Gatorade still slips after ‘G’ campaign

PepsiCo’s ‘G’ campaign for Gatorade didn’t translate to green.

The number-two American beverage company reported second quarter earnings results this week, and its sales are down 6 percent, led by Gatorade. The recently-revamped iconic brand’s share of the sports drink category has fallen to 75 percent, down from nearly 80 percent a year ago while Coca-Cola’s Powerade gained share, according to Beverage Digest.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, during an earnings conference call, said that most of the brand’s losses have come from casual Gatorade drinkers, those that were buying it simply for the taste.

Those users, Nooyi said, “didn’t really have a right to exist in the Gatorade world.”

The product’s core users have always been athletes, she said, and that’s what the brand will focus on going forward.

Sports drinks in general have seen eroded sales as casual consumers of isotonics turn to enhanced waters or even tap water.

Nooyi said the company will deal with this customer migration by keeping steady pricing on Gatorade – so as to not cheapen the brand – while creating additional products to capture the departing casual users. She did not offer details on what shape those new products might take.