Fast Twitch from the makers of Gatorade
Gatorade is entering the energy drink category with a caffeinated spin-off called Fast Twitch.
It still represents another example of beverage companies blurring the lines between beverage categories, is looking to capitalize on existing brand loyalty while tapping into fast-growing categories. Gatorade’s parent company, PepsiCohas already turned Mountain Dew into alcoholic and energy drinks.
The company says that Fast Twitch is designed to give athletes extra energy before training. The market for pre-workout powders is growing, boosted by industry leaders like Cellucor C4 and RSP Nutrition. But there are few pre-workout drinks, and many consumers are turning to fizzy, sugary energy drinks instead.
Anuj Bhasin, general manager of Gatorade, said about 32 million consumers reject the energy drink category because of negative health effects. Fast Twitch aims to attract these consumers, offering plenty of caffeine but no sugar or carbonate.
The new drink is scheduled to be released in February, but NFL players will be drinking it on the sidelines during the upcoming season. as part of an exclusive deal with the league. Bhasin said Gatorade worked with the NFL and sports performance experts to develop a special formula.
The finished product comes in a small 12 oz glass jar with brightly colored packaging. It’s pretty similar to traditional Gatorade, albeit smaller. A bottle of Fast Twitch contains electrolytes, B vitamins and 200 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, a 12-ounce can of Red Bull has about half as much caffeine, but 37 grams of sugar. Bolt24, another new offshoot of Gatorade’s discontinued Energize line, has just 75 milligrams of caffeine.
“Two hundred milligrams is just the right amount to help athletes looking for exercise performance benefits,” said Matthew Pahnke, chief scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
Since its inception nearly six decades ago, Gatorade has built its brand on hydration, spreading the word about the benefits of electrolytes and carbohydrates. But caffeine is a natural diuretic, removes salt and water from the body. As a result, The company says Fast Twitch is meant to be taken before drinking a more hydrating drink during actual exercise.
“We know that athletes will mix and match,” Pahnke said.
According to Bhasin, Fast Twitch will target consumers 18 years or older due to its high caffeine content.
Energy sports drinks
Fast Twitch follows Pepsi’s broader push into energy drinks.
For the past three years, the company It bought Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billionWith NBA superstar Lebron James and support, Mtn Dew launched Rise Energy. acquired a minority stake in an up-and-coming energy drink maker Celsius for $550 million.
Celsius Fast is a potential competitor for Twitch. The startup markets its drinks as “fitness drinks” and its marketing features models swinging kettlebells and stretching.
Another competitor also has ties to Gatorade’s parent company. Bang Energy, which recently ended its lucrative distribution deal with Pepsi, markets itself as a pre-workout or recovery drink. In addition to being highly caffeinated, it creates a sugar-free “super creatine” that claims to boost muscle performance.
According to Euromonitor International, Pepsi is already the dominant leader in the US sports drinks category with a 73.2% market share with Gatorade and G Zero. Bodyarmor rose to second place in 2021 with 11.7% market share. CokePowerade. Coke bought full control of Bodyarmor in November for $5.6 billion in a game to increase market share.
Changing consumer tastes have slowed sales growth in the sports drink market, even as adults in the U.S. exercise more. Years of backlash from lawmakers and pediatricians about the high sugar and calorie content of sports drinks didn’t help.
But Gatorade has made a comeback, focusing on options with more electrolytes and less sugar, such as recent spin-offs G Fit, Gatorlyte and Bolt24. Pepsi in the second quarter Gatorade reported double-digit revenue growth for the brand.
Not all of Gatorade’s innovations have worked, however. An organic version of the drink launched in 2016 failed to take off and was discontinued after a few years.
Energy represents an opportunity in a fast-growing segment, but lacks the trust of exercise consumers. Gatorade, on the other hand, has gained a lot of trust from this customer base.
“We saw this as a sweet spot to bring a new brand to the market with the distinction of being from the makers of Gatorade like Propel,” Bhasin said.
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