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PepsiCo Jumps Onboard The Natural-Ingredient Train With Organic Gatorade

PepsiCo Jumps Onboard The Natural-Ingredient Train With Organic Gatorade
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PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is set to introduce a new version of its sports drink, Gatorade, which will be certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to Bloomberg, Pepsi's new product will come in strawberry, lemon and mixed berry flavors and be available in several Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) supermarkets. A roll out to a group of grocery, natural and convenience stores will occur over the next few weeks. The cost will $1.69 for a 16.9-ounce bottle — costing $0.50 more than the non-organic Gatorade bottle.

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To gain the organic seal of approval, all artificial ingredients need to be removed and every process of a manufacturing overhaul needs to be verified by the USDA.

Bloomberg noted that Pepsi and its Gatorade brand are facing increasing pressure from consumers who demand cleaner ingredients. Recognizing the challenge, Pepsi is hoping to expand its 70 percent market share in the sports-drink market within the $43.3 billion organic food subgroup.

The organic food industry hit $43.3 billion in 2015, an 11 percent increase from the year prior, while broader food sales increased just 3 percent in comparison.

"We heard pretty loud through the locker rooms, through our work with nutritionists, that there is an interest and a desire among athletes to go organic," Brett O'Brien, Gatorade's senior vice president and general manager told Bloomberg. "Somewhere around 10 to 12 percent of athletes are saying they're interested in purchasing organic products."

Brett Hershman contributed to this report.

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