Pepsi's Gatorade Plans

January 2/Atlanta/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- Gatorade --- the granddaddy of sports drinks and one of PepsiCo's main brands --- could use an infusion of adrenaline. Too many teenagers say Gatorade has become the "sports drink of my father," said Massimo d'Amore, chief executive of PepsiCo Americas Beverages.

While Gatorade still holds a hefty lead over competitors including Coca-Cola's Powerade, its lineup has been struggling, with sales volume reportedly down 14% in the first nine months of 2009. The recession has squeezed grocery budgets and dinged the overall sports drink category.

In response, PepsiCo plans to roll out new Gatorade varieties and invest $30 million in the brand in 2010. One goal: getting athletes to buy specific Gatorade drinks to match various phases of their workouts.

Athletes have long used different drinks for the stages of their exercise routines. Protein drinks, for example, help with post-workout muscle recovery. PepsiCo is trying to keep the whole spectrum of workout routines under Gatorade's umbrella.

One new Gatorade drink, "Prime," will be matched specifically to warm-ups before strenuous effort. Another, Gatorade "Recover," is meant to supply protein after workouts. Gatorade's mainstays, "Thirst Quencher" and "G2," will be pitched as ideal for the middle of a workout.

A "massive amount of research" went into the new offerings, d'Amore said. "This is not just a big bet, but a huge investment in the product."

From the January 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition