Gatorade dumps 'Naturals' line of drinks
The company concedes that the beverages 'did not resonate' with consumers.
By Christopher Freeburn
Despite a general trend toward "natural" foods, a line of sports drinks that promoted natural ingredients, including sea salt, failed to gain traction among athletic consumers.
PepsiCo (PEP) said that its Gatorade Naturals and G2 Naturals drinks were pulled from supermarket shelves in November. A statement from PepsiCo conceded that Gatorade Naturals "did not resonate" with consumers.
Gatorade is a leading brand in the sports drink market, generating U.S. sales of about $7 billion a year. The brand has long been popular among consumers, but stumbled after a rebranding effort in 2009.
Slapping the word "natural" on products has rubbed some consumers the wrong way. In 2012, PepsiCo was sued for describing some Frito-Lay snack chips as "natural." It later shortened the "Simply Natural" name to just "Simply" for some snack chips, but attributed that change to marketing considerations. And last year, PepsiCo dropped the words "all natural" from descriptions of its Naked Juice after a lawsuit claimed the drinks contained synthetic ingredients, the Associated Press notes.
Gatorade Naturals had not been hit by any lawsuits, according to PepsiCo.
Shares of PepsiCo climbed less than 1 percent in Tuesday afternoon trading.
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The company has made at least 4 acquisitions in the space, and few people have paid any attention.
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