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Failure Case Study: Gatorade Natural; The challenge of attaching "natural" to a commonly artificial product

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Published Date : Mar 2016

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No. of Pages : 18 Pages

""Natural"" continues to prove a challenge in soft drinks generally, especially for major names associated with ""unhealthy"" products, where the concept seems counterintuitive. This is against a backdrop where consumers' assessment of industry efforts to ensure integrity in health claims is middling.

Key Findings

  • Despite high hopes, PepsiCo was surprised that Gatorade Natural did not perform as expected. It was faced with poor sales that ultimately made the product an unsustainable proposition. PepsiCo announced in January 2014 that it had encountered a lack of resonance among Gatorade's core athletic consumer cohort, and had withdrawn Natural from sale.
  • The marketing and distribution approach PepsiCo adopted looked half-hearted, and had an ultimately terminal result. Limited distribution was designed to amplify healthy associations, but succeeded in shielding the product from the mass market while meeting with skepticism and suspicion among the target consumer group it was put in front of.


""Failure Case Study: Gatorade Natural"" is part of Canadean's Successes and Failures research. It examines the details of and reasons behind the failure of Gatorade Natural, the brand's natural sports energy drink line extension. It delivers the critical ""what?"", ""why?"" and ""so what?"" analysis to teach you crucial lessons that increase your chances of launching successful products.

Reasons To Buy

  • Reduce the risk of failure by learning from brands/products that have under-performed: failed innovation can severely impact profit and reputation.
  • Understand the relevant consumer trends and attitudes that drive and support innovation success so you can tap into what is really impacting the industry.
  • Gain a broader appreciation of the consumer packaged goods industry by gaining insights from both within and outside of your sector.
  • Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.


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