Updated with additional details.
Organic Gatorade is on its way to supermarket shelves.
"It's in our road map to do Gatorade with less artificial [flavors], and we are developing a G organic that we are planning to launch next year, and then we plan to evaluate the rest of the portfolio to have better choices for athletes," Xavi Cortadellas, Head of Innovation at Gatorade told TheStreet at an event in New York City. A spokesman for Gatorade added via email, "We are in the process of researching and developing an organic product, but do not have anything that already exists."
Gatorade was acquired by PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report as part of its $13.4 billion purchase of Quaker Oats in 2000. Since its acquisition, Gatorade has introduced several new products, such as a low-calorie version, gummies, and protein powder. The consistent innovation has kept Gatorade front and center among consumers, and allowed it to maintain its impressive market share.
Sales for Gatorade rose 6.8% in the U.S. last year, giving it a 78% share of the $7.21 billion sports drinks market, according to Euromonitor. Coca-Cola Co.'s (KO) - Get Report Powerade sports drink had a 19% market share, notes Euromonitor.
An organic version of Gatorade, which has been long-rumored, would address concerns among some consumers about the drink's artificial flavors and colors. And it would take aim at BodyArmour, a brand backed by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and sports star Kobe Bryant that has grown in popularity in recent years due to its pure cane sweetener and more natural ingredients.
Supplying a "healthier" version of Gatorade may also help to alleviate some pressure on PepsiCo's soda business.
PepsiCo's carbonated soft drink volume fell 3.1% last year, according to new data from Beverage Digest. Total volume of carbonated soft drinks declined 1.2% in 2015, says Beverage Digest, as the per capita consumption of soda in the U.S. fell to a 30-year low.
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