No Product Is Immune From Latino Marketing
August 13, 2012

The labels for Gatorade's new flavor line are in Spanish and English.

PHOENIX -- I've noticed a new product in Phoenix stores this summer: Spanglish Gatorade.

I'm used to seeing my favorite products from Mexico in grocery stores, generally limited to a dedicated aisle or a selection of candies near the check-out counter.

But the Limon Pepino and Sandia Citrus flavors of Gatorade -- with labels in both English and Spanish -- were mixed in with the stalwart Fruit Punch and Lemon-Lime flavors of the sports beverage at the regular end-of-aisle display.

Those end-of-aisle locations are prime territory, a high-visibility area where retailers hope to attract consumers. I have rarely seen Spanish-language items in these spots at mainstream U.S. stores.

Intrigued, I contacted Gatorade about these new products. A spokesperson said it was part of a new flavor line called Sabores de Mi Tierra, or Flavors From Home. In addition to the Limon Pepino (Lime Cucumber) and Sandia Citrus (Watermelon Citrus), there are melon and tangerine flavors.

Gatorade said this line is the result of strong brand recognition among Latino athletes, and that consumers found the product "nostalgic" and "appeals to our culture." The spokesperson also gave me a quote that, "The bilingual packaging led to feelings of inclusion and comfort."

They didn't give a name of the Latino consumer who said that, and I'd be surprised if people really chose their beverages based on Spanglish packaging as opposed to taste.

Also, if these flavors are "From Home" that implies those who buy it in the U.S. have roots somewhere else, which would be an interesting marketing tack. The Gatorade spokesperson didn't say if these flavors were being sold outside the U.S.

But the two new flavors I tried are tasty. As long as they don't try a horchata-flavored Gatorade, I think the new line will sell well.

Gatorade said the flavors are available in the Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Diego, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta and West Texas markets.