Coca-Cola is to launch its Powerade sports drink in Europe later this month, backed by $40–$50 million over the next fourteen months – Coke’s biggest European marketing push for six years.

The European sports beverage market is currently worth a meagre $1 billion, compared with $61bn in the US, but is growing rapidly. It is highly fragmented, with 30% in the hands of local operators and no company holding over 20% share. The biggest sellers are Gatorade (owned by PepsiCo), Lucozade (GlaxoSmithKline), Isostar (Novartis) and Coke’s own post-sports drink Aquarius, in third place with 13% market share.

Powerade, available in citus, berry and orange flavours, will be rolled out in Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Sweden and Turkey, followed by Italy, Greece, Hungary and Poland in Q1 next year. Marketing, mostly targeting a male audience, will include TV, outdoor and online ads, plus sponsorship and direct mail.

News source: Wall Street Journal