A message to the Gatorade marketing team.

I was in the grocery store yesterday. My shopping list had three items: beer, tea, and Gatorade. (I was thirsty.)

I found the tea no problem and then went over to the gatorade section. I was standing there, slowly going cross-eyed, when a helpful employee asked if she might be of some help. I started with an easy one, a question I already knew the answer to, but just had to ask anyway. “Don’t they have the half-gallon size anymore?” The gallon jugs were still there, but they’re too big to drink from while driving. They had the quarts, but out in the desert with the top down I go trough those things awfully fast. It costs more, and there’s more packaging cluttering up my floorboards and eventually destroying the Earth.

“No,” the friendly woman replied. “They have those, now.” She gestured to the eight-packs of pint sized bottles. Take my objections to the quart, multiply by two, and add a handle.

Somehow we managed to converse about the changing world of Gatorade sizes for a bit, then I asked my real question. “What the hell does a Riptide Rush taste like?” I was holding a bottle of purple liquid, and there was not a single word on the label to give any clue whatsoever as to what that liquid might do to my taste buds. (Answer: grape. Grape, Riptide Rush. Obvious in retrospect.) Not only are half the different concoctions not identified in any helpful way, there are now different series of meaningless flavors. There’s Gatorade AM, Gatorade Xtreme, and so forth. Presumably the AM is morning-friendly flavors. (I was hoping those had caffeine.) I think the real difference between the different series of flavors is the opacity of the liquid inside. Apparently as the day progresses one is inclined to increase opacity in one’s beverages.

In the end, the only meaningful clue to the flavors within was the color of the liquid. Despite the fact that Riptides are more well-known for killing swimmers than for providing a pleasing drinking experience (maybe it should be ocean water flavor — the last flavor a drowning man ever experiences), I went for the rush. Then I found one a very transparent orange-colored one mysteriously labeled “tangerine”. It was tangeriny, but way too sweet. I think that’s the innovation behind all these flavors, a lot more sugar. So much for being a thirst quencher.

The flavor I really wanted was Gatorade flavor, from back when there was just the one flavor. I scanned the yellow-green offerings for something like “original recipe”, but I was out of luck. Maybe it’s been renamed “Tangential Skylark” or something equally informative.

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6 thoughts on “A message to the Gatorade marketing team.

  1. Lemon Lime. Make sure it doesn’t have the strawberry kiwi flavor (exactly same color as original). Every now and then I have Gatorade and haven’t found any of the weird flavors worthy.

  2. It’s is slightly possible that camping type stores would have powdered versions of the original flavor. While not nearly as convenient, it guiltfully answers a host of your other problems – less packaging, choose your own size bottle, and you get to reuse the container.
    The little man has just tangled with the stomach bug going around. Man can little kids vomit like there’s no tomorrow. We called the nurse help line and were prepared to stock up on Pedialyte ™ but the nurse said just go with gatorade because it is cheaper and you can dilute it to be just like pedialyte. I was faced with the same problem – I really wanted “orange” or “original” I didn’t want to put ice blue razor into my precious little boy’s belly. In the end I found fruit punch gatorade and in the end it stimulated him to puke more than just plain water. To be fair he didn’t take to the purple pedialyte after we got fed up with the revolving door of gatorade. Like I said, nature boy was all about the pure water. And in the end doesn’t that say a lot? (His end sure said a lot, too).

  3. Jesse,
    As a long time babysitter and a veteran Auntie I have to tell you the hard and fast rule with mini-vomitoriums (aka sick kids) NEVER give them anything red. Seriously dude you can’t tell if they are sicker than need be if they are spewing red stuff. Also avoid fruit loops (not pretty).

    Henry’s Market which is now being bought out by Whole Foods or Wild Oats (something like that) sells the electrolight packages for 39 to 59 cents. The come in various flavors and I do use them when camping or traveling.

  4. Yes, the red colored punch was frightfully unintelligent. But I am now in complete understanding why my parents had servicable things when I was growing up and then went wild with redecoration after we kids moved out to college.

  5. Jerry, this is one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages! And so true about the new flavors. I do kind of like the one that looks like radiator fluid though.

    Last week I tried something called Coca-Cola Blaq. The combination of Coke and coffee was novel but at twice the price of a pint of Staropramen, it’s gonna stay a once in a blue moon kind of drink.

    Gonna be Stateside (Southeast) for a month starting May 3 and I’m psyched about grocery stores full of high-weirdness. And eating BURGERS and CHILLI DOGS again, perhaps every day because I CAN!!!

    Looking forward to comparing notes when we’re both back in the bosom of Europe, dude. It’s rafting-pirate season!

  6. We’ll have to get together the night of the 2th, just to formally tag out. I may be in Sicily by the time you get back to Prague, but after that I don’t have much in the way of plans.

    It is certainly time for another rafting trip.

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