- The Coca-Cola Company's Powerade brand is adding two new zero-sugar products — Powerade Ultra and Power Water — to its current lineup, according to a company release.
- Powerade Ultra will be available later this month in Mixed Berry, White Cherry and Citrus Blast and contains 50% more electrolytes than the regular Powerade, along with shelf-stabilized creatine to boost energy. The new Power Water product also contains electrolytes and comes in three flavors: Berry Cherry, Tropical Mango and Cucumber Lime. It will be available in mid-February.
- These are the first new products from Powerade in more than 10 years, the company noted, and they're designed to try to meet the needs of sports drink consumers — Ultra for endurance exercisers and Power Water for those who walk or jog.
Coca-Cola's new Powerade products come as PepsiCo's Gatorade is seeing a resurgence in the sports drink market, according to CNBC. Between Gatorade and Muscle Milk, PepsiCo has a 69% market share by volume, according to data from Beverage Marketing cited by the business channel. With just 25% market share currently, Coke latest innovations look to better position Powerade to be able to grab more of the $10.6 billion segment.
Showing the value Coke is putting on its sports drink line, the beverage giant said it is significantly boosting its media budget. The company is throwing additional marketing heft behind the Powerade brand by partnering with NCAA March Madness and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team, with plans to launch full marketing campaigns for both properties.
These haven't been Coke's only moves in the segment. The company bought a minority stake in BodyArmor in 2018, indicating interest in potentially taking full ownership later. The sports drink, which markets itself as healthier than Gatorade, has seen sales steadily rise. According to Inc., BodyArmor's sales in 2018 reached more than $400 million and were on track to reach $700 million by the end of 2019.
Like BodyArmor, the new Powerade drinks are capitalizing on consumer demand for seemingly healthier alternatives such as no-calorie and no-sugar beverages.
Coke is also moving to zero-sugar and more electrolytes, B vitamins and branched-chain amino acids with these new items. The company noted its new Powerade Ultra is the first ready-to-drink sports beverage to offer a shelf-stabilized version of creatine. Meanwhile, rival PepsiCo is adding a caffeinated version called Bolt24 Energize to Gatorade's Bolt24 lineup this year.
Whether these new products will punch up the sports drink category remains to be seen. Growth in sales volume has lagged for the past two years, according to Beverage Industry.
But so far, the market seems to approve of Coke's direction. MarketWatch noted the company's stock was up 0.2% in premarket trading following news about the Powerade products — and had jumped 20.8% for the past 12 months through Jan. 16. That compares with a 19.9% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the same period.