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Gatorade Organic

US: Gatorade goes organic

PepsiCo, the maker of Gatorade, said the new product, which will be sold in select markets beginning this American fall, would have seven ingredients: water, organic cane sugar, citric acid, organic natural flavour, sea salt, sodium citrate and potassium chloride.

The new line, called G Organic, will come in lemon, strawberry and mixed berry flavours.

“As athletes continue to evolve, we’re committed to introducing new product innovations to meet their varying needs,” the company said in a statement on its website.

Gatorade controls 70 percent of the sports drink market, according to Beverage Digest, but by producing an organic brand, it hopes to cash in on a growing demand for foods considered to be more natural and free of additives, pesticides and artificial ingredients seen as harmful.

Gatorade has already been responsive to these concerns. In 2013, it stopped adding brominated vegetable oil, which was used to prevent flavourings from separating, after an online petition by consumers. Studies suggested the oil caused possible side effects, such as neurological disorders.

The organic products industry in 2015 recorded its largest dollar gain ever — $4.2-billion — for total sales of $43.3-billion, according to the Organic Trade Association. Sales increased by nearly 11 percent, the fourth consecutive year of double-digit gains, the group said.

Adam Fleck, a beverage analyst at Morningstar, told Bloomberg News: “In as much as they can focus on the potential to change ingredients without changing the taste, that’s sort of a win-win. But you have to be very careful about alienating your current customers in a bid to attract lapsed customers or new customers.”

Brett O’Brien, Gatorade’s senior vice president and general manager, said the company was responding to a consumer demand. “We heard pretty loud through the locker rooms, through our work with nutritionists, that there is an interest and a desire among athletes to go organic,” he told Bloomberg News.

The CSPI is not impressed

Lindsay Moyer, a senior nutritionist with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which promotes a food system that is healthier and more nutritious, was skeptical about the changes.

Gatorade’s G Organic discontinues using the artificial food dyes found in nearly every one of its other drinks, which is “a step forward,” she said, adding, “G Organic is still a sugary drink — essentially, liquid candy — and organic sugar is no healthier than sugar.”

Each 16.9-ounce (500ml) bottle of G Organic has seven teaspoons of added sugar, which is more than the six-teaspoon daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association, she said.

Moyer said marketing for Gatorade and similar products had consumers believing they need a sports drink after every soccer or tennis game. “But unless people are doing prolonged, strenuous exercise — like a marathon or triathlon — they don’t need G Organic or any other sugary drink,” she wrote. “For most people, the best ‘sports drink’ is water.”….

New York Times: Read the full article

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