Gatorade before, during and after … the game, that is.

TakeAway: After three years of declining sales, PepsiCo wants to regenerate the product life cycle by designing a three-step system for Gatorade consumption and targeting a niche market of elite athletes.  Particularly after a failed makeover dubbing the drink “G” last year, PepsiCo needed to find a way to regain profits for a mature product.   


Excerpted from WSJ, “Gatorade: Before and After — PepsiCo’s New Ad Campaign Touts Three-Drink System for Sports Beverage” By Valerie Bauerlein, April 23, 2010

The campaign promoting the new lineup of “G Series” drinks for athletes, aims to demonstrate that Gatorade isn’t just a sports drink that replaces nutrients sweated out during the game, but a system with three steps: a carbohydrate-loaded “Prime” concentrated liquid before play; the traditional “Perform” sports drink during; and a light, protein-rich “Recover” drink after.

Gatorade’s basic “thirst quencher” message of hydration hasn’t changed much in 45 years. But PepsiCo wants the G Series to expand the Gatorade message to broader sports performance.

Teens are Gatorade’s main target.  To create the G Series line, Gatorade interviewed more than 10,000 teen athletes, parents and coaches. Many said they already ate something with carbs before a game (candy, chips), a sports drink during and something with protein afterward (sandwiches).

The three products — Prime, Perform and Recover — together will cost about $7. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade costs about $2.

The company also plans to reach out to adult athletes. Gatorade is launching a separate new line next month called G Series Pro, aimed at marathon runners, personal trainers and other elite athletes. The products will be sold in specialty stores such as GNC and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Gatorade is PepsiCo’s third-biggest selling global beverage brand after Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew, so its 14% sales volume decline in the U.S., its biggest market, last year was a concern for executives, analysts and investors.

PepsiCo’s first-quarter earnings, released Thursday, showed that the company has yet to turbo-charge Gatorade, although sales are improving. The company posted a 26% jump in first-quarter earnings, boosted by the February acquisition of its two biggest bottlers. While quarterly revenue in the company’s Pepsi Americas Beverages business, including North America and Latin America, rose 32%, beverage volumes fell 4%.

Edit by AMW

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