Would you grab a bottle of Gatorade at the store to quench your thirst? What about a bottle of G Organic, the new name for organic Gatorade?
Marketers at PepsiCo are betting that you just might. PepsiCo’s new strategy--it's organic Gatorade--is designed to connect with the health-conscious consumer and to cash in on the demand for foods that at least seem more natural.
Organic Gatorade’s New Profile
The new organic Gatorade comes in three flavors: strawberry, lemon, and mixed berry, and will contain seven ingredients:
- Organic Cane Sugar
- Citric Acid
- Organic Natural Flavor
- Sea Salt
- Sodium Citrate
- Potassium Chloride
Experts at NPR, The Atlantic, and The New York Times are already calling the company’s hand at attempting to market liquid candy as a healthier beverage choice. Each 16.9-ounce bottle of G Organic contains seven teaspoons of sugar, which is more than anyone needs in a day, let alone a single serving. Organic sugar is no healthier than regular sugar, but PepsiCo is banking on the effect of something called the Health Halo.
The Health Halo
Have you ever fell under the effects of a health halo? The answer is most-likely, yes. Perhaps with a bag of deep-fried vegetable chips, a mountain of low-fat frozen yogurt, or a six-pack of gluten-free cupcakes?
The health halo is incredibly enticing because it allows us to have our cake and eat it too--literally. We get to enjoy foods that are laden in fat or sugar, while at the same time patting ourselves on the back for making healthy food choices because of organic ingredients. And yes, reducing your exposure (and the farmers!) to pesticides or herbicides common on non-organic foods is beneficial. But we're guessing that if it's a sugar bomb, you're kind of canceling out the benefits to a zero net-gain.
It’s insidious to suggest seven teaspoons of sugar is healthy – and PepsiCo knows that by labeling its sugar water with an all-caps ORGANIC label many people will assume that the drink is a healthier choice when it is not.
Don’t Be Fooled: Read the Labels
Sometimes we shop in a rush, and it’s easy to grab groceries that appear healthy but really aren’t, like Organic Gatorade. Marketing companies are paid millions to make this happen. But don’t be fooled – organic does not necessarily mean healthier, and natural does not necessarily mean better. Read the labels, and win the game.
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