Gatorade, a brand synonymous with vibrantly-colored sports drinks, has made a surprising move with its latest offering: Gatorade Water, a clear, unflavored beverage. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about the new offering, which unlike its colorful predecessors, focuses entirely on the booming “functional water” market, projected to be worth $12 billion by 2032. Gatorade Water, which is set to hit stores next year, is infused with electrolytes and undergoes a rigorous seven-step filtration procedure. Depending on the bottle size, it contains 65 to 90 milligrams of sodium for the 700-milliliter and one-liter bottles, respectively. Research by the company discovered a demand among athletes for premium unflavored water that delivers perceived health benefits, such as faster recovery and improved gut health. But Gatorade Water will be competing in a packed market, with strong contenders like Coca-Cola’s Smartwater and other PepsiCo products, including LIFEWTR and Propel. The team wonders whether consumers would pay more for Gatorade water as opposed to regular water.
Also in this episode, Sydney talks about California’ impending ban on four chemicals found in many processed foods — brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye No. 3. This legislation, now awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature, has popularly come to be known as the “Skittles ban” due to its initial inclusion of a fifth chemical. Many European countries have already prohibited the chemicals. While Europe has banned all but red dye No. 3, the US is now making strides with California leading the charge in the Skittles ban campaign. A surprising revelation is that over 10,000 chemicals are sanctioned for use in food within the US. Notably, 99 percent of these approvals come from the food and chemical industry, sidelining the FDA, the organization entrusted with the safeguarding of America’s food supply. The team commends California for leading the charge in banning potentially harmful chemicals but wonders whether it will be enough to become federal legislation in the future.
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