Pepsi to bring in Gatorade soon?

MUMBAI: Mountain Dew may have been pitched as Pepsi's new energy drink, but indications are that the beverage major may soon be launching the internationally popular sports drink Gatorade in India in a similar avatar.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media conference to launch Mountain Dew, positioned as a refreshing energy drink for irreverent urban youth, PepsiCo India Holdings chairman Rajeev Bakshi said that the company was looking at launching Gatorade soon. When pressed to specify the timeframe within which the drink would be launched, Bakshi responded with a cryptic "very soon".

While Tropicana, Pepsi's offering in the non carbonated soft drinks segment, will continue to be targeted at the top bracket premium consumer with any downward revision ruled out in the short term, Gatorade could well fill the masses' need for an energy drink in the non CSD market. Pepsi officials present at the Mumbai launch of Mountain Dew, however, pointed out that Gatorade would, in all possibility, not be slotted as a sports drink. Pointing out that India is not a sport crazy country, Pepsi officials said that the company would try and pitch Gatorade as an energy drink instead.

The company is currently conducting ad and consumer research for testing consumer tastes for Gatorade. Bakshi meanwhile said that the company, which had said last year that it was looking at doubling its 120 million strong consumer base in three to four years, is on course for the target. Pepsi A-ha, the lemon tinged cola introduced last March, meanwhile commands an eight to 10 per cent share of total Pepsi sales, he said.

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