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Coca-Cola's Powerade adds new products to its lineup

Heidi Chung

After more than a decade, Coca-Cola’s Powerade brand is stepping up its game with two new products.

Powerade Ultra is a zero-calorie, zero-sugar, electrolyte sports drink. It contains creatine, BCAAs, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, and the company claims it has more than 50% more ION4 electrolytes. Powerade Power Water is a sports water which also contains zero calories and zero sugar. It has ION4 electrolytes and vitamins B3, B6 and B12.

(Courtesy of Powerade)
(Courtesy of Powerade)

“[Sports beverages are] a very important part of our business,” Shane Grant, president of still for Coca-Cola North America (KO), said on Yahoo Finance’s On The Move. “It's a $12 billion category. It's been growing consistently. It's a big day for the brand but also the company, because for the first time in a decade, we're going to launch two brand new platforms off that brand.”

Large-cap consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies like Coke have had to innovate rapidly to keep up with changing consumer tastes, and that innovation has paid off. In its most recent earnings call in October, Coke’s management highlighted the contributions product innovation have had on the company.

“While consumer behavior is rapidly evolving, we continue to find new ways to connect with consumers through our leader brands,” CEO James Quincy said. “Consumer-centric innovation has been a key factor, especially over the last few years. This includes smaller packaging, such as mini cans, [sales of] which are growing at a rate of more than 15% year to date in the U.S.”

Grant explained that Coke has made no secret of the fact that it plans to be a “true total beverage company,” and there has been a real shift in strategy for the company in that regard. “I think what you've seen from us, certainly in the last three to six months, is quite a number of big announcements for new products outside of our core sparkling business,” he said.

The shift in strategy is paying off for investors. The Dow component’s shares rose 25% over the past 12 months and have outperformed the Dow (^DJI). Coca-Cola (KO) is set to report fourth-quarter financial results Jan. 30 before the market open.

“I think, as a business, part of our transformation has [been about] being much more consumer-centric, much more agile, a faster-turn business. And you know, I think you see that real commitment to innovation and scaled innovation really starting to ramp up. And today it's Powerade,” Grant said.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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