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Aussie icon Staminade tackles US sports drink giants

It is the corporate version of the tortoise and the hare, but with the backing of its multi-million dollar mother company Australian sports drink icon Staminade plans to regain ground in the race for national sports drink supremacy.

StaminadeIsotonic solution Staminade has been on Australian shelves long enough for a youthful tennis champion called John Newcombe to be the face of it advertising campaigns. But its presence dwindled in ensuing years thanks to the market saturation of two major American rivals, Gatorade and Powerade – owned by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola respectively.

Staminade is produced by Australian company Steric which developed a number of brands including Dick Smith grocery products, Golden Fields (oats, cooking oils) and Sunshine (Food Service) since its inception in 1964.

The manufacturing sites of Villawood (Sydney) and Geebung (Brisbane) seem a galaxy away  from the billion dollar marketing budgets and Super Bowl exposure bestowed on the two goliaths of the industry but Staminade executive director Cameron Brownie is planning on a resurgence for Staminade, which has survived for 30 years as Australia’s only real opposition against more fancied rivals.

“The sports drink and powder market has seen fantastic growth (30% year on year) all the way through the 90’s and has only slowed a little due to the success of the energy segment, driven by Red Bull,” Brownie said.

“Gatorade developed the category in 1965 and launched in Australia in 1993. Powerade came to Australia in 1988 in powder form and the bottles launched in 1992.”

Powerade have 60% share of the ready-to-drink bottle market according to Brownie, with Gatorade at 35% and Staminade about 3%, he said.

“In the powder segment Gatorade is at 58%, Powerade 27% and Staminade 13% – clearly we have a much stronger powder business than liquid.  We want this to continue.

“We have done most of our marketing in the past around our 600ml as all sports drink manufacturers do, and run the powder behind that. However we are going to change this.”

Staminade have built their planned resurgence around a new formula with magnesium as its flagship ingredient – the only sports drink in Australia to include it. “During sweating magnesium is lost and formulation has been designed to assist muscles to recover faster from cramping. It is our point of difference,” Brownie explained.

“Wherever possible we try to source Australian made raw materials.  And we are still a 100% Australian owned family company. If we offer a better product at a great price than our competitors, we are hoping this strikes a chord with consumers.”

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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