PepsiCo has suffered a major blow ahead of its latest attempt to widen Gatorade’s distribution in the UK, with two major supermarkets refusing to list the sports drink.
One retail insider describes the brand’s colour as “too lurid”, while another has called on PepsiCo to “reposition the drink”.
PepsiCo is planning its first major launch for Gatorade across supermarkets next year, backed by an expected multi-million pound marketing push to position Gatorade as a major grocery brand.
One retail insider says: “PepsiCo needs to work on the brand. The colour is too lurid. In the US, the brand means something, but I don’t think it does in the UK.”
Another retail source, who has decided not to list the drink, says: “It needs to reposition the drink, tell people what it is and make sure it means something.”
Gatorade has proved hugely successful in the US, but was only launched in the UK two years ago and is sold mainly through sports and leisure outlets.
PepsiCo is thought to have decided against launching the brand through supermarkets last year.
Britvic, which distributes the drink in the UK, is thought to be developing a ten-year plan to build Gatorade in the UK.
Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO is understood to be working with PepsiCo on launching a new campaign for the brand. Gatorade will compete against GlaxoSmithKline’s market-leading Lucozade Sport brand and Coca-Cola’s Relentless.
Gatorade claims that it quenches thirst by replacing fluids and minerals to optimise athletic performance.
Its origins date back to the University of Florida in the mid-1960s, when sports physiologists created the drink to improve the performance of the school’s American football team, the Gators.
Gatorade is available in a range of flavours, such as wild berry, lemonade and lemon, lime and strawberry.
A spokesperson for Gatorade says: “We look forward to continuing our recent activity in the UK by leveraging this unique experience and expertise.”