AriZona to Play Ball with Gatorade, Powerade

As part of its ongoing effort to stretch its well-known brand into a variety of emerging beverage areas, AriZona Beverages is introducing AriZona Sports, a new line of all-natural isotonic sports drinks.

“We’re real big on our tea, but one of our big lines is our juice drink flavors,” says Paul O’Donnell, AriZona’s vice president. “We’ve been trying to add to all the different kinds of categories out there.”

AriZona’s family has certainly grown from its familiar 99-cent tall can in the past few years: in addition to a number of variations on its canned and bottled juices and teas — including a wildly successful “Arnold Palmer” mixture of tea and lemonade — the company has also launched a line of functional shots, a powdered tea “stick pack” line, and enhanced waters under the RESCUE Water brand.

O’Donnell says that AriZona wants to “try to touch on all the different categories: sticks, powders, cocktail mixes, and expand from that to coconut waters, to isotonics,” suggesting that the company may branch out even further.

O’Donnell said the 34 oz. clear PET bottles of Fruit Punch, Lemon-Lime and Orange flavored sports drinks are a departure from the well-known AriZona products, but are bound to appeal to a distinct buyer market. The electrolyte-rich formula comes in at 50 calories per serving. Distribution began in the Northeast about three to four weeks ago with an MSRP of $1.99 per bottle.

“We’re really aiming after a younger audience,” says O’Donnell. “For us, this is going to be the teenage audience because of the active lifestyle they have.”