GlaxoSmithKline is hoping to make a killing by being the first major sports drink brand owner to enter the hotly tipped “carbo gel” market in the UK with Lucozade Sport.
Its new product, Lucozade Sport Carbo Gel, will be launched later this month in a staggered roll-out. The gel will initially be available at Boots, specialist sports chain JJB Sports and health club chain Fitness First. Wider distribution is expected at the beginning of next year.
Carbo gels provide athletes with concentrated carbohydrates for use before, during and after endurance sports such as marathon-running and cycling. They are squirted into the mouth and then washed down with water. Lucozade Sport Carbo Gel will be available as an orange-flavoured, 30g serving in a squeezable tube. It will have a retail price in the region of £1.
In the UK, carbo gels have hitherto been available only as niche brands – such as CarboShotz Energy gel, distributed by Naked Limited in 50g sachets – from specialist outlets. In the US, PepsiCo has a carbo gel product called Gatorade ReLode.
The product has been developed with the help of athletes from Team Lucozade Sport, as well as Premiership football clubs and the Zurich Premiership rugby union clubs.
Lucozade marketing category director Fiona Vigar says: “The gel offers endurance athletes a portable, convenient and fast-acting form of carbohydrate for when they need it most.”
Lucozade Sport faced its first major competition in the sports drinks sector when Coca-Cola Great Britain introduced Powerade in January (MW November 15, 2001).