Coca-Cola lost out on Gatorade to PepsiCo

Coca-Cola lost out on Gatorade to PepsiCo

The Coca-Cola Co may buy GlaxoSmithKline brand Lucozade to make up for the “sad lesson” of losing Gatorade to PepsiCo, an analyst has said.

Euromonitor beverage analyst Hope Lee said yesterday (18 April) that Coca-Cola has been in PepsiCo's shadow in sports and energy drinks since the Gatorade buy in 2001 and is seeking a strong brand in the category. “Lucozade would lift Coca-Cola’s category share by two percentage points, taking it closer to Red Bull,” Lee said.

The analyst also said Suntory is a contender for the Lucozade brand, which along with Ribena is undergoing a “strategic review”. GSK, which launched the review last month, has said every option, including a sale, is being considered. 

Lee said: “Suntory has established a new department specifically for acquisitions, with Lucozade perhaps being its next target.”

According to Sky News this week, the Japanese firm is in talks with banks about tabling a bid for Lucozade and Ribena. 

Meanwhile, Euromonitor's Lee added that the brands will have to be grown internationally to make a purchase worthwhile.