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Gatorade Evolves From Sports Drink to Sports Performance Innovation Company


Building on the momentum from its brand refresh with the G campaign last year, The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (PEP), is expanding on its hydration expertise and staking out new ground by delivering a broader product line to help address the sports performance needs of more athletes. Scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute worked with some of the world’s greatest athletes to create the G Series, a new line of sports performance products that provide the fluid, fuel, and nutrients athletes need before, during, and after a workout, practice or competition. The G Series will debut on the sidelines of Super Bowl XLIV along with redesigned coolers, and the full series of beverages will be available to consumers later this spring.

“Every successful brand evolution delivers a one-two punch of image and innovation, and the G Series is a major step on our journey from a sports drink to a sports performance innovation company,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer for Gatorade. “Who better than Gatorade, the inventor of the sports drink, to rethink and advance the category with meaningful innovation? For too long, this category has relied on flavor extensions and it’s time to reset the clock in terms of functionality, and that’s what we’re doing in 2010.”

In developing the G Series, Gatorade scientists collaborated with a diverse roster of the world’s top athletes, including Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Misty May-Treanor, Dwyane Wade, Derek Jeter, Ellery Hollingsworth, and Landon Donovan. Additionally, Gatorade solicited feedback from more than 10,000 athletes and a wide array of sports health professionals to ensure the G Series meets and is optimized for athlete needs before, during, and after workouts or competitions.

“In learning about the G Series, we walked away impressed that Gatorade did its homework with the science and with athletes to develop products that deliver what my players need to perform,” said Tom Smith, Head Athletic Trainer for the Orlando Magic. “For the past few weeks, our guys have been using the G Series and we believe it’s making a difference.”

Each product of the G Series is designed to meet the distinct performance needs around workout or competition usage – pre (01), during (02), and post (03).

Gatorade Prime 01: According to Gatorade research, athletes are looking for energy to kick-start their activity, but don’t want to feel too full. Gatorade Prime 01 is pre-game fuel designed for use within 15 minutes of a workout or competition. Packaged in a convenient and functional 4-oz. pouch, Gatorade Prime 01 provides real carbohydrate energy, not the perceived energy that comes from highly caffeinated beverages.

Gatorade Perform 02 (Gatorade Thirst Quencher): In the moment of activity, athletes turn to the sports drink they’ve trusted for years. Now reframed within the G Series, Gatorade Thirst Quencher continues to offer the scientifically proven blend of fluids to help rehydrate, electrolytes to replace what athletes lose in sweat, and carbohydrate energy to fuel working muscles and enhance athletic performance.

Gatorade Perform 02 (G2): Also positioned within the G Series, the successful low-calorie G2 delivers functional hydration during exercise with less than half of the calories (and the carbohydrates to fuel working muscles) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher.

Gatorade Recover 03: Athletes know it’s critical to promote muscle recovery to get ready for their next workout or competition. Gatorade Recover 03 is the first protein and carbohydrate beverage formulated with the consistency of a thirst quencher to provide hydration and muscle recovery benefits after exercise.

“Our goal is to leverage our scientific resources and knowledge of athletes to redefine the sports performance nutrition landscape,” said O’Hagan. “As a first step, we are innovating our product lineup to meet a greater range of needs for more athletes.”

In consumer testing of the new G Series, athletes immediately recognized the G on the label and thought the consistent look across all the G Series products demonstrated Gatorade understood athletes have more sports performance needs than hydration. Athletes also found the G Series innovation “compelling” and said it showed a greater commitment to “serious” athletes which differentiated Gatorade from other sports drink brands.

The G Series products will rollout at retail gradually, with G2 appearing on shelf in its reframed Perform 02 label beginning immediately. In March, consumers will start to see Gatorade Thirst Quencher with its G Series label Gatorade Perform 02. Then in April, Gatorade Prime 01 and Gatorade Recover 03 will become available at grocery, drug, convenience, mass, and club stores.

In another effort to address the needs of more athletes and reinforce its quality and functional benefits, Gatorade is removing high fructose corn syrup from Gatorade Thirst Quencher and G2. From a scientific efficacy and athletic performance perspective, nothing has changed about Gatorade Thirst Quencher and G2, and in double-blind tests, athletes preferred the taste of the products with the new sweeteners. The carbohydrates in Gatorade and G2 continue to serve the important functional purpose of providing energy to fuel athletes’ muscles during activity. The full line of products without HFCS will be available at retail later this spring, but some will start rolling out as early as January.

Gatorade is also launching an elite series of products that will be sold at athletic specialty stores such as GNC later this spring.
“Where you’re sold says a lot about who you are as a brand,” said O’Hagan. “There’s a brand halo that comes from offering an elite product line that’s available only in premium channels.”

About Gatorade
The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Gatorade Thirst Quencher┬« is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. The company’s product portfolio is built around the G SeriesTM, a 1-2-3 approach to athlete nutrition and hydration before (Gatorade Prime 01TM), during (Gatorade┬« Perform 02 and G2┬« Perform 02), and after (Gatorade Recover 03TM) training or competition.

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana, and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries. With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient, and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.

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Tuesday, January 23, 5:52 pm

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