The US sports drinks market is highly competitive. It accounts for the highest worldwide sports drink consumption. A sports drink is a deviation of an energy drink which aims at rehydration, sports performance and muscle recovery. The major players in this US market are Gatorade by PepsiCo & PowerAde by Coca-Cola. Gatorade
Gatorade is accepted as the market leader of US sports drink market with nearly 75% market share as at 2008 (Sports Business Daily, 23 July 2009). The study analyses the marketing mix of Gatorade in US market with special concentration on its Marketing Communications. It was introduced in 1965 as a thirst quencher by four medical researchers at University of Florida. The name for the drink came from ‘The Gators’, the first team who used the drink to achieve success. It was acquired by Quaker Oats Company and became a part of PepsiCo in 1998.
Gatorade Company launched Gatorade G2 in 2007 as a low-calorie electrolyte beverage. The product is considered as a healthy choice beverage by athletes and became the highest grossing food product in USA in 2008 with sales of $159.1 million (Advertising Age, 25 March 2009). The target market for G2 can be defined as; * They are active and athletic (Professional or Non-professional) * They aim fast rehydration on and off the field
* They are health conscious, concerned about the sugar content of the product. It can be identified that G2 is aiming for a rapidly developing market as US consumers are increasingly becoming health conscious and is becoming serious about physical training & fitness.
Gatorade G2 is a low calorie electrolyte beverage which is packed with vitamins. The product entered a rapid growth stage in 2008. In response to the entrance of PowerAde Zero, the vitamin-packed, healthy beverage in to the sports drinks market in late 2008, some augmentations were introduced to G2 in 2009, which includes; * New packaging and labelling
* Additions of Vitamins
* New slogan: “1/2 the calories, all the G”
The slogan of G2 can be readily associated with the target customer as ‘½ the calories’ can be attributed to less sugar which the health conscious consumer expects from the product and ‘all the G’ guarantees that the consumer will be energized for ultimate performance. This statement also acts as the USP for G2 by stating how the product is different from those of competitors. After the very successful 2008, G2 is forecasted to bring in higher sales in 2009. It is also expected to experience a further boost to the sales after it was included in the new G series in 2010 with an introduction of a powdered version.
Time 2007 2008 2009 2010 Chart 1: PLC of G2
Gatorade’s pricing strategy changed to a competitive strategy with the entrance of PowerAde Zero into the market. G2 is priced at $ 1.49 per 20 Oz Bottle while Zero is priced at $ 1.50 at Best-Price.com. The pricing also acts to generate an emotional response rather than a rational response from consumers which constitutes psychological pricing.
Gatorade has always aimed at increasing availability & visibility of their products in order to follow the growth of sales. Gatorade G2 is now available in all major supermarkets in USA and Speciality sports stores such as GNC where athletes regularly make purchases. They are available to colleges & high schools through “Athletic team dealers” and also through postal ordering schemes known as “high school hydration packs”.
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