- Gatorade is launching its first wearable device, the Gx Sweat Patch.
- The single-use patch will measure fitness and hydration levels of athletes.
- Gatorade dominates the sports drink category with 71% market share.
Sports drink maker Gatorade is launching its first ever wearable device, the Gx Sweat Patch.
The patch is a one-time-use wearable that analyzes sweat to provide athletes with insights about their athletic performance and hydration levels. It's Gatorade's latest product at a time when the sports drink marketplace is becoming increasingly crowded.
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The patch will sell for $24.99 and will be available online and at Dick's Sporting Goods stores beginning Monday.
Gatorade says the patch should be worn on the left inner arm during a single workout. It will fill up with sweat as the athlete exercises. After finishing the workout, users can scan their patch using Gatorade's app, Gx, to reveal their unique sweat profile.
The sweat profile is based on sweat levels, sodium losses in the forearm, body weight and workout type or intensity. The results provide hydration strategies to maximize performance and avoid cramping or dehydration. Results can tell you everything from fluid and sodium loss to the rate you sweat and compare it with other workouts.
"The Gx System represents the evolution of how we're serving athletes. By offering intelligence to help them make choices about everything from their fueling plan to training to recovery, we're supporting athletes like never before," said Gatorade executive Brett O'Brien.
According to Duane Stanford, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, the smart patch is smart business for PepsiCo, Gatorade's parent company. He said this taps into one of the big trends the industry is seeing, the rise of personalization and customization.
"When you're able to personalize and customize, often you can do that at a premium price. It's the kind of thing that can enhance your margins," he said.
Stanford said this also helps Gatorade maintain its brand credibility and market dominance when the category is more crowded than ever before.
Gatorade dominates the U.S. sports drink category, holding a 72% market share of retail sales, according to Euromonitor. Coke's Powerade falls in a distant second, with a 16% share. BodyArmor has begun taking share and shown the market is no longer a two-horse race.
Another benefit Stanford sees is that Gatorade is tapping into its sports science that it has long touted and differentiates itself from competitors. The brand will use insights and aggregated exercise data from fitness apps that include Apple Health, Strava, Garmin, as well as its own data from Gatorade Sports Science Institute. This will allow Gatorade to better provide athletes recommendations on training, recovery and nutrition, Stanford said.
"Ultimately our goal is to bring the advanced science and services we provide elite athletes to anyone who's looking to improve their performance," said O'Brien.
He says democratizing lab-based sweat testing allows everyday athletes to get one step closer to the pros.
"This is just another example of them not just resting on their lead, they're going to defend their turf," said Stanford.