PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. has discontinued its line of G Natural and G2 Natural Gatorade drinks, a little more than three years after introducing the products.
When first launched, the beverages were marketed as being made with “natural flavors and ingredients,” specifically sweetened with stevia and sold in Whole Foods grocery stores within the United States.
PepsiCo said in a statement that through “engagement with athletes on their fueling needs, we found that Gatorade Naturals and G2 Naturals did not resonate with this core consumer.”
While G Natural was not the subject of any litigation, several PepsiCo products have come under fire in recent years for their use of the word “natural.” Last July, PepsiCo removed the phrase “all natural” from the labels of its Naked juices after a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California argued that the drinks contain ingredients that aren’t “all-natural.” Earlier, PepsiCo renamed its line of “Simply Natural” Frito-Lay chips “Simply” after a lawsuit filed in California questioned the use of the word “natural.”The percentage of new food product launches with all-natural claims has stayed steady in recent years. In 2012, the percentage in the United States was 13%, the same percentage as in 2008, according to Mintel Group Ltd. The percentage of new drink launches with all-natural claims in 2012 was 8%, down from 13% in 2008. As of Dec. 10, 2013, the percentages were 15% of food products and 8% of drink products.