Riding the wave of demand for organic products, PepsiCo-owned Gatorade has launched an organic line extension. Gatorade’s new G Organic series comes to market approximately nine months after PepsiCo first announced that it was developing the organic sub-line for the brand.
G Organic drinks are USDA certified organic and formulated with seven ingredients: water, organic sugar, citric acid, organic natural flavor, sea salt, sodium citrate and potassium chloride. The products come in three flavor varieties — Lemon, Mixed Berry and Strawberry — each containing 120 calories and 29 grams of sugar per 16.9 oz. bottle. They are available for sale at Kroger and Amazon.com and with a retail price of $1.69 for a single bottle.
The launch of G Organic is the second time that Gatorade has tried a line of drinks made without artificial ingredients. In 2010 the brand introduced “G Natural,” a two-SKU line of beverages made with natural flavors and ingredients and sweetened with stevia. However, G Natural was discontinued in 2012. At the time, PepsiCo said that the line “didn’t resonate with our core consumer and, as a result, sales didn’t meet expectations.”
So how will G Organic succeed where G Natural didn’t? Brett O’Brien, Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager, explained that the “product propositions are different.”
“G Organic is USDA certified organic,” O’Brien wrote in an email to BevNET. “G Naturals… only resonated with a small group of athletes at the time it was introduced and included natural ingredients, which are categorized under a different set of standards. We’ve heard from a growing number of athletes in locker rooms that they’re choosing organic products, so we’re now launching an even better product for them with USDA certified G Organic.”
G Organic debuts amid momentum for some premium and better-for-you sports drink brands, in particular BodyArmor. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, retail sales of BodyArmor, which is backed by Dr Pepper Snapple and markets all-natural, coconut water-infused beverages, reached nearly $69 million in the 52-week period ending on Aug. 2, up 144.6 percent from a year prior.
BodyArmor’s recent success, however, doesn’t necessarily foretell a turning point for the sports drink category toward greater consumption of natural or organic varieties. The two dominant players in the category, Gatorade and its chief rival, Coca-Cola-owned Powerade, are also seeing retail sales growth across their portfolios, which primarily consist of products formulated with artificial ingredients.
Nevertheless, O’Brien said that Gatorade is “continually reviewing our products to ensure that they are in line with athlete preferences,” and added that he thinks that there will be “an increase in athletes looking for organic products in the coming years.”