As the surge of exercise conscious Americans continues to grow, consumer brands are pumping up their product offerings – so it’s no surprise that Gatorade, a PepsiCo brand, has once again led the way in innovating the sports drink category and is an MMNPL contender. An original favorite of sport fanatics, professional and amateur athletes all over the world, the brand has now developed products to fuel fitness before, during, and after the workout with the new G Series line.
The research conducted by Gatorade for the G Series included interviewing more than 10,000 young athletes, parents, and trainers. Many admitted to consuming carbohydrates before a game, an energy drink during the game, and protein after the game. Gatorade sought to create drink solutions for the total nutritional spectrum when they engineered the three part system that includes: A) 01 Prime: a carb-delivering drink to be consumed before the workout, B) 02 Perform: a low-calorie thirst-quencher that provides electrolytes and is a repackaged version of G2, and C) 03 Recover: which is packed with protein to build muscles post-workout. Gatorade hopes to establish itself as far more than just a sports drink.
Gatorade is estimated to have spent close to $30 million on product development and packaging for the G Series campaign. The campaign, designed to generate awareness and trial of the G Series, focuses on athletic performance. To educate athletes, coaches, and parents about heat related illnesses, Gatorade partnered with the NFL and launched the Beat the Heat Campaign, which featured NFL players, coaches, and their families emphasizing the importance of proper hydration and nutrition. The cause marketing campaign raises funds for two organizations specializing in preventing heat-related illnesses, the Korey Stringer Institute and the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation. Sports stars Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Landon Donovan and others star in the G series promotions, and the brand’s YouTube channel and website feature videos of each in the “G Series Locker Room.”
In May 2010, Gatorade launched the G Series Pro – a version of the three-part system targeted toward more serious athletes – and distributed it through GNC nutrition stores and their network of nearly 5,500 outlets in the U.S. They also launched G Natural, which includes all natural ingredients and is available at Whole Foods.
With this beverage introduction, Gatorade is asking retailers to provide more shelf space, and consumers to invest in three separate products – two significant challenges. Will G Series offer the ultimate hydration tools and re-establish Gatorade’s grasp on the rinks, fields, and ball courts of the country? Or will one-step beverages continue to rule? The result could depend on how well Gatorade leverages influencers to change the way consumers think about hydration.
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