Gatorade has chosen GNC to retail its newly launched G Series Pro product lineup. Designed to meet the needs of professional and aspiring athletes, G Series Pro had only been available in the locker rooms of professional teams. Now, thanks to the exclusive alliance formed with GNC, the PepsiCo sports performance division will roll out the products to about 3,500 GNC retail stores and on the company’s website. According to the companies, the partnership enables the two companies to “reach a more nutritionally aware, athletically oriented customer in the specialty distribution channel.”
G Series Pro is an eight-product, 44-SKU line. Each of the eight products fall into one of three categories split into time periods during which the products should be consumed: 01 Prime, 02 Perform or 03 Recover.
The Prime category consists of a Carbohydrate Energy Drink formulated with a blend of B vitamins, electrolytes and a “quad carb blend” formulated for glycogen loading”; a macro-nutrient loaded Nutrition Bar; and a Nutrition Shake that blends protein, carbs and 15 vitamins and minerals. Products in the Prime category are formulated for consumption 60 minutes prior to competition or training.
The Perform category features products formulated to help athletes replace fluids lost during competition and maintain a balance of electrolytes to sustain longer, more intense workouts. The product in this category include an Endurance Formula beverage in ready to drink, powder and powder stick formats, as well as Gatorlytes, a pouched product containing a specialized electrolyte blend that, when coupled with “sufficient fluids,” helps reduce an athlete’s risk of whole-body cramping.
The Recover category is comprised of just one product, the Protein Recovery Shake, which contains 30 grams of milk protein (a fast-acting whey and slow-acting casein) to provide the essential amino acids needed to assist muscle protein rebuilding post-exercise.
“The key difference between G Series Pro and G Series is they were formulated for two distinct types of athletes (G Series Pro—elite athlete training to go pro; G Series—competitive athlete 13-17) so the two product lines vary in the amount and type of nutrients they deliver to meet the specific sports performance needs of their targeted athlete segments before, during and after a workout, practice or game,” explained Karen May, a spokesperson for Gatorade. “Up to now, Gatorade offered G Series Pro products only to collegiate and professional athletes, but the compatibility between G Series Pro athletes and GNC customers persuaded us this is a product line of significant interest to those looking to go pro.”
To support the products, GNC stores will be outfitted with “major displays” and store associates will be “fully grounded” in the G Series Pro product attributes and their use before, during and after practice, training or competition.
“Because Gatorade is all about the athlete, GNC is an ideal partner for the retail launch of G Series Pro,” says Sarah Robb O’Hagan, chief marketing officer of Gatorade. “Up to now, we have kept these G Series Pro products in the locker room, but the compatibility between G Series Pro athletes and elite athlete-minded consumers like GNC’s customers persuaded us this is a product line of genuine interest to those training to go pro.”
Beth Kaplan, GNC’s president, chief merchandising & marketing officer, echoed those sentiments and added that the relationship between the two companies “represents a significant business opportunity for both GNC and Gatorade to reach a more nutritionally aware, athletically oriented customer in the specialty distribution channel.”
She also pointed to GNC’s lengthy 75-year presence in the marketplace. “GNC has also been involved in virtually every single major sports nutrition product in the marketplace over the last seven decades,” she said. “We have the experience and skill set to do it right!”
The official launch of G Series Pro at GNC kicked off on May 1 with exclusive “Signing Day” appearances at selected GNC stories by Eli Manning of the New York Giants, Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears and Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts. GNC customers who committed to “Go Pro with G Series Pro” on May 1 were also granted access to the beta version of the new online pro training system from Gatorade.
While the current terms of the partnership cover only G Series Pro products, Ms. May alluded to a forward-looking “evolution” of the relationship, and Ms. Kaplan noted that “joint product collaboration in the future is definitely anticipated,” however neither party would offer specifics, citing “competitive reasons.”
In addition to GNC’s role as the brand’s exclusive launch partner in the specialty retailing channel, Gatorade said Dick’s Sporting Goods will also participate in product sales and distribution beginning in June.