Top global sports drink Gatorade launches in UK

Gatorade, the drink which dominates the US and European sports drink markets, will be launched in the UK within two months by Quaker Oats.

Quaker’s intentions were signalled over two and a half years ago in Marketing Week (September 10 1993).

The drink is one of the mainstays of the $6.3bn (4bn) Quaker company which last year sold its petfood interests in the US and Europe to concentrate on cereals and drinks.

The company bought “new age” drink Snapple when it purchased Snapple Beverage at the end of 1994 for $1.7bn (1.08bn). But since then sales have fallen, leading to the resignation of Quaker president Phillippe Marineau.

Gatorade was launched in Europe some years ago but has never been launched in the UK, though the drink is available in some sports clubs and gyms. Last year, it was withdrawn from sale in France after a disappointing performance.

In the US Gatorade’s sales top $1bn (640m) and the brand commands 80 per cent of the sports drink market. Main competitors are Coca-Cola’s Powerade and Pepsi’s All Sport – each launched to capitalise on Gatorade’s success in building the sports-drink market.

Quaker bought Stokley-Van Camp, the company which launched Gatorade in 1983, for $240m (153m) when sales were under $100m (64m) a year.

The UK sports-drink market is dominated by SmithKline Beech-am’s Lucozade and NRG; Isostar from Wander Foods is also well-established, while newcomers in- clude Virgin’s Pure Virgin Energy.

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