Industry News | January 26, 2009

Drink Helps David Take on Goliath

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Sports drink giants Gatorade and Powerade are in for the type of competition sports lovers live for. Underdog company PureSport says it’s anticipating a David and Goliath-style fight to become the drink of choice for health buffs and athletes across the country.

The patent-pending performance drink, which launched in July of last year, is debuting a national distribution deal with Sports Authority and claiming some pretty big names among its users. “The brand was developed last year by Dr. John Ivy, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, who created the product solely to fill a need for elite athletes,” says a company spokeswoman.

Those elite athletes include Michael Phelps, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker, Aaron Perisol, and Nastia Liukin.

What separates this new kid on the beverage block from the others is its 2:67-to-1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, designed for muscle performance and recovery. The product also has no caffeine, no added sugar, and about half the calories of other sports drinks, earning it a registration with Informed-Sports, a leading, independent supplement-testing program, which ensures products are free of substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The product is available in grape, fruit punch, lemon-lime, and banana-berry flavors.

Down the road, PureSport could find itself facing off against another segment giant: Starbucks. As one of the leading brands in the ready-to-drink segment, Starbucks has several top performers in the coffee-energy drink arena. According to a company spokeswoman, PureSport is looking to develop other products including a ready-to-drink offering in the future.

--Blair Chancey