Gatorade powder can taps brand equity

Gatorade Co. is tapping its pro sports image to relaunch its powdered drink mix. Formerly in an ordinary spiral-wound composite container, the mix is now packaged in an orange canister from Liquid Container (West Chicago, IL) that replicates the look of the large Gatorade dispensing cooler seen on the sidelines at national sporting events.

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Assistant brand manager Jeff Marsh calls that cooler "one of the most significant equity icons of our brand." The high-density polyethylene canister, shaped like the cooler, is designed to boost stagnating sales that have afflicted powdered beverage mixes. Drawing attention to the ribbed sides of the container is a clear adhesively applied wraparound oriented polypropylene label that shrinks into the grooves of the container. By covering part of the cap, it doubles as a tamper-evident band. Supplied by CMS Gilbreth (Trevose, PA), the six-color flexo-printed OPP label is cheaper than a shrink sleeve or a stretch sleeve label with separate TE shrink band, according to Gatorade. It's applied by a Model 4500 Trine wraparound labeler from CMS Gilbreth that perforates the sleeve around the cap to form the TE band. The labeler is capable of speeds to 350/min for this package, though current speeds are about 150/min. Gatorade confirms that a wraparound labeler was significantly less costly than shrink applicating equipment for the line speeds desired. The PP screw cap, also designed to look like the cooler cover, is injection-molded by White Cap (Downers Grove, IL) and comes with an induction-seal liner to add moisture protection. The canister, which holds 18.4 oz of product, debuted in southern U.S. supermarkets in April. It will roll out nationwide at an average retail price of $4.60.

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