Gatorade: A Pioneer in Sports Drinks
In 1965, scientists at the University of Florida created Gatorade to help athletes replace any lost body fluids during games. After nearly two years of research, testing, and formulation, the Florida Gators sports teams began drinking this specially crafted sports beverage. In 1967, the only flavor of Gatorade was Yellow Lemon-Lime.
Since the late 1960s, isotonic drinks have become a popular drink among athletes and consumers alike, and the number of flavors to choose from has dramatically expanded.
With over 100 different flavors and series of Gatorade to choose from, including the Frost Series and G2 Series, there is one question that towers above the rest: what is the best flavor of Gatorade?
Using our artificial intelligence platform, Gastrograph AI, we determined what flavor of Gatorade consumers in the United States prefer the most.
What Is the Best Flavor of Gatorade?
With the data collected from our worldwide tasting panels and analyzed by Gastrograph AI, our artificial intelligence platform, we determined that the best flavor of Gatorade is Gatorade G-Series, Lemon-Lime. It’s fitting this was the first and only flavor available in 1967!
The lemon-lime flavor received the highest Perceived Quality (PQ) score out of all other Gatorade products in our console. As mentioned earlier in this article, PQ is a predictive preference score approximate to a 7-point hedonic scale.
Comparing Various Gatorade Products
Stack Rank of Selected Gatorade Products
|Product||Perceived Quality (PQ)|
|Gatorade G-Series, Lemon-Lime||2.86|
|Gatorade Zero, Glacier Cherry||2.15|
|Gatorade Frost, Glacier Freeze||2.09|
|Gatorade Flow, Pineapple Mango||1.93|
Note: isotonic drinks typically have lower PQ scores compared to other beverage products.
Gatorade G-Series, Lemon-Lime
The lemon-lime flavor of Gatorade held a PQ score of 2.86 out of 7 with high signatures of ‘fruits,’ ‘sugar,’ and ‘mineral’ notes.
Its ‘wet’ and ‘retronasal’ were pleasant for consumers, unlike the ‘sour and acidity’ notes tasters did not enjoy. The preference for this product in the United States would increase if the lemon signature were added or increased.
Other Gatorade products did not fare quite as well as the G-Series, Lemon Lime. The rest of the competition held lower PQ scores and negative signature notes.
Gatorade Zero, Glacier Cherry
The Gatorade Zero Glacier Cherry flavor earned a PQ score of 2.15 out of 7. It held pleasant ‘wet’ and ‘mineral’ flavors but unfavorable ‘dry.’
The analysis shows that a higher mineral addition and taste would create a more desirable driving preference and increase the PQ score for this product.
Gatorade Flow, Pineapple Mango
Gatorade Flow Pineapple Mango was one of the lowest-scoring Gatorade products as it held a PQ score of 1.93 out of 7.
Consumers did not enjoy the ‘sugar,’ ‘wet,’ and ‘dry’ notes this product held, unlike the other flavors in the analysis.
According to the AI, Gatorade Flow Pineapple Mango would have driven higher preference and received a higher PQ score if a lemon signature was present. Also, if the mango component were more prevalent than the pineapple flavor, it would have raised the overall PQ.
How Does Gastrograph AI Work?
Gastrograph AI predicts the food and beverage flavor preferences for over 3 billion consumers worldwide. Trained by our proprietary sensory database -the world’s most extensive - Gastrograph AI provides CPG companies with the data they need to design flavor profiles and products consumers will love. It does this by learning how consumers perceive the products they taste and how much they like (or dislike) what they are tasting.
Essentially, twenty-four (24) broad-spectrum flavor attributes are ranked on an intensity scale from 0 – 5. Specific reference flavors will get marked under select flavor attributes, and the context-based sentiment of that related flavor gets indicated.
For example, suppose a person selects ‘fruit’ as a flavor attribute in the Gastrograph AI Review app. The panelist will then receive a prompt to make a more specific selection of precisely what fruit flavor they taste, such as ‘raspberry’ or ‘pomegranate.’ From there, they will indicate whether that flavor had a positive impact, negative impact, or no impact at all on the flavor profile.
At the end of each review, panelists get asked to give their best assessment of the product’s quality (Perceived Quality). PQ is defined by how much they liked the product based on its flavor, aroma, and texture on a scale of 1(lowest) to 7 (highest).
Using Artificial Intelligence to Develop New Sports Drink Products
There are several sports drinks on the market today in competition with Gatorade, such as the well-known isotonic drink Powerade and the more recent sports drink on the market, Bodyarmor, both owned by Coca-Cola Company.
Sports drink consumption in the United States is expected to grow to 30 liters per capita by 2026, with 4.31billion cases of sports drinks sold worldwide in 2019.
If you want to make a competitive product in the sports drink category, Gastrograph AI can predict the flavors you need to win. Get in touch today!
This blog was originally published on August 11, 2020, updated on December 29, 2021