New Delhi: The local arm of American beverage maker Coca-Cola on Wednesday announced the launch of its sports beverage Powerade that will compete with rival PepsiCo’s Gatorade.
The launch marks the beverage maker’s entry into the nascent sports hydration market, even as the company looks to diversify its portfolio to offer more choices to consumers in India who are seeking beverages over and above sweetened fizzy drinks.
Coca-Cola India has roped ace Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni to endorse the drink that is priced at ₹50 for 500 ml, and comes in two flavours, mountain blast and orange surge. The $2 billion brand, Powerade, is the official sports drink of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
A growing population of sports and fitness enthusiasts in India is looking for evolved hydration solutions, said Anoop Manohar, director, emerging categories, Coca-Cola India. “The launch reiterates our strategy to drive growth by expanding our category play and offering consumers more of the beverages they want for every occasion in their lives," Manohar added.
Powerade contains no sugar, the company said in its announcement.
Coca-Cola’s move to launch the brand in India comes at a time when increasingly consumers in urban India are seeking variety in both packaged foods and beverages. This is especially true for consumers looking at healthier options in a shift from consumption of sweetened beverages.
Over the last few years Coca-Cola has expanded its portfolio to include more hydration or functional beverages, and even milk-based drinks in its portfolio that until a few years ago largely consisted of aerated drinks and bottled water. The launches include hydration beverages such as Aquarius and Aquarius Glucocharge; Minute Maid smoothie and VIO flavoured milk. It has also extended the low or no sugar variant to key brands, including Thums Up, Coca-Cola and Sprite. Last year, it launched Minute Maid Vitingo, a water soluble powder priced at ₹5 per sachet.