Gatorade's fight to stay on top

August 8, 2016


For years, Gatorade has been the leading sports drink company in the world. That comes with the potential to sponsor the biggest sports in the country, as well as the world. Pepsi branded sports drink Gatorade has seen its shares rise 78% in the past year. All this while Coke competitor Powerade has faded with sales of 19%. 

As I visited Target to get my Powerade Zero, which is my personal hydration choice, I realized that something new had taken over its spot next to the monster that is the Gatorade isle. This is BodyArmor. 


BodyArmor, a sports drink claiming it uses a healthier recipe than its competitors, is poised to earn $100 million in retail revenues for the year. It also has star athlete backers, including NBA stalwart Kobe Bryant as its No. 3 investor, and NFL quarterback Andrew Luck, who asked to get involved with the company because he liked the drink so much.


It has a new age, fancier packaging, carries the names of its stars in the description, and like stated before, starts off fresh with the ability to promote a healthier drink, as opposed to Gatorade that states it's now getting better formulas.


The past years scientists and nutritionists have blasted Gatorade and Powerade for being nothing more than a bunch of sugar additives that give you a full sense of hydration but can also cause health concerns as well as weight gain if you drink too much. 


Gatorade has also started to target the new growing industry that is the fitness monitoring community. Global sales of wearable devices surged 172% last year to 78 million units, according to an International Data Corporation estimate. U.S. sales of sports-protein powder rose 13% to $4.7 billion, according to Euromonitor International.


With more people consciences about their footsteps and heartbeats, they have worked on new tech to help monitor how much you should consume right from the bottle. This has gone into the testing phase recently.


I believe that BodyArmor already has posed a threat to Gatorade with its projected sales, and it seems that the Coke product Powerade might be poised for falling to third place. 


What's even more interesting about the picture above, is that right next to the three hydration company's products, are energy drinks. All of which have been known to have even more sugar, and cause severe health issues, when consumed more than would be needed. However this has not stopped any of these companies from profiting off athletes in sports, every single one of the companies you see in the picture has a multi-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship with some major professional league, team, and even extreme sports. It seems that as long as there is money to be used from athletes drinking the products, since it benefits those that train daily for a living, that the companies will continue to promote their products while ignoring the risks. Then at the local grocery store, they will use the players brand image to sell the product, while at the same time, contradicting themselves by creating "healthier" versions of their original product.


There are billions to be made in the NFL, NBA, and other leagues so this doesn't seem to be changing. However the inclusion of superstar players now turned investors gives these companies a spokesperson that fans like. It will make it more difficult for regulation and changes of the products to happen.


Until then, be careful what you buy in the sports/energy drink isle.

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