PepsiCo, GNC to launch Phenom coconut water

by Eric Schroeder
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PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. and GNC, a specialty retailer of nutritional products, have signed a joint venture agreement to develop and sell fortified coconut water products under the newly created Phenom brand name. The products are expected to be available during the second quarter of 2011 at GNC locations nationwide and on exclusively prior to a wider release in other retail outlets in the United States.

“Phenom is perfectly positioned at the intersection of health and wellness and natural hydration,” said Massimo D’Amore, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Beverages Americas. “This is an exciting new phase of our relationship with GNC. As our partner, they are a strong brand and provide well recognized capabilities in the health and wellness space. Phenom will leverage these strengths in combination with PepsiCo’s scale and leading coconut water know-how. We see a bright future for the Phenom initiative, by meeting the growing needs of U.S. consumers with a great-tasting beverage.”

Coconut water is a natural electrolyte beverage. Formed naturally inside the shells of coconuts, it is also low in fat and calories and is a good source of vitamin C and heart healthy potassium, according to PepsiCo.

The joint venture with GNC marks another step in PepsiCo’s efforts to expand in the health and wellness sector, and comes a month after the company announced the formation of its Global Nutrition Group.

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