Gatorade GNC Partnership

Gatorade GNC Partnership
by Scott Welch

Gatorade which is a division of PepsiCo, is launching G Series Pro — a new variant of its recently launched G Series through a distribution alliance with GNC. I heard of this news while I was at The Arnold Classic promoting my new bodybuilding magazine MUSCLE INSIDER. G Series Pro was originally developed by The Gatorade Sports Science Institute to meet the needs of professional and aspiring professional athletes. Until now, G Series Pro has only been available in locker rooms and specialized training facilities. Beginning May 1 it will be available to a broader segment of elite athletes. The range will be distributed initially through an exclusive co-marketing and co-distribution collaboration with GNC and its network of more than 5500 outlets nationwide.

“Make no mistake, Gatorade is all about the athlete,” said Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer of Gatorade. “Our 2010 product range focuses on the intersection between the insights of pro athletes and the advantages of our peerless scientific approach to product development. G Series premiered on the Super Bowl sidelines, where we promoted the ‘before, during, and after’ system of sports performance, and G Series Pro raises the bar even higher. Up to now, we have kept these products in the locker room; but the compatibility between G Series Pro athletes and GNC customers persuaded us this is a product line of genuine interest to those looking to go pro.”

Joe Fortunato who is the CEO of GNC added:

“The Gatorade brand has enormous credibility with GNC’s sports nutrition customers, and the G Series Pro line will be a valuable addition to GNC’s sport performance product line-up,”

CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, added:

“We recognize different needs of specialized and distinct groups of athletes across the spectrum of the whole category. G Series Pro is a manifestation of this insight—the elite athlete, with his or her particular nutrient requirements, needs a highly customized product. G Series Pro is such a product, made available through premium distribution channels such as GNC.”

Going GNC Exclusive

GNC has been accused of heavily “encouraging” supplement companies to “go exclusive”. This means that for a set period of time, these supplement companies can only sell their product(s) to GNC and not to their retail rivals Vitamin World, Vitamin Shoppe and sometimes The terms of these agreements vary from deal to deal but you get the picture. Companies having done this over the last few years in some shape or form include: MuscleMeds, MRI, XYIENCE, FIZOGEN, 5 TETRA, BIOGENETIX to name a few.

Why Go GNC Exclusive?

If consumers can only buy the product at a GNC store, this forces more foot traffic into GNC which is a huge win for them. It’s also a great opportunity to sell tons of products if you have a hot item and GNC gives you some retail support because GNC has over 5,000 stores if you include GNC Rite Aid store locations. The Gatorade deal is an interesting move for GNC because it gives them a huge competitive advantage over it’s main retail competitors Vitamin World, Vitamin Shoppe and even WAL-MART which carries quite a bit of sport nutrition products these days. Since Pepsi is already distributing another sports beverage in Cytosport’s MUSCLE MILK (Click HERE to read that story), playing in this sport nutrition retail landscape with a GNC partnership could be part of a much bigger move for Pepsi/Gatorade. But hey, that’s just MY opinion!