GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) looks set to rethink its Lucozade Solstis brand, effectively admitting defeat to Red Bull in its challenge to take a slice of the high energy drinks market.
The company is understood to be “reformulating” and developing an energy drink that will be repositioned as an “afternoon pick-me-up”.
One industry source says: “Nobody wants the present product, it’s just not viable any more.”
Another says: “GSK is looking at a relaunch in August or September. It will still be an energy drink, but will be repackaged. The company wants to get the new product away from Red Bull, which is popular in bars with vodka.
“GSK wants to reposition the product as an afternoon pick-me-up, to compete with brands such as V.”
Lucozade Solstis was launched in 1999 to directly challenge Red Bull. In February 2000 it signed a year-long sponsorship deal with MTV.
According to AC Nielsen, Red Bull has 48 per cent of the market, followed by Lucozade Energy, with 31 per cent. Lucozade Solstis has two per cent. It spent around £1.8m on outdoor advertising last year.
GSK denies it is changing the name or repositioning the product.