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New from Gatorade: Water

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Gatorade, known for its fruit-flavored sports drinks, is expanding into the functional water category with the launch of Gatorade Water. This electrolyte-infused, unflavored water aims to tap into the growing market for water with perceived health benefits.

Gatorade, a brand owned by PepsiCo, is making waves in the beverage industry with its latest product – Gatorade Water. While Gatorade is best known for its neon-bright fruit-flavored sports drinks, the company is venturing into the rapidly growing “functional water” category. Projected to reach $18 billion in sales in the next two years, this category comprises water that consumers perceive to have additional health benefits.

Set to hit shelves early next year, Gatorade Water is an unflavored water infused with electrolytes and undergoes a 7-step filtration process. It also boasts alkaline properties and enhanced pH levels. The Gatorade brand, which already extends beyond its flagship recovery drink into other beverages and supplements, aims to leverage its credibility to disrupt the functional water category.

According to Michael Del Pozzo, president of Gatorade, their research indicates that approximately 30 million consumers are not currently reaching for enhanced water due to a lack of trust in lesser-known brands. By incorporating the trusted Gatorade branding, complete with its signature orange bolt, the company believes it can attract health-conscious consumers seeking functional water with specific benefits.

Athletes, in particular, are looking for premium unflavored water to consume throughout the day. They desire water that contains ingredients important to them and offers perceived health benefits, such as quicker recovery and improved gut health. Gatorade Water aims to meet this demand by providing a reliable and trusted option.

Although claims regarding the health benefits of alkaline water remain unproven, the functional water category’s growth is primarily driven by consumers prioritizing hydration as part of their everyday health routines. For independent retail store owners have an excellent opportunity to attract these health-conscious consumers by testing Gatorade Water in their stores.

Gatorade Water will join a crowded category currently dominated by Coca-Cola’s Smartwater, which holds nearly 27% of the US market share. Other popular brands include Essentia and PepsiCo-owned LIFEWTR and Propel. Gatorade believes its water will complement these existing offerings and broaden its consumer base.

Before its launch, the marketing challenge for Gatorade Water lies in establishing credibility among consumers. The brand needs to answer questions such as why consumers should pay more for this water and what unique benefits it offers. However, Gatorade sees this as an opportunity to expand its portfolio beyond sports drinks and differentiate itself from competitors.

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