Coca-Cola is planning to launch its global sports drink Powerade in India within the next two months ahead of the ICC World Cup to compete head-on with PepsiCo’s Gatorade in the small but emerging sports drink market.
Powerade has been so far available only through imports in the country. It is among the US beverage maker’s billion-dollar retail sales plus brands globally. After this it will be Coca-Cola’s second attempt to launch locally-made Powerade in India — its earlier plans did not take off. In an interview, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told to media about their focus on to grow the business, by reducing calories.
Devendra Chawla, chief executive, Spencer’s Retail said, “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,”
He also added, “A recent report by Research and Markets forecast the global sports drink market to touch $28.6 billion by 2023, from $22.2 billion in 2017, growing at 4.3 percent. 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.”
Also, the maker of soft drinks Coke, Thums Up and Sprite has been hedging portfolio risks by expanding sugar-free variants of its brands, smaller packs and picking up associations with large sporting events.