PepsiCo brings hydration juggernaut Gatorade into water

September 20, 2023

Gatorade is launching its first-ever water offering as the multi-billion-dollar PepsiCo brand works to aggressively expand its dominant presence in hydration. The electrolyte-infused beverage, which was developed by the consumer packaged goods (CPG) giant to help support all-day hydration, will start hitting shelves in 2024, reports Food Dive.

Gatorade Water is both electrolyte-infused and is alkaline with a pH of 7.5 or higher.

“People are looking for wellness solutions throughout the day, not just when they are active,” Emily Boido, senior director of marketing at Gatorade, said in an interview. “We’re looking to provide a suite of solutions across our [Gatorade] portfolio that really hit whatever your individualized needs are—whether that’s performance, wellness, somewhere in between.”

For now, Gatorade Water will not incorporate flavors as it focuses on consumers who don’t want them in their beverages. Gatorade also owns Propel, a line of flavored fitness waters with electrolytes, vitamins and antioxidants that meet this need.

While Gatorade has become a juggernaut brand with annual sales topping $6 billion and more than 70% of the sports drink market, the brand is looking for other ways to meet the needs of the consumer.

Gatorade is far and away the market leader, but competitors such as Coca-Cola’s BodyArmor are growing in popularity. This places the impetus on the decades-old PepsiCo brand to find ways to keep itself relevant with its core audience, who turn to it for hydration, while finding other ways to attract and retain other users.

The water is the latest in a series of new offerings from Gatorade. In 2022, it entered the energy drink category with its first caffeinated beverage called Fast Twitch; and, later, gummies, its first dietary supplement.

A year earlier, it launched Gatorlyte, a beverage with more electrolytes and less sugar than its traditional sports drinks that is aimed at athletes who want “rapid rehydration.”

Water is a $25 billion category, but there are more than 30 million “active consumers” who are not purchasing enhanced water whom the new Gatorade extension aims to bring into the category, according to PepsiCo, citing IRI data.

Boido said the trust consumers have in Gatorade, its widespread brand recognition and PepsiCo’s marketing heft will enable them to “get [Gatorade Water] into the hands of consumers.”

Research contact: @FoodDive