POWERADE is expanding its product platforms for the first time in over a decade with two new zero-sugar innovations that offer functional hydration solutions – plus a new packaging design – all to meet the fast-changing needs of sport drink consumers.
The pioneering sports drink brand is kicking off a big year with the launch of new packaging inspired by its proprietary POWERADE ION4 Advanced Electrolyte System, followed by the January 10th rollout of POWERADE ULTRA, a breakthrough innovation for the sports drink category that includes creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), vitamins B3, B6 and B12 and +50% more ION4 electrolytes compared to original POWERADE. In mid-February, POWERADE POWER WATER will bring an ION4 electrolyte and B vitamin-enhanced sports water to the water aisle.
POWERADE’s ION4 system replacing the four primary electrolytes lost in sweat – sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium – anchors both new offerings.
“We’re responding to the shifting demands of the sports drink category with innovations that deliver on sports drink users’ demands for zero-sugar and a range of hydration solutions for broadening sweat occasions,” said Shane Grant, president, Coca‑Cola North America Stills Business Unit. “The definition of sports and athletes are constantly evolving. Hydration needs are no longer limited to traditional sports – and we are moving with this consumer trend.”
The first POWERADE extensions since POWERADE ZERO (2007) were developed to meet the evolving – and varied – hydration needs of athletes spanning the activity spectrum. They support the brand’s mission to “champion the power of sports for all.”
POWERADE ULTRA, which will be available in Mixed Berry, White Cherry and Citrus Blast, is the first ready-to-drink sports beverage to include shelf-stabilized creatine, a compound produced in the human body from specific amino acids and stored in the muscle. Coca‑Cola North America R&D developed a breakthrough process to stabilize creatine, bringing the product from concept to final formulation.
“This technology is new to The Coca‑Cola Company,” said Nilesh Karava, senior manager, active hydration product development. “Other beverage companies have been trying to crack the code on creatine shelf-stabilization for years, so this work is a clear demonstration of our team’s agility and curiosity.”
The POWERADE ULTRA formula was created based on insights from the POWERADE Command Center – a piloted custom hydration program that uses the same micro-dosing technology found in Coca‑Cola Freestyle fountain units. Command Center technology allows users to personalize their hydration needs by toggling specific ION4 electrolytes found in POWERADE and POWERADE ZERO SUGAR.
“POWERADE ULTRA is not just innovative because of the breakthrough creatine stabilization,” said John Pinto, VP, active hydration. “It makes premium ingredients like BCAAs and creatine accessible in the form of a sports drink.”
POWERADE POWER WATER features ION4 electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12. It will be offered in three flavors – Berry Cherry, Tropical Mango and Cucumber Lime – in six-unit multi-packs of 16.9-oz. flat-cap bottles and individual 20-oz. sport cap bottles.
The sports water category is a high growth opportunity, as everyone from casual joggers to pick-up ballers are reaching for electrolyte-enhanced hydration without sugar or calories.
“We’re bringing POWERADE to the water aisle with POWERADE POWER WATER,” said Marina Brook, Group Director of POWERADE. “Consumers are seeking more zero-calorie and zero-sugar options in a sports water.”
POWERADE is partnering with two of the country’s biggest sports properties – NCAA March Madness and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team. The brand has significantly increased its annual media investment and will launch full marketing campaigns for both properties.
“POWERADE’s commitment to product innovation and brand-building partnerships are powerful proof points of our conviction to accelerate and transform as a total beverage company – to lead the market with innovation that responds to the evolving tastes of consumers,” Grant concluded.