The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, announced that Powerade, the official sports drink of the London 2012 Olympic Games, is offering athletes from around the world the opportunity to train with professional athletes and coaches at the Powerade Sports Academy during the Olympics.
Similar to how superheroes like Spiderman and Batman have been known to blur the boundaries between advocates for justice and vigilantes, sports and protein drinks are transitioning from being separate categories to the emergence of one overall sports performance market, experts say.
Fresh out of college in 1991, Mark Rampolla ventured to Latin America as a Peace Corps. volunteer in Costa Rica. He also spent time in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Brazil. During his travels, Rampolla was enlightened by many things within the Latin American culture, including a popular regional drink: coconut water.
It’s one of the largest independent bottlers in California, but Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., is more than just a contract packager. In addition to its successful co-packing business, which operates production facilities in Sacramento and Anaheim, Nor-Cal also is an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Northern California and markets its own Go Girl line of energy drinks. The family-owned company was started by Roy G. Deary in 1937 as a franchise of Hires Bottling Co., explains Deary’s granddaughter and current president and chief executive officer of Nor-Cal Beverage, Shannon Deary-Bell. The franchise bottled and distributed Canada Dry, Dr Pepper and RC Cola brands in the Sacramento area.
With platforms geared toward athletic enthusiasts, sports drinks experienced a resurgence in sales. The total category increased 14.9 percent to more than $3.9 billion in sales, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago, for the 52 weeks ending May 15 in U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, gas and convenience stores and mass merchandise outlets, excluding Wal-Mart. Non-aseptic bottled sports drinks made up most of the category with more than $3.8 billion in sales and a 14.6 percent increase, SymphonyIRI states.
After years of focusing on energy and performance, “recovery” may be the new buzzword in the sports and energy segment. New products are focusing on what happens after exercise rather than during the activity itself. A number of recent sports and energy products have addressed post-activity recovery: Gatorade G Series Pro 03 Recover platform includes a dairy-based Protein Recovery Shake and a Protein Recovery Drink that also has electrolytes and carbohydrates. The company suggests consuming the shake 20 to 50 minutes after activity and then an additional serving 2 hours later.
Beverage Industry’s September issue features our 2019 Wholesaler of the Year recognition to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. This issue also features an up close look at the new Future Proof beverage alcohol company as well as a look into the coffee category within the past year. As usual, we rounded up the latest trends in products, packaging and ingredients.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.