Gatorade is the most popular sports drink in the world and is sold in over 80 different countries. While the brand is best known for its sports drinks, it has since evolved into other food and beverage segments. These include nutrition bars, energy gels and chews, and customizable equipment. The drink has become synonymous with professional sports and competition, with Michael Jordan being the brand’s first and most famous spokesperson.
How did Gatorade Get its Name?
You’re probably wondering how Gatorade received its unique name. Gatorade was first invented back in 1965 by the College of Medicine at the University of Florida.
If you’re a college sports fan, you have probably already put two and two together. The University of Florida’s sports team is the Gators. Hence the name Gator-Ade.
The original recipe for Gatorade was simply water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate, and lemon juice. This was the earliest iteration of one of Gatorade’s most popular flavors: lemon-lime.
In 1967, the Florida Gators football team defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl. The coaches of both teams attributed Florida’s success to having Gatorade available on the sidelines.
Was it not for that victory, would Gatorade have grown into the multinational success story it is today? It’s hard to say, but the publicity from the Orange Bowl win helped its cause. But can you buy Gatorade stock?
How to Invest in Gatorade Stock?
Global brand awareness, check. Hall of Fame athletes and spokespeople, check. Partnerships with nearly every professional sports league, check. It seems like Gatorade has a lot of positive things going for it, which would make it a great investment. Unfortunately for prospective investors, Gatorade stock is not publicly traded on the stock market. So is there a way you can invest in the Gatorade brand? There is!
Gatorade is wholly owned by the food and beverage behemoth PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP). The Quaker Oats Company acquired Gatorade in 1983, and 2000, PepsiCo acquired the Quaker Oats Company. As a result, Gatorade has rapidly grown to be one of PepsiCo’s largest brands by annual revenue. Today, Gatorade accounts for nearly 75% of the American sports drink market, making it one of the strongest brands in the industry.
Who Are Gatorade’s Competitors?
Having such a large market share of the sports drink industry means you are the competition for other products. So Gatorade certainly has a target on its back. The brand has become so connected with professional sports that even non-Gatorade sports drinks are often called Gatorade.
This is a special kind of brand power reserved for products dominating industries. For example, whenever we search for something on the internet, we call it Googling. Household products like tissues and cotton swabs are more commonly known as Kleenex and Q-Tips. Once a brand is in this exclusive category, it is a clear path to total market domination. Let’s look at some of the competitors Gatorade stock has today!
Powerade: Easily the second most commonly seen sports drink on the market, Powerade has been around since 1988. It is owned by the Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), the chief rival to Gatorade’s owner PepsiCo. The true brand power of Coca-Cola came into play when Powerade was named the first official sports drink of the Olympic Games. Like Gatorade, Powerade has many different drink options and flavors. It is often priced slightly cheaper than Gatorade but still does not have the same popularity.
Vitamin Water: Vitamin Water isn’t always thought of as an energy drink, but it is, in fact, a hydration beverage. The brand was founded in 1996 and operated by Glaceau, a subsidiary of, you guessed it, Coca-Cola. The acquisition occurred in 2007 when Coca-Cola paid $4.1 billion in cash. One of the biggest winners from the deal? Rapper 50-Cent had a minority share in the company as an early investor.
Nooma: A relative newcomer to the energy drink industry, Nooma was founded by two brothers who played hockey at a professional level. Tired of the sugary mainstream sports drinks, the brothers set out to make a healthier alternative. As a result, Nooma drinks are organic, vegan, and with no added sugars. While it is nowhere near the level of the previously mentioned names, Nooma is gaining popularity as the food and beverage industry shifts to a more natural and healthier mindset.
Nuun: Nuun is another newcomer focused on healthier ingredients and less added sugars. The difference between the drinks above and Nuun is that Nuun comes in dry form. Its products are made in either dry tablets or a powder that you mix with water to create the sports drink. Nuun is appealing to some because it is a fizzy sports drink that is also healthy and hydrating. Its products are now sold in over 30 countries and available at popular retailers like Amazon.
Ultima: Ultima is another line of dry mix sports beverages made with all-natural ingredients. Ultima powders are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and keto-friendly, so it appeals to health-conscious athletes. Healthy sports drinks are making a case for cutting into the legacy brands like Gatorade and Powerade.
Coconut Water: Perhaps a more natural way for athletes to stay hydrated, coconut water is not often mentioned in this conversation. There are dozens of different coconut water brands now, so there is no shortage of options. Coconut water has a much higher level of naturally occurring potassium than processed drinks like Gatorade. If you ever need hydration or a hangover cure, coconut water is a healthier alternative to Gatorade stock!
Is Gatorade Healthy For You?
This has been a long debate over how healthy sports drinks are for athletes. On the one hand, the original recipe for Gatorade was made from all-natural ingredients. Today, Gatorade and other sports drinks are largely processed and made from chemicals and other additives. As a result, the sugar levels are much higher. One serving of Gatorade is almost as much as a serving of soda pop. In addition, studies have shown sports drinks can cause tooth decay and lead to other issues like diabetes and high blood pressure.
But it’s not all bad with Gatorade. It does provide much-needed minerals that your body needs when you are dehydrated. Sports drinks offer ingredients like calcium, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium. These all help to support a natural PH balance and restore water and salt to your body.
So I guess the true answer lies somewhere in the middle. Children and non-active adults do not necessarily need sports drinks daily.
Unless you are actively involved in sports or fitness, you shouldn’t need to drink them at all. But, of course, if you are playing sports, having a Gatorade handy to replenish your electrolytes is not the worst. But if we are being honest, water works just as well.
Like with anything, always consume these products in moderation. That is probably the best advice anyone can give regarding your diet. Besides, if you are truly concerned about how healthy Gatorade is for you, plenty of healthier alternatives are on the market now. And without Gatorade stock, you might be able to trade others.
Gatorade Stock Final Thoughts
The conclusion to buying Gatorade stock is simple: you can’t. Gatorade is not a publicly-traded company right now. It probably never will be as long as it is owned by its parent corporation PepsiCo. So if you want to invest in Gatorade, the brand, you are better off buying shares of PepsiCo!
Gatorade is a globally recognized brand and the undisputed leader in the sports drink market. It has some interesting roots from the University of Florida College of Medicine and is truly an incredible business story considering where the brand is now. Gatorade is the official sports drink of most professional sports leagues and is the beverage most synonymous with high-performance athletes.
Does that mean it’s good for you? Not necessarily! Some of the largest beverage brands in the world are arguably unhealthy drinks, including Pepsi and Coca-Cola. However, Gatorade remains a drink that should be consumed by athletes actively participating in sports or fitness. Aside from that one issue, Gatorade is a tremendous business that is one of the top-grossing brands under the PepsiCo umbrella.