning with the famous “Be Like Mike” advertising campaign which displayed a new, playful side of this intense competitor and quickly caught on with mainstream audiences.  Since then both Gatorade and Jordan have flourished and reached new heights together.  Jordan has appeared in more than 30 television commercials for Gatorade, including the “Michael vs. Mia” campaign with soccer legend Mia Hamm (1999-2000); the groundbreaking “23 vs. 39” ad which debuted during the Super Bowl in 2003 and featured Jordan playing and mentoring his 23-year-old self; and this year’s star-studded “What’s G?” campaign which launched the idea of “G” as a badge of pride for today’s athletes and active people.

The Limited Edition Jordan Series goes on sale at grocery, convenience and specialty stores beginning in early July until supplies last.

Hey BevWire, what happened to posting regularly?

Greetings BevWire readers,

I have been rather caught up with work for the last little while so I haven’t posted any new material here.  I am aware that there has been a slew of new product releases and company updates since my last post.  Now that the crazy has somewhat slowed down, I will be posting some new information in the next few days/weeks.  Thanks for your patience!