PepsiCo plans to revamp Gatorade in New Year

PepsiCo announced this week that it will invest $30 million in Gatorade over the next year, targeting the brand more toward athletes with formulations for pre- and post- exercise use.

Massimo d’Amore, CEO of PepsiCo America’s Beverages, announced the changes at the Beverage Digest Future Smarts Conference. Gatorade spokeswoman Jennifer Schmit confirmed that PepsiCo will remove high fructose corn syrup from all Gatorade products, including G2, and will replace the oft-maligned sweetener with a sucrose/dextrose blend.

New products will include Gatorade Prime, to be used before exercise, and Gatorade Perform, to be used as a post-exercise recovery drink.

The brand will also shed cumbersome sub-lines, like Gatorade Tiger: Focus, which PepsiCo said was slated for elimination before the golfer’s recent public image problems. Schmit said not all of the brand’s many extensions will be eliminated, but could not elaborate on which would stay and which would go. She also could not comment on the future of Gatorade “Natural,” a cane sugar-sweetened variant previewed in October at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show. In the meantime, the revamp will maintain Gatorade’s newly-minted “G” branding.

Analysts have questioned PepsiCo’s plans to more narrowly target the currently-mainstream brand, but Gatorade has suffered a decline in sales and dominance over the isotonic category as consumers switch to The Coca-Cola Co. Inc.’s Powerade and vitaminwater products.