After Coke’s initial investment in the startup company BodyArmor, they decided to take full control with a $5.6 billion buyout.
Prior to this week, the Coca-Cola Company owned 15 percent of BodyArmor. One of the leading rivals to Gatorade, BodyArmor was a startup company that began in 2011. The company promotes their drink to contain natural flavors and sweeteners with no colors from artificial sources. Their first big investor was Kobe Bryant in 2013. He paved the way for more athletes like James Harden and Mike Trout to help support the small company grow larger. Starting in 2018, the Coca-Cola Company became their second largest investor behind the creator of BodyArmor Mike Repole.
On top of BodyArmor having their original sports drink, they also introduced BodyArmor Lyte. This drink is said to have the same nutrients of a regular bottle of BodyArmor but has only 20 calories and two grams of sugar per bottle. They also have released BodyArmor Sports water. This drink was said to be created for those who have an active lifestyle with a performance pH of 9+ and electrolytes for exercise. These two drinks plus the original BodyArmor sports drink allowed for high sales throughout the year.
It is now being announced that the Coca-Cola Company is fully buying BodyArmor for $5.6 billion. This company went from a small startup to a multibillion-dollar company within 10 years. For context, Kobe Bryant initially invested $6 million back in 2013, and his investment today is worth over $400 million.
Coke’s biggest rival, Pepsi, has been dominating the sports drink market due to Pepsi owning Gatorade. Gatorade in the past year had a 64 percent market share of U.S. sports drinks according to the Wall Street Journal. BodyArmor had 18 percent of sales, and Powerade had 13 percent. Coca-Cola now owns both Powerade and BodyArmor.
Coke is always trying to increase their product line to compete with Pepsi. They are trying to challenge Gatorade with the purchase of BodyArmor. An editor of Beverage Digest, Duane Stanford, states, “Coke can try to sandwich Gatorade between BodyArmor, a more premium brand, and Powerade, which is more of a value brand.”
The purchase of BodyArmor, in addition to their already owned brands like Powerade, Dasani water and Gold Peak tea brings a different strategy for Coke. They no longer have to be reliant on just the sodas they own like Fanta, Sprite and their very own Coca-Cola. They have branched off to other drinks, expanding their product line — this to compete with their largest competitor, PepsiCo.