Created in 1965 at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gatorade has grown steadily over the decades and is now considered to be the fourth largest brand for PepsiCo. It was first tested that year during football practices and games and is now something that many athletes around the world consume.
Gatorade’s primary target demographic is athletic males in the 25-34 age category.
Since 2010, Gatorade has been looking to expand its audience. It may be considered a sports drink, but what do we actually define as a sport? The goal for Gatorade is to continue delivering growth in the 4-6% range. To achieve this, certain changes have been made to their core strategies.
New Products Mean New Targets
- The G Series of Gatorade has the 13-17 year old high school athlete as their core target.
- As for the G Series Pro products, the core target is the 16-24 year old athlete. In both instances, gender does not play a role.
- Gatorade continues to own more than a 70% category share of the sports drink industry. Volume has increased steadily since 1999, with nearly 1 billion gallons of Gatorade consumed annually.
- Gatorade is believed to have about a 30% penetration rate with the estimated 68 million athletes in its core target groups.
- In the fitness athlete category, however, Gatorade only has a 12% penetration rate. 55 million people belong to this category.
- Vending machines carry Gatorade products as an alternative to sodas and juices that may contain more calories, appealing to those who are diet-orientated.
- Targeted sponsorships allow branding to appear before all age demographics consistently, whether that’s on TV, at school, at work, or while commuting to or from these locations.
Gatorade is creating new products within its brand so it can create new segments based on the demographics that are interested in its products. This is why you are seeing new beverage flavors, new snacking products, and even an elimination of brominated vegetable oil as an ingredient. Between 2004-2009, the brand saw a reduction of revenues, but PepsiCo has adapted and evolved thanks to a focus on more than just one generic hydration product. It is look to solve specific needs for specific groups of people.
What About The Professional Athlete?
- Gatorade spends nearly $20 million per year to be the only beverage that isn’t water consumed by NBA athletes.
- G3 Protein drinks from Gatorade aren’t the only effort made by the brand to target new demographics. In 1988, Gatorade was a carbohydrate drink that even Michael Jordan once used in an NBA game.
- Although Gatorade has a high sugar content, it is also a tool that can help to relieve thirst in malnourished populations rather effectively. Free Gatorade is often given out to refugees.
- Thanks to its high levels of marketing to its core demographics, the brand Gatorade is valued at nearly $5 billion.
- The Gatorade bath has become a winning tradition and serves as another way to target the brand’s core demographics.
With a presence in over 80 countries, Gatorade has the luxury of creating products and marketing items to specific customer segments. This ultimately means that everyone fits into the Gatorade demographics in some way. If you watch professional sports, if you do anything that is fitness related, or even if you just walk around with a pedometer to count your steps, Gatorade has a product that they can market to you. Once upon a time, Gatorade stole Michael Jordan from Coke to grow their brand. Now they’re relying on each customer sub-segment to continue fueling that growth.
Should The Average Person Consume Gatorade?
- A single 12 ounce serving of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 21 grams of sugar. The bottle contains 32 ounces, so drinking the whole bottle means consuming 56 grams of sugar.
- Researchers at UC-Berkeley believe that sports drinks contribute to obesity issues just like sweetened carbonated beverages do.
- For people who are not exercising for at least one hour, 5 days per week, water is the best bet for staying hydrated.
Drinking Gatorade is a personal decision. Whether you are a core target customer of this brand or you’re just a general sub-segment that receives some basic marketing efforts, the sodium and electrolytes that Gatorade contains can help you achieve your fitness goals. What do you reach for when you’re thirsty? There’s a good chance that if you’ve been working out, you’re reaching for a Gatorade.