Gatorade to launch a line of sports drinks just for athletes

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Gatorade's sluggish sales this year might get revitalized with a new line of drinks the brand expects to launch early next year.

In a departure from its traditional ploy to market its sports beverages to a broader, soft-drink-consuming customer base, Gatorade will aim for the hardcore, serious athlete, the company says.

Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo and is that company's third largest line of drinks, has seen declining sales over the last year - industry experts have cited an 18 percent drop for 2009 - as consumers opt for cheaper beverages like Coca Cola's Powerade or more conventional soft drinks.

The new line of sports drinks is slated to offer athletes thirst-quenching and performance-boosting benefits during all phases of exercise - before, during and after intense physical activity - with a range of formulations named "Prime," "Perform" and "Recover."

Gatorade officials say that the new drinks line will provide a "significant innovation that will evolve Gatorade" and that the recession has been to blame for the brand's declining revenues, according to business publication Crain's New York.

Last year, Gatorade rebranded itself as "G" to spur sales, but the move failed to convince the targeted market - a mix of athletes and the active customer.

With the upcoming launch, Gatorade plans to focus exclusively on its "core-user - athletes who will pay a premium price for the proven function benefits Gatorade offers," a Gatorade spokesman said.