Coca-Cola Shoots For Sports Drink Market

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Coca Cola
Coca-Cola is to challenge Gatorade’s dominance of the sports drink market in the US after buying into Bodyarmor, a start-up that markets a healthier alternative to the leading brands.

Bodyarmor, which is backed by the basketball star Kobe Bryant and promoted by young American athletes, bases its sports drink on coconut water, unlike Pepsi’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade.

Coca-Cola, the $196 billion soft drinks company, owns 500 brands across the world. It said yesterday that it had taken a minority stake in Bodyarmor under an agreement that could lead to full ownership.

Launched in 2011 Bodyarmor has risen to a $1.5bn market valuation on the back of growing consumer aversion to unhealthy soft drinks which are loaded with sugar artificial colouring.

Coca-Cola has left open the possibility of taking full ownership of the brand down the line with a view to bottling and distributing the drink itself while positioning Bodyarmor as an upmarket alternative to its own Powerade.

Market research conducted by Nielsen indicates that Bodyarmor currently has a market share of around 6% of the $8bn per year US sports drink sector, with Gatorade commanding 75% of the total.

Bryant is the third largest shareholder in Bodyarmor, behind Coca-Cola and founder Mike Repole, taking centre stage in its first ever TV advert.

Credit: The Times

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