Gatorade will officially announce tomorrow the introduction of a new electrolyte drink called Gatorade Fit, which began reaching store shelves nationally this month. Gatorade Fit targets “nutritionally discerning athletes,” who avoid sports drinks that contain added sugar, according to Carolyn Braff, head of brand strategy for the PepsiCo-owned sports drink brand. Gatorade Fit contains watermelon juice and sea salt for electrolytes, taking formulation notes from Bolt24, which was launched almost three years ago. Bolt24 will be discontinued to make room for Gatorade Fit, Braff said. Gatorade Fit contains no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. The drink is sweetened with stevia and contains no added sugar. A 16.9-oz bottle contains one gram of sugar, which comes from the 4.0% watermelon juice. The drink includes 100% of the daily value of vitamins A and C for antioxidant benefit. Calories range from 10 to 15 per 16.9-oz bottle, depending on the flavor. Gatorade Fit’s ingredient profile clears the way for Gatorade to include the words “Healthy Real Hydration” prominently on the front label, Braff said. The FDA regulates use of the word “healthy” on food labels.
DETAILS. Gatorade Fit flavors are Tropical Mango, Watermelon Strawberry, Citrus Berry, Cherry Lime, and Tangerine Orange, according to PepsiCo. The product is offered in a 16.9-oz bottle at a suggested price of $1.49, and in a 28-oz bottle for $2.99. Variety packs will be available on Amazon, Braff said. The brand is being rolled out nationally to large and small format retail stores. A marketing campaign for Gatorade Fit will debut this spring.
LEARNING FROM BOLT24. Bolt24 had been pitched as a lower sugar alternative to challenger BodyArmor (since fully acquired by Coca-Cola). The ingredient panel for Gatorade Fit is nearly identical to Bolt24, with a critical exception being added sugar. “We learned a ton from Bolt24,” Braff said. “We learned what worked, just as much as we learned what didn’t work. What worked for us was the watermelon juice. Consumers loved the electrolytes from watermelon and sea salt. We hit a homerun there.” Gatorade decided to “turn the page on Bolt24,” and start over, Braff said. That included bright, clean labels that focused on hydration cues and ingredients. The product also leans into Gatorade branding. “We know we can win here with the 'G' being front and center,” Braff said.
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