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UK consumers remain patriotic when buying sports drinks

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The summer of 2014 will mostly be remembered as a summer of sport to rival 2012; the Tour de France toured England, the Commonwealth games received a warm welcome in Glasgow, and the World Cup in Brazil was a arguably the best ever (despite England’s paltry performance). Unsurprisingly, therefore, one industry booming in the wake of this festival of sport is the sports drink.

The sports and energy drink market is a major driving force behind the growing soft drinks industry in the UK. Lucozade, first manufactured in Newcastle back in 1927, remains the nation’s favourite sports drink.

This is perhaps one of few areas where the UK has remained loyal to its own brand as opposed to opting for foreign imports. According to Euromonitor International, American company Gatorade commands 46% of the sports drink market worldwide, making it the biggest brand in the business, yet it hasn’t been able to crack the UK.

The American company are trying their best to increase their hold on the British market and managed to secure the title as the ‘Official Sports Drink for the Commonwealth Games’. Prioritising the sponsorship of a British tournament is a clear indicator of Gatorade’s intentions.

“These are exciting times for Gatorade”, said Alex Armstrong, Gatorade Marketing Manager. “We are delighted to create a relationship with Glasgow 2014 and excited to be working with them. We feel it further cements our position as the sports drink of choice”.

Regardless of these advances, Lucozade remain confident. Victoria Morgan, Marketing Manager of Lucozade Sport, was defiant: “Whilst we do not comment on competitor brands, Lucozade remains the largest brand within the sports & energy category. As the number one sports drink with 66 per cent market share, Lucozade is seeing 12 per cent growth year-on-year”.

The figures are difficult to argue with. Predicting a 63 per cent increase in leisure spending as a result of the World Cup, Lucozade released limited edition Brazilian flavours. It proved a shrewd move as Lucozade Sport’s Brazilian Guava delivered £1.3m in sales in just its first four months. Securing former England captain Steven Gerrard as brand ambassador was also sure to have enhanced consumer appeal.

With Gatorade looking to intensify its efforts to take over the UK, the question was posed whether Lucozade would counter-attack or look abroad – but it seems it will continue to focus domestically.

Published on Wednesday 20 August by Editorial Assistant
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