PepsiCo Benches Gatorade G Series Fit Line

Retooling product, packaging for 2014 relaunch

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo Inc. is pulling its low-calorie G Series Fit line of Gatorade products from store shelves after it failed to catch on with fitness buffs such as runners and triathletes, reported Dow Jones.

Gatorade spokesperson Molly Carter told the news agency that the brand is temporarily suspending sales of the Fit line, which was launched in April 2011 and included a pre-workout protein bar, a fruit-based protein drink and a low-calorie version of the sports drink.

The company plans to tinker with the products and packaging in 2013 and hopes to have them back on shelves in 2014, it added.

Gatorade launched the line to try to woo fitness fanatics who preferred drinking water to using Gatorade products while they worked out, said the report. Gatorade was targeting the new group, while its core customers tend to be teenagers and athletes who play team sports.

The Fit line was also more expensive, the report said. When purchasing the pre- and post-workout items, plus the drink, the suggested retail price approached nearly $6.50.

"While we made strides connecting with this athlete, the line did not perform to our high expectations," Carter told Dow Jones. "This is a new target for us, and we want to make sure we're getting it right."

Carter declined to disclose how much the Fit line contributed to overall sales of Gatorade, which is PepsiCo's fourth-largest brand globally, with more than $4 billion in annual sales.

Where the Fit line was sold, Gatorade plans to instead sell its recently launched Energy Chews, a chewable product meant to be eaten before a workout, and a new protein drink. They are being sold under its mainstream G Series line.

"We want to use our shelf space to highlight those, because they are performing so well," Carter said.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses--Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola--make hundreds of foods and beverages.

The company's billion-dollar brand portfolio includes Aquafina, Brisk, Cheetos, Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Doritos, Fritos, Gatorade, Lay's, Lipton, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Ruffles, Quaker, 7UP (outside the United States), Sierra Mist, Starbucks RTD beverages, Tostitos, Tropicana and Walkers.