Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Gatorade said it's discontinuing its Tiger Woods drink but said it made the decision before the golfer's car accident led to a firestorm surrounding his personal life.
The decision to drop the drink, called Tiger Focus, was reported by trade publication Beverage Digest in an issue dated Nov. 25, days before the incident at his Florida home.
John Sicher, Beverage Digest's editor and publisher, said he learned last month that Gatorade planned to discontinue its Tiger line, which was announced with great fanfare in late 2007 and launched in early 2008.
Woods helped choose the flavors, and the beverage marked Gatorade's first licensing agreement.
Gatorade, a Chicago-based unit of PepsiCo Inc., said in a statement that, "We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus, along with some other products, to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010."
The company declined to elaborate.
But Sicher said Gatorade plans to launch Prime and Recovery, beverages geared for pre-workouts and post-workouts, respectively.
"It needs shelf space and cooler space for these new products, so it will discontinue some of its older products that weren't doing well," he said.
Woods' line would seem to fall into that category: Sales volume of Tiger Focus was down 34 percent this year through October compared with last year, Sicher said.
Gatorade, along with other Woods sponsors, said last week that it was standing by the famous golfer.