Coca-Cola to launch Powerade sports drink in India to tackle competition

INDIA – Coca-Cola has announced that it is set to launch its global sports drink Powerade in India within the next two months to take advantage of the growing sports drink market.

The drink, set to launch ahead of ICC World Cup looks to compete PepsiCo’s Gatorade, according to an Economic Times report which has identified sources familiar with the matter.

The report has identified that Powerade has been available in India only through imports and the move will enable the company offer consumers a locally-made version of the drink.

Powerade is a sports drink which is among the US beverage maker’s billion-dollar retail sales plus brands globally.

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Powerade’s main competition is PepsiCo’s Gatorade, which was the first commercially available sports drink in the United States and now holds a commanding share of the market.

The launch marks Coca-Cola company’s second attempt to make a locally-made Powerade after its earlier plans did not take off.

The emerging sports drink market

According to Research and Markets forecast, the global sports drink market to touch is expected to reach US$28.6 billion by 2023, from US$22.2 billion in 2017, growing at 4.3%.

“The functional sports drinks market is beginning to resonate with millennials, and we are seeing good offtake at retail stores.

However, unlike a couple of years back, now there are dozens of specialised hydration products for consumers to choose from,” said Devendra Chawla, chief executive, Spencer’s Retail.

“Work needs to be done to develop the category as versus global consumption, in India it is more of a night consumption or mixer drink.

Besides, women are less convinced about health benefits of the category compared to men.”

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The launch is part of a strategy that Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said will grow business by reducing calories.

The company which makes Coke, Thumps Up and Sprite brands has been expanding its portfolio with low or sugar-free variants.

It launched Thums Up Charged No Sugar, a new no sugar home-grown brand in a commitment to strategic evolution to become a total beverage company by offering innovative and localized beverage choices to consumers.

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