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Gatorade is about to launch its first-ever caffeinated drink

Brian Sozzi

Gatorade is about to finally enter the caffeine scene.

The PepsiCo (PEP) owned sports drink brand will release an “energized” version of its new Bolt 24 product in two weeks, Gatorade senior vice president Brett O’Brien exclusively tells Yahoo Finance. The drink will have 50 milligrams to 75 milligrams of caffeine depending on the flavor. O’Brien says the launch will be national in 2020.

The product would mark Gatorade’s first foray into adding caffeine into its popular sports drink.

This writer isn’t surprised to hear the launch for two reasons.

First, O’Brien teased it in a conversation we had on Gatorade’s future back in 2015.

"Caffeine is not in any of our products right now, but I would never say never—athletes use caffeine like crazy, especially endurance athletes," O'Brien said at the time. "I just think we need to better understand caffeine usage amongst athletes, and governing bodies with the NCAA, understand their approaches to caffeine and collectively figure out if this is the right way to go."

Consider that thorough study session completed, it appears.

Credit: PepsiCo

Meanwhile, the supermarket aisles have been inundated with new caffeinated pre- and post-workout drinks over the past year. While PepsiCo of course plays in the caffeinated market with its various sodas and Mountain Dew Kickstart, having an iconic workout brand such as Gatorade with a bit of caffeine could be a big sales win.

In the end, 2019 will go down as the year of product innovation for Gatorade in a bid to jumpstart the brand’s sales.

Following the late 2018 launch of Gatorade Zero, the brand debuted Bolt 24 recently. It’s a more natural take on an athletic drink that looks to wrestle market share from surging BodyArmor, which is minority owned by rival Coca-Cola (KO). PepsiCo also plunked down an undisclosed sum to buy workout drink brand Muscle Milk in February 2019. O’Brien said new products for Muscle Milk are on tap for 2020.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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