Soaring Sales For Sports Drinks

Sports Drink Sales are up 19.1 Percent for the Entire Category to More Than $1.5 Billion for the Year Ending June 18, According to Iri. Bottled Sports Drinks saw the Biggest Increases, at 21 Percent, for a Total of $1.4 Billion in Supermarket, Drug and Mass Merchandise Outlets, Excluding Wal-mart. a Much Smaller Segment, Powdered Sports Drink Mixes Nonetheless Grew Almost 15 Percent for a Total of $31.7 Million in the Measured Channels.
With nine of the Top 10 brands in sports drinks, Gatorade continues to hold on to its title as the undisputed category champion. PepsiCo’s Gatorade formulas account for almost 85 percent of bottled sports drinks, and the company’s flagship product dropped slightly in market share during the past year, giving one brand nearly half of the entire category’s sales. The Coca-Cola Co.’s Powerade picked up a 18.6 percent sales increase in the measured channels, but lost a slight 0.3 percent share of market for a total share of 13.2 percent.
Not every Gatorade product is invincible, however. Gatorade Xtremo, its tropical-flavored variation, and Gatorade Ice experienced some of the only declines in the ready-to-drink segment, dropping 11.7 percent and 58.8 percent, respectively.
The increased segmentation in the sports drink category sets out to satisfy the rehydration needs of a broad array of consumers. This past year, Gatorade further differentiated its formulations with new Gatorade Rain, created to have a crisper flavor and less aftertaste than its original formula. The new variation is available in Lime, Tangerine and Berry flavors.
Extending its line, The Coca-Cola Co. added Advance by Powerade, a new sports drink/energy drink hybrid beverage, last year in Berry and Cherry Lime flavors. The product contains caffeine, taurine and B vitamins to combine both the hydration and energy concepts.
Top bottled sports drinks (individual brands)
GATORADE $681,661,400 19.5 47.5 -0.5
POWERADE $189,575,700 18.6 13.2 -0.3
GATORADE FROST $138,530,700 11.5 9.6 -0.8
GATORADE FIERCE $98,465,630 1.4 6.9 -1.3
GATORADE ALL STARS $97,888,670 31.1 6.8 0.5
GATORADE X FACTOR $96,821,740 18.7 6.7 -0.1
GATORADE RAIN $50,590,950 NA 3.5 3.5
GATORADE XTREMO $20,454,800 -11.7 1.4 -0.5
GATORADE ICE $16,165,180 -58.8 1.1 -2.2
GATORADE ENDURANCE FORMULA $11,964,230 130.5 0.8 0.4
CATEGORY TOTAL $1,435,907,000 20.8 100.0 0.0
Source: Information Resources Inc., Total food, drug and mass merchandise (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending June 18, 2006.
It also rolled out low-calorie Powerade Option sports drink in Black Cherry, Strawberry and Lemon flavors. The product was formulated to contain electrolytes and B vitamins at levels comparable to regular Powerade, but with fewer carbohydrates and 80 percent fewer calories. It is sweetened with a blend of sucralose, acesulfame potassium and high fructose corn syrup for a total of 10 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates per 8-ounce serving.
This summer, the company is adding to the lineup with the “Grape Collection.” Indicating that grape is one of the most popular sports drink flavors, Coca-Cola has added the flavor to its Powerade, Powerade Option and Dasani bottled water lines.
The market dominance of the major companies in sports drinks hasn’t intimidated newcomers to the category, who have rolled out a number of new formulations during the past year. Known to movie fans everywhere, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger launched Rudy Revolution sports drink this spring. Rudy Beverage Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., was co-founded by the University of Notre Dame football player made famous in the movie “Rudy,” and the company introduced a product said to provide sustained energy and re-hydration with only 8 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving “to keep everyone from the all-star high school athlete to the weekend warrior constantly energized." Flavors include Citrus Slam, Fruit Punch Blast and Orange Lift, and are available in 55-ounce bottles.
Firefighter Beverages, Norwalk, Conn., rolled out Firefighter brand EMS Hydro Energy supplement drink, calling it a three-in-one hydration-energy-vitamin beverage. The product is available in Lemon Lime, Orange, Wild Berry, Fruit Punch, Kiwi Strawberry, Apple Melon and Grape flavors. According to the company, “Hydro Energy is specially engineered to provide optimum hydration and maximum energy for intense physical activity in the most demanding conditions.” It contains taurine, d-ribose, carnitine, arginine, glutamine and vitamins, and fewer calories per serving than regular sports drinks. The company donates a portion of net profits to national and local firefighter-related causes and charities.
Ingredient company Ajinomoto has its hand in finished beverages with Amino Vital Pro Advanced amino acid sports drinks. Available in two fruit flavors, Amino Vital is packaged in 20-ounce bottles, and is said to contain 3,600 mg. of amino acids per bottle. The company says the drinks provide a fast but steady rate of absorption, so fluid reaches body tissue when it needs it most.
The company also rolled out Amino Vital Puredge, a ready-to-drink product in Citrus Orange and Fruit Punch flavors. Puredge is said to provide 1,850 mg. of branched-chain amino acids and arginine and contains 50 calories per 8-ounce serving.
For active kids, Sunny Delight Beverages Co. offered SunnyD Intense Sport in Orange, Lemon Lime, Raspberry Ice and Cool Punch flavors. The products contain B vitamins, vitamin C, electrolytes, and are lower in sugar.
Hansen Natural Corp. rolled out Blue Sport under its Blue Sky brand of natural beverages. The product is available in Orange, Fruit Punch and Lemon-Lime flavors, and is said to contain six types of electrolytes — sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and phosphorus — as well as B vitamins. It is sweetened with sucrose and glucose for 45 calories per 8-ounce serving. BI