G2 among Gatorade’s three new product launches

CHICAGO Gatorade is in the thick of launching three new products in 2008, including G2, the company’s biggest new beverage in six years. A caffeinated version of Gatorade’s Propel enhanced water also just hit the market, and in March the company plans to bring Gatorade Tiger to store shelves.

G2 is Gatorade’s first product that will not be marketed as a sports drink or enhanced water. Rather, the company calls G2 an “off-the-field hydrator,” something athletes drink in their down time. G2 has 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, compared with 50 for Gatorade and 10 for a conventional Propel. G2 also has electrolytes to fight dehydration, but not as much as Gatorade.

Gatorade is about to launch an ad campaign that will feature Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade in street clothes, not playing uniforms. Teaser ads for G2 began running in December, but the kickoff will be during the Super Bowl.

The offensive comes at an important time for Chicago-based Gatorade, a division of New York-based PepsiCo. The sports-drink market slowed over the last year as beverage alternatives, from energy drinks to flavored waters, proliferated. Unit sales of Gatorade were flat in 2007 compared with 2006, after three years of double-digit growth, according to Information Resources Inc.

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